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Rachel Bower Karr ’03

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rachel was a violin member of the Honolulu Symphony and adjunct violin faculty member at BYU-Hawaii.When did you come to Waterford and why did you choose Waterford as your school?
I arrived at Waterford in Fall 2000, beginning my sophomore year. I chose Waterford because I knew it would give me a better head start to my future.

What has been the most meaningful impact that Waterford has had on you?
I believe the environment that Waterford created for the students inspires them to become more than the average person.

What passions did you find at Waterford that you may not have discovered elsewhere (photo, theater, dance, robotics, birding, Shakespeare, ceramics, tennis, outdoor, lacrosse, etc.)?​
Shakespeare, definitely. Having the opportunity provided by Waterford to go the the Shakespearean festival every fall and reading Shakespeare in school definitely created a love for his amazing works. I have since returned to the festival with my family because of my wonderful experiences as a student.

Did you have a favorite teacher or more than one? Why?
Mr. Watabe and Mr. Brennan – both Math. Each of these teachers inspired me to strive for more than I thought I was capable of.

Did Waterford prepare you well for college and life beyond?
It did!

Where did you go to college?
Cleveland Institute of Music

What was your first job after college?
Violin member of the Honolulu Symphony and adjunct violin faculty member at BYU-Hawaii.

What culminating experience(s) helped you select a career?
I began taking music lessons at a very young age and spent my adolescent years developing these talents even at the sacrifice of a normal academic education. My mother felt that home-school was the only way for me to get the allotted time in for practice. However, when she discovered that Waterford would accommodate me with practice time during study halls and other freedoms to continue the continue the demand of my music development she did not hesitate to enroll me. From there, there was only one logical direction for me to follow.

How has your career evolved?
I continued performing and gigging for a few years following my graduation and first job until I got married and had a child. I now focus much more on teaching than performing so I can be as much of a stay-at-home mom as possible to my little boy. I am currently on faculty at the Gifted Music School and on occasion I perform with the Orchestra at Temple Square and the ​Ballet West Orchestra​.

Where do you live now?
Centerville, Utah

Words to live by?
As a new mother my words are for other new mothers: “don’t listen to anyone, follow your instincts.”