After beginning musical instruction on piano at age 6, she went on to begin in school band on percussion. A year of that sufficed, and Katrina switched to clarinet. After her music-drenched high school years, she attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied with Lawrence McDonald and completed her Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance in 1990. Katrina continued her classical study at Northwestern University, studying with Robert Marcellus and Clark Brody. She completed her Master of Music in Clarinet Performance in 1991. She then moved to Minnesota to study Historical Musicology at the University of Minnesota. After truly understanding that she wasn’t meant to be an academician, Katrina sought other types of clarinet playing and found a home in performing Balkan music.
Katrina has been performing music from Southeastern Europe (and around the world) since 1994. Since 1999 she has performed as instrumentalist and orchestra director for the Ethnic Dance Theatre (EDT) Folk Orchestra. In 2002, she, along with other EDT musicians, launched the Balkan Party band Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI). OBI has become the Upper Midwest’s primary proponent of music from this once war-torn region and its inhabitants, including the Romany people (Gypsies). Katrina was awarded a McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians in 2011 with OBI, as well as a Minnesota Emerging Composers Award (from the American Composers Forum) in 2012. For the fiscal year 2015 Katrina was awarded an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to learn to play the taragot, a wooden folk saxophone from Hungary and Romania, and to start a band (Sâmbra Oilor) focused solely on Romanian music.
She has also performed on recitals and concerts for other musical styles and in a variety of venues. Katrina has had the pleasure of backing DeVotchKa at the legendary First Ave, performing as a soloist with the Jewish Community Center Orchestra, as a chamber musician with Wild Hollow and with Finnish-American soprano Julia Vaara (then known as Julie Hanson Geist).
Katrina has taught clarinet since 1998 at Schmitt Music in Roseville, is on the faculty for MacPhail Center for Music, and maintains a private studio in her home. Her instruction is personable and entirely geared toward each individual.
Orkestar Bez Ime
Mahala Drive (2010)
Nice Driveway, Volume 3: Rogarian Baba-Que (2007)
Nice Driveway, Volume 2: Lake Aquanyet Days (2006)
Nice Driveway, Volume 1: Cheers from the Land of the Freeze (2005)
From a Dark Night (with Mila Vocal Ensemble; 2004)
Ethnic Dance Theatre Folk Orchestra