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Katrina Kahlhamer is a graduate student at Ohio University, working towards a master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy as

well as a theory pedagogy certification. She studies piano with Dr. Christopher Fisher and was a winner of the OU School of Music Student Soloist Competition in 2023, performing the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Keyboard Performance at Bob Jones University in 2022, studying with David Lehman and Faye Lopez. Katrina has performed collaboratively with solo vocalists and instrumentalists, quartets, trios, and piano duos. As a graduate assistant, she teaches group piano classes and collaborates with music students for performances,

juries, and recitals. 

Growing up, Katrina always loved playing piano. Her mom never had to worry about making her practice - she would actually have to ask her to stop practicing to do her other schoolwork! Katrina and her brothers were able to begin taking piano lessons because of funds available to military families when her dad was deployed. After beginning lessons at 7, she would teach herself other songs by ear and loved learning any new pieces she could. Being part of a military family also meant that they would move several times, allowing opportunities to study with different piano teachers. Katrina was able to practice her collaborative and improvising skills in church from the age of 11, learning how to play for congregations and getting practice playing hymn arrangements. 


In 2010, Katrina started taking violin lessons in addition to piano, which allowed her to join the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) several years later. She put on a solo fundraiser recital in 2013 to help cover the costs.  This was her first full length solo piano and violin recital. Her family helped her record a CD of the repertoire she was working on and some fun songs for the guests to take home. Katrina loved being part of WYSO and worked her way through each of the four levels which earned her a spot on the Youth Orchestra international tour to Italy in 2016. 

During her middle school and high school years, Katrina played piano for various events and audiences, including: guest performing at a different local piano teacher's recital, working with a music therapist playing for residents of a VA hospital, playing background music for a library fundraiser, performing with larger piano ensembles at Maranatha University, playing for a wedding, and performing the piano part for one of the symphonic pieces at WYSO. 

Katrina began giving some piano lessons to beginner and intermediate students in 2015 to help pay for her own lessons. While studying piano with Ruth Brown at Maranatha University, she became a finalist in the BJU high school piano competition in 2016, and presented a solo high school senior recital in 2017. 

To help cover her college tuition costs, Katrina enlisted in the South Carolina Air National Guard in 2017, and continued to work as an avionics integrated systems technician on drill weekends monthly until her enlistment ended in summer 2023. She is the first female in the four generations of military service in her family, and took time away from school for her training in 2018-2019 and for a deployment to Qatar in 2021. 

In earning her Piano Performance undergraduate degree at BJU, Katrina studied piano with Faye Lopez as a freshman, becoming a finalist in their annual commencement contest. She later studied with David Lehman, under whom she put on her junior and senior recitals. She also earned second place in the commencement contest and was a finalist in the piano division of the concerto competition. She was part of several different piano duo groupings as well as a string quartet in her senior year. 


Katrina was able to continue playing violin with the symphony in college, being part of the BJU Symphony Orchestra during her time there. Her favorite performances were playing in the pit for operas such as Lucia di Lammermoor and Samson et Dalila. Now, she joins the Ohio Valley Symphony as their pianist for some concerts. 

In her first year as a Piano Performance and Pedagogy MM student at Ohio University, Katrina performed as the soloist with the Ohio University Symphony playing the first movement of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1, as a winner of the Student Soloist Competition. She also performed in a masterclass with pianist Dominic Cheli playing the same work. Throughout the year, she worked on collaborative repertoire, performing as part of a piano duo, presenting a Haydn trio in the fall, and was the pianist for Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time

in the spring. 

Katrina taught college level group piano classes level I-IV her first year, assisted with a group piano class for kids, and taught students through the Athens Community Music School. As part of her graduate assistantship position, she also accompanies vocalists and instrumentalists for various performances, lessons, recitals, and juries. This year, she is also one of the collaborative pianists for the Opera Theater department. 

Outside of music, Katrina enjoys playing board games, doing puzzles, researching music theory and history topics, knitting and crocheting, and watching Marvel movies.  

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