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About the Director

Director Karen Gardias, PhD


Karen Gardias received a bachelor's degree in music education from Baldwin-Wallace University, a masters from Maryville University, and a doctorate in music education from University of the Pacific.

Karen came to Davis sixteen years ago following Dick Brunelle as the orchestra and choral conductor for Davis High School. She has directed orchestras in North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and California. In addition to the Madrigals, Karen directs the Emerson Junior High Choir and the Davis High School Advanced Treble Choir. She also teaches Essentials of Music and AP Music Theory at the high school.

As Music Department chair at Davis High School for several years, Karen coordinates and leads the various music programs at the high school. More than once she has been selected as one of three teachers to represent the teaching staff on the Davis High School Leadership Committee. Karen also has trained and mentored new teachers in the Davis School District through the California Teacher Training Program. In 2007, Davis High School received the GRAMMY Foundation Signature School Award, which recognizes the top 22 public high schools across the country for outstanding commitment to music education programs.

Her years at Davis High have been exciting years of growth and development for Karen and the students as they have traveled and performed in Rome, Austria, Australia, and throughout Europe. In 2003, Karen prepared the DHS Madrigal Choir to perform with Josh Groban on his nationwide tour. In 2006, Karen's choirs (the Advanced Treble and Madrigal choirs) were the only high school choirs selected from the United States to compete against 40 countries in the International Eisteddfod Competition in Llangollen, Wales, winning 1st place in the world in the Chamber Choir division.

The Davis High School Madrigal Singers, under her direction, have become well-recognized throughout California and internationally. Over the years, Karen has enjoyed the opportunities the district has provided for her to work with such talented students, supportive parents, and a welcoming community.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.