Born in York, Pennsylvania, Katherine moved to West Chester to pursue music academically. At West Chester University, Katherine won the senior piano competition. She continued her education at the University of Minnesota, where she researched the human voice. Afterwards, Katherine studied conducting at Westminster Choir College and The University of the Arts.
For over 38 years, Katherine Bartol has provided voice and piano lessons privately in addition to her work with middle school and university institutions. She specializes in the Kodaly method and has presented workshops in this specialty to students of all levels.
In 1983, Katherine began working with Selinsgrove Area Middle School as the Music and Chorus Director. For 14 years she occupied this position, helping students develop their passion for music and hone their skills. In 1987, Katherine Bartol was named Director of Show Choir at Susquehanna University. In 1997, Katherine became the Director of Vocal Music and Department Chair at Selinsgrove School District.
Katherine performed as a lead singer, song writer, keyboard player, and guitarist for rock bands Fallout and Rumor Has It. She also sang with television personality Davy Jones, and sang “The Star Spangled Banner” for The Pennsylvania State Education Association’s House of Delegates. Katherine also performed the role of Christine for local Broadway musical reviews of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, and presented a variety of styles as a vocal soloist for symphonic concerts. She particularly enjoyed singing songs from Webber’s Broadway musical Evita, Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, Bernstein’s operetta Candide, the music of Judy Garland, and various jazz standards.
Katherine Bartol’s success as both a musician and instructor is heavily noted in the media. She has been invited as a guest conductor by various institutions and groups, including the Dauphin County Chorus. Her career has been highlighted in numerous publications, including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Who’s Who Among American Women, Who’s Who in the World, as well as Strathmore and Biltmore Who’s Who. Additionally, Kathy Bartol has written various pieces regarding music and education. She is a contributing author for Pennsylvania State University’s Partnership for Music Teacher Excellence: Guide for Cooperating Teachers, Student Teachers, and University Supervisors. Furthermore, she has written for the American Choral Director’s Association Pennsylvania State Journal Polyphony while serving as acting ACDA-PA Middle Level Repertoire and Standards Chairperson.
As an educator, Kathy Bartol has helped her students explore their passion for music. Her middle school choruses represented Pennsylvania for the PA Music Educators Association and the PA Middle School Association, as well as premiered the music of composer Linda Babits. Kathy’s high school choir has participated in a variety of performances across the United States. They were chosen to premiere the compositions of James Mulholland and John Rutter at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Additionally, they performed at the WWII Memorial Dedication ceremonies in Washington, D.C, the 400th anniversary of Jamestown with President George W. Bush, Sandra Day O’Connor and other dignitaries present, and sang the Star- Spangled Banner at a Washington Wizards-Indiana Pacers Game. On May 25, 2015, they returned to Carnegie Hall to perform with John Rutter in the premiere of his newest work, The Gift of Life: Six Canticles of Creation.