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About Me

I am a percussionist, educator, artist, and advocate for creative expression.

My goal is to help people find their creative voice through the lens of music. To do this, I collaborate with students to understand their interests and hone their skills in a way that ultimately supports their individual expression and growth as humans.



Percussionist Karen Toney (she/they) showcases her passion for music through chamber performances, collaborating on new mallet percussion works, and connecting with the community through music education. 

Toney has been afforded many opportunities as a performer, including with the Patterns Quartet, originally formed at the University of Central Florida. The group produced a pioneering album of previously unrecorded works for two vibraphones and two marimbas called Patterns, which was shared by John Schafer on his radio show New Sounds on WNYC, a public radio station in New York. Another major chamber opportunity presented during her time at UCF was to perform Jose/BeFORe John 5 (Aurél Holló), which was later recorded and featured as a Performance Spotlight on the Vic Firth website. She was also able to perform on the Candlelight Concert Series with the Peabody Percussion Group, and with the Peabody Honors Ensemble Milieu. 

Toney has also been forming her education philosophy in practice for over a decade, teaching students ranging from elementary school to collegiate, and large ensembles to one-on-one lessons. A particular highlight for her was teaching at the UCF Percussion Summer Institute in 2017 and 2018. She is passionate about providing a safe and healthy environment for students to reach their goals and find their voice for authentic self-expression whether their medium is music or otherwise.

Karen received her Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under the direction of world-renowned percussionist Robert van Sice in 2016. Prior to that, she received her Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Central Florida under the expert guidance of prolific educators/performers/arrangers/composers Jeffrey Moore, Kirk Gay, and Dr. Thad Anderson, where she received music and academic scholarships as well as the Presser Award.


New to NoVA

I moved to NoVA in 2022 after a hiatus from music-making to focus my energy on my mental health. I am thrilled to be returning to the practice and joining this vibrant community of artists, students, and educators. I hope to be a powerful advocate for you in your creative endeavors. 

Thanks for stopping by to get to know me. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or collaboration ideas.

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