Kathy Olson

Kathy Olson

Kathy Olson

  • Flute
  • Saxophone
  • Clarinet



Teaching Philosophy

I love teaching students and I work hard to challenge each person in ways that will be most beneficial and fulfilling to them. Not everyone is going to go on to become a professional musician, but learning to play an instrument gives people a deeper appreciation of music that can enrich their lives for years to come. Some of the specific things I like to work on with students are instrumental technique, ear training, improvisation, understanding and development of good tone, air/breathing technique, reading music, transcription, composition, arranging, and music theory. I find joy in introducing music that is new to students, but am also happy to help them play the music that they may already love.

Teaching Biography

Ms. Olson has been teaching music students for over 15 years. In addition to teaching for BMS she currently also teaches flute and clarinet group lessons for Making Music Matters in the Boston public schools. Ms. Olson also works in the summers as an ensemble faculty member for the Berklee Five Week Summer Performance Program. In 2010 she was invited to go to the University of Virginia to teach a few master classes and work with the current jazz students on their ear training and ensemble playing. She was invited back again as a guest artist to UVA in April of 2013 where she performed with the UVA Jazz Ensemble which premiered her big band arrangement of her tune Tygart Valley.

Performance Biography

Kathy Olson is a jazz baritone saxophonist and woodwind specialist based in the Boston area but originally from Charleston, West Virginia. On the baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet, or bass clarinet Kathy has performed and/or recorded a variety of styles from contemporary big band to indie rock and balkan brass music. Kathy founded the Composers Saxophone Quartet in 2011. Kathy also leads the Olson Pingrey Quartet whose album Low Contrast was reviewed in Cadence Magazine which said the group has an "..interplay and strutting beauty that brings to mind Mulligan dueling with Bob Brookmeyer, a nice bled of low tones over a high-stepping rhythm section…This is a fresh and fun slant on some classic materials.” In addition to her own groups Kathy also performs as a side person throughout New England with, among others, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra and the balkan brass group Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band.


B.A. University of Virginia; M.M. New England Conservatory