Academic Affairs

Dr. Karen Griebling


Professor of Music
Chair, Music Department
Conductor, Chamber Orchestra

Office: Trieschmann Studio 8
Phone: (501) 450-1249
  • D.M.A. University of Texas
  • M.M., University of Houston
  • B.M., Eastman School of Music

Dr. Karen Griebling is Professor of Music at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas where she has taught since the fall of 1987. She is professor of composition, theory, counterpoint, orchestration, and viola and conductor of the Hendrix Chamber Orchestra. She is also a violist with the Arkansas Symphony and the Pinnacle Players, a conductorless chamber orchestra based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Born in Akron, Ohio on 31 December, 1957 Dr. Griebling's early music training was guided by her parents, Mary Ann and Stephen Griebling, both composers. She began studying musicianship and wrote her first compositions at the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory School at the age of four. The family moved to England in 1964 where she participated in London's Kinderchoir. Returning to Akron in 1968, her training and awards included national honors from NFMC, BMI, MENC and ASCAP, and study at the Junior Conservatory Camp (now The Walden School), Summer Music Experience (now Encore School for Strings), Cleveland Music School Settlement, Cleveland Institute of Music and singing with the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus.

She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin 1986 where she held teaching assistantships in music theory and in orchestral studies and the Kent Kennan Scholarship in composition, a Master of Music degree from the University of Houston where she held the Daniel Dror Graduate String Quartet Fellowship 1982, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York 1980.

Her principal viola teachers included the late Samuel Spinak, and the late Francis Tursi, Milton Katims, Donald Wright, Larry Wheeler, and Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Principal Violist Edward Ormond. She has held professional viola positions with the Albany (NY) and Berkshire Symphonies, Houston Ballet, and Texas Chamber Orchestras, Assistant Principal Violist with the Corpus Christi Symphony, and performed as a soloist with members of the Houston Symphony for Bach's St. John Passion, and as violist for the BBC/PBS performance and documentary of Britten's Curlew River in 1985. She performed as a soloist and chamber player at the World Saxophone Conference at the University of Quebec at Montreal and for Music for the Soul at Victoria Hall, Singapore, summer, 2000.

Griebling studied composition with Donald Grantham, Michael Horvit, Joseph Schwantner, Warren Benson, Carlisle Floyd, and Samuel Adler. She has twice been a guest composer at the New Hampshire New Music Festival and three times at the Wichita State University Contemporary Music Festival. In 1987 she was Ohio Music Teachers' Association Composer of the Year and received a National Endowment for the Humanities Award. She was an Arkansas Arts Council Artist Fellow in 1993. In 2000 she lectured to candidates for a doctorate in composition at Nanyung Technical University. Griebling's commissions include the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Akron Youth Symphony, University of Houston, University of Akron Opera, Huntingdon Trio of Philadelphia, Concord Trio, Dallas Theatre Three, Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, Quapaw Quartet, Kegelspieler Trio, Quartet Inegal, Pinnacle Players, and many soloists. Dr. Griebling has composed operas, ballet, choral music, song cycles, chamber, and orchestral works. Her textbook, Musicianship Skills for Beginners, (4th. ed., 1998, paper, Musicalligraphics) has been widely used in central Arkansas, Ohio and Singapore. A BMI Composer, her music has been performed and warmly received throughout the United States, Southeast Asia, and in Europe.

Cross Town TrioPictured from left to right is the Cross Town Trio, who performed at the International Viola Conference in Iceland in June 2005: Dr. Jackie Lamar, saxophone (professor of music, UCA) Dr. Karen Griebling, viola (professor of music, Hendrix) Dr. John Krebs, piano (associate professor of music, Hendrix) and "Icelandic friend"

Areas of Instruction

  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Music Theory
  • Composition
  • World Music
  • Coordinator of string area:
    Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Chamber Players

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Music, Eastman School of Music, 1980
  • Master of Music, University of Houston, 1982
  • Doctor of Musical Arts, University of Texas, 1986