Kate Janzen, composer/director/accompanist, has been working in the field of music since the age of 17. Her first job while a senior in high school was accompanying a local community choir, and since then has never looked back. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from Sacramento State’s School of Music –with a double focus in Jazz Studies/Arranging and Theory & Composition– she has gone on to become a highly sought after musician wherever she resides. With multiple awards for her compositions, a short original Musical tucked under her belt, and nearly 20 years of experience as an accompanist and music director, she moved to Seattle, WA from Sacramento, CA in September 2018 to further her desire for growth and exploration in creative collaboration.
She is currently the after school choir director at Seattle Country Day, accompanist for Backstage Dance Studio, Merdian School, Bush School, and O’Dea High, plays for local churches, teaches private voice/piano/theory, and is now beginning to work on her first full length musical and a choir warm-up book.
Also, despite the distance, she still flies out to Sacramento on occasion to play for schools and ensembles in the area, because the joy of friendship and making music knows no bounds.
Why the move to Seattle:
In February of 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in a theater festival (KCACTF region 7) in Denver, CO, putting on my acting hat and playing Fraulein Schneider in American River College’s production of Cabaret, as well as learning new skills as an actor in the workshops offered there.
The whole experience got me thinking about my life as a whole and where I was going with it. Should I switch gears and pursue acting? Continue with music? Get my Masters? I found myself at a cross road of unknowing and internal crisis.
After a long walk through the city and some reflective meditation, I recognized that my growth as a musician (and human) felt stagnate. I was too comfortable, having been working in Sacramento for 17 years with steady gigs and a large client base, and needed to shake up my life… to force myself into the “discomfort zone.”
So, I decided to move, and after more meditation and journal writing, picked Seattle (having never actually been there but told that I would love it). Great music scene. Thriving dance scene. Theaters galore. And… I’m a huge fan of the rain, mist, and overcast, so why not?
I informed all of my different gigs and people I work with that I’d be leaving in a year (much to their dismay) and true to my word, in September of 2018 I was unloading my belongings into my new place in Seattle.
Needless to say, the goal of making myself uncomfortable has been an absolute success, and growth abounds! Breaking through fears and concepts, learning new things about myself (and others), and forcing myself to face things that, in the past, I would normally hide from. Absolutely delightful. Painful? Yes. But wonderful. 10/10 would highly recommend doing it at least once in your life.
“Get to know Kate Janzen”
What was your first job?
What were you like as a child?
What excites you to get out of bed every morning?
What are you grateful for?