Coordinator of Keyboard Studies
BA, George Fox University
MMus, University of Portland
DMA, University of Northern Colorado
Kenneth Willson was born in the beautiful “Big Sky” state of Montana. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Fox University, a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Portland, and a Doctor of Arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.
His passion is the piano! He studied piano with Lou Anna Braughton, Istvan Nadas, Robert Hallquist and Errol Haun. Kenn is a tenured professor of music at George Fox University, teaching music theory, class piano, recital prep class and applied piano. He taught previously at the University of Northern Colorado, Linfield College and Judson Baptist College, and he teaches a select few students outside the university. Kenn has also worked as pianist at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton, Oregon, and was the founder of Southminster's Concert Series.
Kenn has played the piano since age 6, when he taught himself to read music. Formal piano education began at age 10. Kenn conceived and implemented an “Encounters with…” series at the turn of the century. When asked to teach the general music history course at George Fox University, he thought, “Why not combine the ‘real’ composer’s thoughts and emotions with their music? Why must all the composer information be so dry? Let’s discuss the ‘rock and roll-a-bility’ of Beethoven!” The result is endless fun and a concert series that is slightly off the beaten path each time it is presented.
Kenn was named a Bösendorfer Educational Artist by the Viennese Piano Manufacturing Company in October 2005. Along with this honor, he was invited to Vienna to present a recital in Bösendorfer Hall on May 1, 2006, as part of Bösendorfer’s “Happy Birthday Mozart” celebrations. He has performed in Italy, Oregon, Washington and Montana, and continues to work within his passions of performing and teaching.