Kathleen Otterson’s lifelong interest in Johann Sebastian Bach took root in high school
when her flute teacher set her the task of learning the B minor Flute Sonata, and
continued through her undergraduate years as a flute major at UW-Madison. IN
graduate school, under the baton of UW choral director Robert Fountain – who
programmed a Bach motet every calendar year – and the tutelage of voice professor
Ilona Kombrink, the interest in Bach gradually became serious study.
Singing as alto soloist in Bach’s choral works has been a great joy of Kathleen’s
professional singing life: favorites include the Magnificat in D Major, St. John Passion,
the Mass in B minor and the Weinachtsoratorium.
As Music Director at Christ Presbyterian Church, Kathleen has led the Chancel Choir,
Quartet, and orchestra in several of Bach’s cantatas, including Ein feste Burg ist unser
Gott for the 500th anniversary celebration of the German Reformation in 2017; and
excerpts from the St. John Passion in 2013.
Kathleen Otterson is a career teacher: having taught instrumental music in Madison and
Milwaukee; and since 1995, voice lessons to students of all ages in her home studio.
She served for six years on the voice faculty at UW-Oshkosh and retired in 2022 from
Edgewood College after 20 years as vocal instructor and choral director. Kathleen
founded and directs the Artemis Ensemble – an adult treble choir; and sings with the
Isthmus Vocal Ensemble. In 2023, She is honored to have recently received the 2023
Madison Youth Choirs “Carrel Pray Music Educator” award, given annually to an
individual who has made a difference through their teaching.
Previous organizational experience includes state and regional leadership in the
National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS); the Board of Directors of the
Madison Youth Choirs, and she is currently president of the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
After 30 years at Christ Presbyterian Church, Kathleen will begin in September 2023 as
choir director at Midvale Community Lutheran Church. This change affords her time and
energy to grow her voice studio and lead BATC!
Kathleen adds: “Being chosen to succeed the late Marika Fischer Hoyt – a friend and
musical collaborator – as Artistic Director of “Bach Around the Clock” is a great honor.
I look forward to working with the BATC Board on this wonderful addition to Madison’s