Long time McKeesport Area High School music teacher and high school band director, Karen Lee Donaldson passed away, June 24, 2017. Karen worked for the McKeesport Area School District for 32 years. She taught music at McKeesport Area High School, also serving as director of the Tiger Marching Band at the Senior High, and finished her career at Francis McClure Middle School. She was the first woman band director in Pennsylvania.
Karen was also musical director for the McKeesport Little Theater and was a musician for the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Newport Jazz Festival and the former Holliday House in Monroeville. She had previously worked at Elizabeth Forward and Norwin school districts. In 1987, she was nominated for the Silver Baton Award for Conductors. Karen was a graduate of McKeesport High School class of 1965 and earned her bachelor’s and master’s in music education at Duquesne University. She was a volunteer at the National Aviary and the Round Hill Food Pantry and Clothes Closet.
Karen requested a Music Scholarship to be established in her name after her passing. Her wish has been fulfilled and the Karen L. Donaldson Music Scholarship has been created. The passion that she had for the McKeesport Tiger Band and that same passion that was instilled in each one of her students will live on throughout the years to a deserving student in the McKeesport High School band program. In her memory, please consider making a monetary donation to the scholarship fund to carry her legacy on at McKeesport Area High School for many years to come.
Memorial Contributions can be sent to:
The Karen Donaldson Music Scholarship
c/o McKeesport Area Education Foundation
Attn: Paula Milko
3590 Oneil Blvd
McKeesport, PA 15132