Staff Sgt. Karen Johnson

Staff Sgt. Karen Johnson performs Henryk Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2, Opus 22.

GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Gilbert native will perform at President George H.W. Bush's state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning.

[READ MORE: A nation's farewell for former President George H.W. Bush]

Staff Sgt. Karen Johnson of Gilbert is the concertmaster of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra. Bush's funeral marks the 14th event for the orchestra. 

"The President's Own" was present for the state funerals of presidents dating all the way back to John Quincy Adams' funeral in 1848.

Johnson joined the United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in March 2011 and was appointed concertmaster in Oct. 2015. She began her musical training at age 4 and attended The Juilliard School in New York after graduating from Highland High School in Gilbert in 1996. 

Prior to joining "The President’s Own," she was concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and guest concertmaster of the Seattle, Oregon and Phoenix Symphonies.

Johnson performs regularly at White House State Dinners, receptions, and other functions. She appears with the Marine Chamber Orchestra in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. 

Johnson currently resides in Stafford, VA, with her husband Gunnery Sgt. Karl Johnson, a Marine Band bass trombonist, and their children.

 


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