Karalyn Schubring (b. 1999 in Gilbert, Arizona) is a dedicated composer, pianist, teacher, and improviser whose work centers around inspiring others to engage imaginatively with music.
As a composer, Karalyn has already received numerous awards from national organizations for her works, which combine the energy of jazz, the imagery of programmatic music, and the lyricism of song. In 2013, she won 1st place nationally in the Junior Division of the Music Teacher’s National Association Composition Competition for her solo piano piece, Story of the Stars. Two years later, she was named a national finalist by the same organization for her piano and euphonium piece, Song of the Ancients, which went on to receive a Morton Gould Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in the same year. She also received the Morton Gould Award for her soprano saxophone and piano piece titled The Journey. In 2016, Karalyn was selected as a composition fellow for the Phoenix-based MusicaNova Orchestra, which premiered her Symphonic Dance No. 1, a piece which received an Honorable Mention from the National YoungArts Foundation. Karalyn was commissioned by East Valley Children’s Theater to compose music for the original play, Arya’s Rock: A Video Game Adventure, which received an ariZoni theater award and a National Youth Arts award for sound design. The following year, she wrote the music and lyrics for the original script of Snow White and Rose Red, which premiered in June 2016. Since moving to Ann Arbor, her music has been performed by the virtuosic vocal ensemble //meridian, the Conviviality Trio, the Koinonia Trio, and the University of Michigan and Michigan State University Saxophone Ensembles. In 2018 Karalyn was the youngest composer selected to participate in the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, based in Boonville, CA, where she will write a new work for the critically-acclaimed ZOFO Piano Duo.
As a pianist since the age of three, Karalyn has received recognition from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA). An active performer of new music, she has played her own compositions with world-class performers, including Dian D’Avanzo, Viviana Cumplido Wilson, and Damien Shindelman of the Phoenix Symphony, Michael Hernandez of the Mana Quartet, and LA percussionist MB Gordy. As one of six winners of the American Composers Forum’s NextNotes High School Composition Competition in 2016, Karalyn was invited to perform her winning work, Lua Azul, in St. Paul, MN. She also performed her Song of the Ancients on NPR’s "From the Top" radio program in El Paso, TX. Karalyn enjoys performing new music of many varieties, and has premiered a number of new works by her colleagues in Ann Arbor. She is a founding member of the mixed quartet Front Porch (violin, bassoon, piano, percussion), which recently received 3rd Place in the University of Michigan Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition.
In addition to her love for performing, Karalyn is passionate about teaching music to children of all ages and has done so at the East Valley Yamaha Music School for the past five years.
As an improviser, Karalyn was a winner in the inaugural year of the Social Music Works International Video Upload Competition in the Variations category. She performed comedic improv around the city of Mesa with EVCT’s On the Spot Improv Troupe for 8 seasons. In 2016, she gave a TEDx Talk to Chandler residents ages 9-19 about how improvising on a regular basis allows people to practice being themselves. A spontaneous video she posted of herself improvising on the piano with a fire alarm racked up nearly 400,000 views on Facebook. Karalyn enjoys improvising at the piano in several styles, plays with the University of Michigan Creative Arts Orchestra, and makes a point of collaborating regularly with other musicians both informally and onstage.
Karalyn is currently earning her Bachelors in Music Composition from the University of Michigan, where she has studied piano with Matthew Bengtson and composition with Kristin Kuster, Evan Chambers, and Bright Sheng. She is also grateful to have studied with and been mentored by Daron Hagen, Gilda Lyons, Heidi Grimes, Tomoko Yonemaru, and Gabriela Lena Frank.