Karen Austin

Karen Austin
August 19, 1940 – January 9, 2014

Tribute to Karen Austin

In 2014 The McKinney Musical Arts Society mourned the loss of our Artistic Director, Karen Austin.  It has been my honor and privilege to serve with her on the board of directors for the past ten years.  Her positive energy and dedication to bringing high quality musical talent to the McKinney area and its schools is unmatched.
She was especially devoted to the Young Artist Competition which she spent a great deal of time planning, promoting, and overseeing.  Each year she tried to improve on the last, always with the goal of making it a more worthwhile and educational experience for the high school students involved.

Volunteer individuals and families were recruited to help the students feel comfortable in McKinney and to cheer them on as they competed and performed.  Guest artists were chosen with the utmost care – she wanted not only the finest performers, but the best teachers who connected with the students.  Community outreach was also important to her, so she worked with the MISD Fine Arts Director to get our guest artists into the schools.  I’m sure Karen would acknowledge her debt of gratitude to her faithful and supportive husband, Roy, who worked alongside her every year, doing many jobs that were important and often unseen.

Karen sought excellence in everything she did, including her work with our organization.  She was an inspiration to all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

Debbie Ragsdale, President
McKinney Musical Arts Society

The Excellence in Music Continues
The greatest tribute that can be given to Karen Austin is to continue to build on the musical excellence she envisioned for Texas. In that spirit Toni Austin-Allen was appointed as Director for the 2014 McKinney Young Artist Competition from 2014 to 2016. It was Toni’s desire to maintain the same high level of artistic achievement to which Karen was so committed. It was her gift to Karen and the talent she spent her life encouraging.