Karen Bates-Smith returned to composing late – while raising a family, working as a psychologist, and taking up cello in mid-life. She studied cello with Naomi Blumberg, now retired from the Oregon Symphony. While doing so, Ms. Bates-Smith developed an ear for composing. She subsequently earned her Bachelor of Music degree at Marylhurst University in 2003. Ms. Bates-Smith studied with Sr. Magdalen Fautch and Dr. John Paul at Marylhurst. She now studies with Dr. Brent Weaver at George Fox University. Her compositions focus on mixed or women’s chorus, sometimes with piano, and sometimes with other instruments. Additionally, she writes for piano and cello, often-whimsical pieces as well as more serious ones. She has had few performances so far, but enjoys playing her own pieces with her piano partner, Darlene Jost Babin.