Karel Butz (b. 1980) is the Head Orchestra Director at Beckendorff Junior High in Katy, Texas. He previously taught orchestra in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston, Texas) and Carmel Clay Schools (Carmel, Indiana) in addition to serving as adjunct violin faculty at Purdue University. His orchestras have performed at the Midwest Clinic and are consistent UIL Sweepstakes Winners, Texas Honor Orchestra State Finalists, and National Honor Orchestra Winners in the Foundation for Music Education Mark of Excellence Competition. Under his direction, the Beckendorff Honor Orchestra was named the 2019 Texas State Honor Orchestra and 2019 Houston Cup Winner. He is a frequent guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician around the country.
His music is published by Musica Propria, Inc. and has been performed worldwide at several venues such as the Midwest Clinic, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, Indiana University String Academy, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference, and several all-state and region honor orchestras. His book Achieving Musical Success in the String Classroom (2019) is published by Oxford University Press.
Mr. Butz has performed in several orchestras, including the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and Spoleto Festival USA. He served as an Associate Instructor for string techniques and music theory at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition, he taught violin for the Indiana University String Academy, Music for All Summer Symposium Orchestra Division, and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. He is a freelance violinist in Houston.
Mr. Butz is a member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association (TMAA), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and American String Teachers Association (ASTA).
Mr. Butz received both his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Violin Performance with high distinction from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where his principal violin instructors were Nelli Shkolnikova and Mimi Zweig. He completed doctoral coursework in music education at Indiana University.