Meet Ms. McKamey

Frances McKamey began her teaching career in Pateros, Washington. Her role involved K-12 general music, choir and band. The summer of 1984 she was hired by Kennedy Catholic High School to begin the elementary band program. The goal was to establish instrumental music instruction at each Catholic school in the deanery as well as be a feeder program for the amazing Kennedy Catholic High School Bands. In her role, she is responsible for the bands at nine schools. Each school has a beginning band and a band for students who have the basics down. The two levels number about 500 children altogether.

In addition to teaching, Ms. McKamey is active playing trumpet, especially at Catholic liturgies. When she was growing up in Tacoma, McKamey would jam at home with her parents and her sisters and brothers. All six children and their parents were musical and spiritual. Her mother was a church organist and vocalist. One brother and one sister are paid church musicians now, and most of the others play in churches.

“Music reaches people in different ways, emotionally, intellectually, creatively, building community. That’s true of all the arts.” she quoted for an article in the Seattle Times. “Education should develop the whole child.” And this is what she does. Her work is about more than shaping musicians who will win music awards. What matters most is the personal connection students have with music and the growth they get from it.