About Us

Kathy Thompson, Director of WT Woodson High School Orchestra since 2014, has been teaching in the Fairfax County Public School system since 2004.  During this time her ensembles have consistently earned Superior ratings at district festivals and Grand Champion at external competitions.  Some recent highlights include directing Frost Middle School at the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) as one of three orchestras selected statewide by the VMEA, taking W.T. Woodson H.S. to National Orchestra Festival, where they earned 2nd place, as well as taking the Chamber Orchestra to the National Orchestra Cup, where they also earned 2nd place.  

She graduated summa cum laude earning her Bachelor in Music, with a concentration in Music Education from George Mason University.  Continuing at GMU, she studied with Anthony Maiello, earning her Masters Degree in Instrumental Conducting.  Ms. Thompson also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is a Distinguished Military Graduate from Indiana University, as well as an Honor Graduate of the U.S. Army Aviation Helicopter School in Ft. Rucker, AL.

A native of Northern Virginia, Ms. Thompson attended W.T. Woodson High School.  As a high school cellist, she was selected to solo with the Fairfax and Arlington Symphony Orchestras and won the DCFM Congress of Strings Solo Competition at the Kennedy Center, awarding her six weeks at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music during her junior summer. She has studied cello with Virginia Gardner, Evelyn Elsing, Steve Brewster, Fritz Magg, Robert Battey and Loran Stephenson, and has performed in master classes for Lynn Harrell and Zuill Bailey.

She continues her love of cello performance as a current member of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and as principal cellist of the American Festival Pops Orchestra.  She has served as the Northern Virginia representative for Virginia American String Teachers Association and is a member of VBODA and NAfME.  Ms. Thompson was invited to serve as conductor at James Madison University’s Spring String Thing as well as George Mason University’s Ovations Summer String Academy.  She has also conducted the American Youth Concert Orchestra.

In between her musical pursuits Ms. Thompson received her commission as an officer in the United States Army.  Retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, she served in numerous technical and leadership roles, including duties as a helicopter pilot, military/federal law enforcement liaison, and assignment as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Indiana University.  She also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate to the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Ms. Thompson’s proudest achievements are her three sons, all graduates of FCPS.  Her twin sons are both pilots, one serving in the U.S. Air Force and one flying with a commercial airline.  Her youngest son is pursuing his graduate studies in Double Bass Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  When Ms. Thompson is not at Woodson, she can be found playing her cello, hiking or spending time with her grandchildren.