Faculty & Staff

Kat Hudson Best

Private Lesson Coordinator


Northwestern University, MS, Leadership for Creative Enterprises
Loyola Marymount University, BA, Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting


Kat began her career as a vocalist, stage director, and acting coach. After making the decision to shift to arts administration, she worked with Chicago Opera Theater’s education programs, Opera for All and COT for Teens. During her time there she helped implement their first showcase event of student-created operas from classrooms across Chicago Public Schools. Her work with the private lesson program at Merit allows her to see musicians of all ages, from 4 to 64, and all skill levels, progress on their musical journey. She strives to build strong relationships with the faculty and the students, in an effort to create community at Merit, and build a robust musical experience for all members of that community.

Kat is also a brunch enthusiast and loves spending time with her husband Jason, their daughter Valor, and their cat Gabby.


“If I had my time again” from Groundhog Day the musical. It’s a clever and massively underrated piece of musical theater. This song in particular distills the thesis of the whole show and manages to be a high-energy large ensemble performance number, but with incredible heart and emotional impact.

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“Music education can be both a centering force and an expanding force in a young student’s life. Merit School of Music is special because of the team that works there; who all are deeply committed and invested in the work we do and the families we serve.”