Frederick Burrack ’81 grew up listening to stories about Wartburg from his grandfather, who attended when Old Main housed the entire college. Burrack’s grandfather would be amazed at not only how the college has grown but also the breadth of his grandson’s career in music education.
After graduating from Wartburg, Burrack spent 20 years as an instrumental music instructor at Carroll Community High School in Carroll, Iowa. His hard work and dedication nearly tripled the number of students in the high school band program, and he was named one of the state’s Teacher of the Year finalists in 1995. He was active in providing professional development for teachers and earned a Master of Music from Northwestern University in 1993.
Burrack earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 2002. In 2005, Burrack joined the music department at Kansas State University and ever since has been enriching the community and inspiring music educators.
“Fred works tirelessly for students in music education; in his role as director of assessment for the university, he interacts with every department on this campus,” said Jana Fallin, director of the Teaching & Learning Center at Kansas State.
Glenn Nierman, president and board chair on the National Association for Music Education, pointed to Burrack’s research in teacher preparation and assessment. “Fred has helped us to see how the objectives of music education relate to other disciplines outside of music,” said Nierman. “His research of the impact of economic challenges on school music programs in Kansas has received national attention.”
Burrack was appointed as chair of the Special Research Interest Group on Assessment of the Society for Research in Music Education in 2012. Colleague Kelly Parks, associate professor at Teachers College Columbia University, lauded his collaborative work on a national research project, the Model Cornerstone Assessments. “Dr. Burrack is a national leader in the field of music education, and the success of our project is directly attributable to his strength of character and his service.”
Burrack’s faith intersects with service through his musical talents. He has led music in a variety of worship settings since his school days and currently is organist and worship leader for First Christian Church in Manhattan, Kansas.
In presenting this Alumni Citation to Frederick Burrack, the Wartburg College Alumni Board recognizes his scholarship, mentorship, and selfless leadership in the areas of music education assessment and teacher preparation in the state of Kansas and across the country.