Professor of Music
Director, St. Elizabeth Chorale
Office: FAC 215
Karen Black teaches organ, church music, and music theory, serves as organist for weekday chapel and Sunday worship services, and conducts the St. Elizabeth Chorale. She holds the Bachelor of Music degree in church music from St. Olaf College, the Master of Music degree in organ and church music from Indiana University, and the Doctor of Music degree in organ performance and literature from Indiana University.
Prior to coming to Wartburg in 1993, Dr. Black held positions as full-time Director of Music and Organist at Zion Lutheran Church, Hopkins, Minnesota, Assistant Organist at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, and full-time Director of Music at Church of the Annunciation in Minneapolis. Her organ teachers have included Larry Smith, John Ferguson, Robert Kendall, Carl Stout, Dennis Schmidt, and Gene Janssen and she has studied harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright. Dr. Black is active as a recitalist and clinician and has performed throughout the United States. In May 1999, she performed with the Wartburg Choir on their European tour. She has also been heard on Minnesota Public Radio's nationally broadcast Pipedreams program.
Dr. Black served as Region III President of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians from 1996-2000 and is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and the Organ Historical Society. She is married to Dr. Daniel Black, Associate Professor of Physical Science at Wartburg College.
Dr. Black traveled to Heidelberg, Germany in February of 2007 to visit the Heidelberg Hochschule für Kirchenmusic (School for Church Music). A new study abroad program has been established at the Hochschule, where Wartburg students can spend a term studying organ, conducting, liturgy, piano, voice, German and additional church music courses.