Karen Black

Cantor and College Organist, Professor of Music, Rudi Inselmann Endowed Professor in Organ

More about Karen Black

Dr. Karen Black is the Rudi Inselmann Endowed Professor of Organ at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa. She teaches organ and church music, music theory and aural skills, 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, Dr. Black held positions as Director of Music at Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches in Minneapolis, Minnesota and as Assistant Director at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her church music positions included directing children’s, youth, women’s, adult, and handbell choirs as well as playing organ. Dr. Black is active as a recitalist and clinician and has performed throughout the United States. She has also performed in Germany, including recitals at the Castle Church in Wittenberg and St. George’s Church in Eisenach. She has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio’s nationally broadcast Pipedreams program. Recent performances include recitals at St. Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia and St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. Her essay “Musical Gifts for the Worshipping Body” appears in Translucence: Religion, the Arts, and Imagination (Augsburg Fortress, 2004). In June-July of 2013, she served as the Chapel Choir director at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival in Decorah. She also has choral arrangements published by Augsburg Fortress.

Dr. Black served as Dean of the Waterloo, Iowa chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 2003-2005, as Region III President of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians from 1996-2000, and is an active member of the Organ Historical Society and ACDA.