Jan. 18, 2019
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – The Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University will welcome gospel artist, director and York University Professor Karen Burke to Laurier’s Waterloo campus Jan. 22 and 23 for interactive workshops open to students and the public.
During her time at Laurier, Burke will work with Faculty of Music students, including the 90-member Community Music Ensemble, and lead the Martin Luther University College singing group, Inshallah. She will also run a free, interactive gospel music workshop and participate in a panel discussion about race and community building through music.
“Karen's infectious energy and leadership will inspire anyone to join in,” said Deanna Yerichuk, coordinator of Laurier’s Community Music program. “I think Karen's workshops offer incredible opportunities for the entire campus and Waterloo Region community to participate and learn about the gospel tradition.”
Burke is the inaugural fellow of the Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts at York University. She is also co-founder of the Toronto Mass Choir, a Juno Award-winning gospel group, and owns Burke Music Inc., a gospel music production and publishing company. In 2017, Burke attended Laurier’s International Community Music Conference, leading a gospel workshop for academics and practitioners in the discipline of community music.
“Returning to Waterloo Region is exciting, as the interest in gospel music is increasing,” said Burke. “The recent formation of the Waterloo Region Mass Choir, led by Darren Hamilton, offers a new opportunity in this community. I’m looking forward to people from across the Kitchener-Waterloo area attending this workshop to connect with people who share an interest in or curiosity about gospel music.”
Burke’s interactive workshop will focus on the foundations of gospel music and introduce participants to the music of notable composers Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker. The workshop – held Jan. 22 from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. in the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall – will end with the group performing several songs with a live band. The unique opportunity is free and open to those of all singing levels.
Burke will also participate as a panellist in Encounters in Music and Community: A Racial Justice Perspective. The discussion will feature four prominent women including Burke, Joni NehRita, Alysha Brilla and Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo. The panelists will speak about their experiences as racialized women in music and community and how they engage with issues of race and building community through music. The panel, a collaboration between the Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Faculty of Music, will take place on Jan. 23 from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Hawk’s Nest in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre. All are welcome to attend.
For more information about the events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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