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Dr. Katie Burk Named Canon for Cathedral Music

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

A Note from Dean Nathan LeRud

A wise musician told me recently that every rehearsal has an “aha” moment: the discovery of something new, a moment that sends goosebumps up the arm and a thrill up the spine.

I had a moment like that when Dr. Katie Burk conducted a small ad-hoc choir as a part of our interview process for Trinity’s Canon for Cathedral Music. In that moment, singing Stephen Paulus’ beautiful Pilgrims’ Hymn with Katie at the helm, I knew Trinity had found our next Canon.

Katie’s appointment is historic for Trinity for several reasons. She will be among the youngest directors of a Cathedral music program—and, significantly, one of only three women leading such a program—in the United States. Named by Diapason as one of “twenty under thirty” in 2019, Katie received her Doctor of Music in Organ Performance and Literature from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University earlier this year (ask her about Herbert Howells, she’ll blow your mind!).

A second-generation church musician and organist, Katie has grown up in the world of Anglican choral music – and yet, as she herself can tell you, a career in church music was not a foregone conclusion. Growing up, Katie encountered almost no women leading music in churches, and a significant piece of her vocation is to embody and lead the important changes taking place across our Church as women, BIPOC leaders, and other under-represented voices take center stage.

Katie is eminently qualified to take the reins of a music program like Trinity’s. Canon Bruce Neswick notes of her, “Katie’s multi-layered musical gifts are more than equal to the challenge, and I know she will delight in drawing on the many resources of this generous and gifted community.”

In addition to Katie’s demonstrated excellence as an organist, conductor, and composer, she brings gifts leading children’s musical formation, expanding liturgical boundaries to incorporate new music, and grounding her priorities as a musician and pastor in the work of antiracism, diversity, and justice. These were all key priorities for the search committee and me in identifying Trinity’s next Canon, and I am delighted that Katie will be coming on board to lead Trinity forward in this significant moment of change.

Please join me in congratulating Katie on this significant appointment, and please keep her in your prayers as she begins this next chapter in the incredible lineage of musical leadership at Trinity Cathedral!

– Nathan


A Note from Katie

It is with great excitement for the future, profound gratitude for the people and the work that have brought us here, and deep humility that I will assume the position of Canon for Cathedral Music later this year.

Serving among you these past two years as Organ Scholar has been a hugely formative experience for me, and I am so grateful to Trinity’s congregants, musicians, clergy, and staff for creating a truly special environment in which to engage in music ministry (even during a global pandemic!).

To witness the generosity, determination, openness, and vivacity of this congregation has been inspiring and invigorating. My truly amazing mentor and friend Bruce Neswick has taught me so much, both by word and example; working with him, Music Administrator Christine Johnson, and the entire community of musicians and supporters of all ages has brought such great joy to my life, and I am humbled by the opportunity to make music and worship with them week in and week out.

I eagerly await the opportunity to collaborate with such an engaged and thoughtful staff, Trinity’s dedicated and faithful musicians, enthusiastic volunteers, and our community partners to create beautiful and meaningful music for worship. Pandemic willing, we will especially focus on reinvigorating the Trinity Choir School, which already has a strong framework in place; continuing the initiatives already begun to increase diversity and equity in music; and growing the traditions of excellence exemplified in both the Cathedral Choir and in Trinity Music concerts, classes, and events.

Thank you, Trinity community, for your vigor, dedication, humor, and deep spirituality. It is an honor to serve and worship our Lord alongside you, and I look forward to years to come full of prayer, praise, and wonderful music!

– Katie

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That's wonderful to hear about Dr. Katie Burk's background and commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the field of church music. It's encouraging to see individuals like her working to create more opportunities for under-represented voices in the Anglican choral music community. Their leadership and advocacy can inspire positive change and foster greater inclusiveness within the Church. You can try to increase the popularity of this song through a soundcloud promotion package.

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