Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
Karl Schrock, international organ recitalist, has the distinction of being a recipient of the American Guild of Organists award on the nationally competitive Associateship Examination for performers. A member since 1994 of the faculty of the Western Michigan University School of Music, he is titular University organist and has developed a new generation of university-educated organists. Schrock holds a doctorate in organ performance and three master's degrees (choral conducting, music theory, and organ performance) earned from the University of Michigan, where he was recognized for his distinguished scholarship by the university through the award of a prestigious Rackham Fellowship.
Cited as a performer of outstanding technical prowess and musicality, he is also an advocate of the construction of new pipe organs. Expert in standard organ performance literature, he is a supporter of new music for the organ and has collaborated with composers committed to writing substantive works for the organ. He has been engaged to perform world and European premieres, most recently at the invitation of the composer, in 2004 when he premiered Emmanuel Dubois' first major organ composition, Suite for Organ, in France. Recordings of Schrock's live organ performances have been heard frequently on public broadcasting and cable access television in Michigan, and recently on the nationally distributed radio program, Pipedreams. His recent recording at the composer's invitation of the Organ Sonata by Theodore Morrison on the famous Hill Auditorium organ in Ann Arbor, Mich., is available commercially on the Equilibrium label, CD EQ54. As a State of Michigan resident, Schrock also has completed five terms as dean of the Southwest Michigan Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and his professional work in Michigan was featured in the April 2003 issue of Encore magazine.
Ordained as a minister in the Church of the Brethren in 1978, the Schrock has served as organist and music director of churches in various denominations in four states. During his 16 years on staff at First Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, Mich., he helped design and inaugurate one of the largest and finest mechanical-action instruments in Michigan: the 54-stop Létourneau Opus 55 featured in the December 1998 issue of The American Organist. During his more than three years as Music Minister at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., he inaugurated a new five-manual, 179-stop organ that was the cover feature of The American Organist for November 2004. Recently he was appointed Interim Music Director at historic St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, where a fine new four-manual instrument built by J.W. Walker & Sons Ltd. of Suffolk, England, was dedicated in spring 2005.