Kirk, Colleen J. (1918-2004) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Kirk, Colleen J. (1918-2004)
Fuller Form: Colleen Jean Kirk

Historical Note:

Colleen J. Kirk was born September 7, 1918, in Champaign, IL and died on March 5, 2004, in Paxton, IL. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1940 with a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Master’s in 1945. In 1953, she completed her Doctorate of Education at Columbia University in New York. During her time in undergrad, she sang with the Wesley Methodist Church Choir and was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota. In the early years of her career, she taught at two public school districts in Illinois before working as an instructor of music at University High School in Urbana, IL in 1945. While at University High School, she established the Madrigal Singers. She taught at the University of Illinois from 1949 to 1970 in the Music Education Division, of which she became chair in 1967. From 1947 to 1970, she was director of music at Wesley Methodist Church. She was a professor of Music Education and conductor of the Choral Union at Florida State University from 1970 to 1990.

Kirk was sponsored for membership in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in 1962 by Professor Harold Decker. In 1966 the ACDA board asked Kirk to serve on the publications committee. From 1971 to 1975, she served as president of the Southern Division of ACDA and was program chair for the ACDA’s 1975 national convention in St. Louis, MO. As president-elect of ACDA she was responsible for planning the 1981 national convention in New Orleans, LA. She served as the organization’s president from 1981 to 1983.

Sources: Chandler, Deborah Lynn. "Colleen Jean Kirk (1918-2004): Her Life, Career and Her Influence on American Choral Education." Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University, 2004.

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