A note of welcome from Patrick Burke, Chair of Music

Dear students, faculty, staff, and friends of Music,

I’m delighted to introduce myself as the new Chair of the Department of Music.  I have been a professor of ethnomusicology at Wash U since 2004.  My research and teaching centers on music in the twentieth-century United States, particularly rock and jazz, as well as music’s role in racial politics.  In years past, I have served as the head of our musicology division as well the department’s director of undergraduate studies. I thank Alex Stefaniak, interim chair during 2020-21, for his dedicated leadership during a challenging year and for his guidance as I begin this new role.

2021-22 promises to be an invigorating and inspiring year for the Department of Music. While we remain committed to following university guidelines for COVID safety, we look forward to returning to in-person teaching and to presenting live concerts.  We are planning an exciting series of lectures and performances to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our department. We’re also happy to welcome some new colleagues: Chris Douthitt (lecturer in electronic music), Elizabeth Hogan (interim director of choral activity), Tim Weddle (teacher of applied music, double bass and bass guitar) and Claire Workinger (teacher of applied music, oboe).

When the pandemic began in 2020, the future of music at Wash U felt uncertain.  Thanks to the creativity, generosity, and perseverance of our faculty, staff, students, and supporters, we have continued to thrive and we now look forward to new opportunities.  I thank you all.  And I look forward to seeing you on campus this fall! 


Patrick Burke
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Music 
Washington University in St. Louis