Kathy Bullock specializes in African American music and culture. A Professor Emerita of Berea College, she brings a wealth of experience, teaching and performing throughout the US, the UK and West Africa, particularly in the areas of sacred, folk and classical traditions.
Bullock is an educator, scholar, singer, accompanist, arranger and choral conductor who specializes in gospel music, spirituals and classical works by composers from the African diaspora. A Professor Emerita of Music from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, she currently teaches, performs, and conducts workshops and other programs on African American music throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa.
Bullock earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Theory from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, MA. At Berea College she taught Music Theory, African-American Music, World Music, and other courses in music and general studies. She also directed Berea’s Black Music Ensemble, a choral ensemble that specializes in African American sacred music, developing a small student-run ensemble into an accredited, diverse, and exciting course that averaged seventy students each semester. Additionally, Bullock designed and led new international study courses in Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Jamaica. In her role as administrator she actively participated in the college’s governance structure throughout her tenure; she was chair of the department, and member of primary governance committees. Bullock received many acknowledgements for her contributions to Berea College. In particular, she was awarded the highly coveted Seabury Award for teaching, and was later made an Honorary Alumni of the college. Although she has now retired from fulltime teaching, Bullock recently joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky, School of Music as an adjunct, teaching and providing master classes in African American music.
Bullock’s presentations include workshops on spirituals and gospel music and explorations of musical connections between African American culture and West African and Appalachian cultures. Other research areas include the Music of the Civil Rights Movement, and African American Women’s Contributions to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Dr. Bullock teaches and performs at schools, universities, churches, community organizations, throughout the US, educational programs such as the Kentucky Humanities Council, and singing camps such as the Swananoaa singing camp in North Carolina and workshops in Findhorn Foundation in Forres, Scotland. Recently, Bullock was the first artist at the John C. Campbell Folk School to teach about Appalachian and African American Musical Connections. Other research projects include the completion of an edition of art songs by contemporary African-American composers.
In response to the 2020 pandemic Bullock created a series of inspirational videos online, performing songs of faith and hope. Indeed in all of her work, she shares infectious joy and inspires heartfelt connections as she celebrates the transcending power of love and spirit through music. Bullock was a visiting faculty member at Bennington for the 2021-2022 academic year.