As a busy guest clinician and professor at York University, Burke has created and offers several annual opportunities for students and the public-at-large, to access and experience Gospel music.
G.I.V.E. (Gospel Inter-Varsity Explosion): Created in 2005, G.I.V.E. was created to showcase Gospel choirs at post-secondary institutions. In the past, participating universities include York, UofT, McMaster, Carleton and Humber. Karen Burke, along with guest conductor, Lisa Toussaint (UofT Gospel Choir) teach the , who gather on the 3rd Saturday afternoon each October, new Gospel songs. That same evening, the choirs perform individually and together as a huge mass choir, singing the same new songs that they learned that day, all supported by live musicians.
PowerUp: A three day Gospel music workshop weekend, this project presented in collaboration with York University is open to the public drawing music-lovers of all ages and from various cultural backgrounds for this unique weekend. Over Friday and Saturday, participants can choose from over 20 different workshops in every area of musicianship that informs Gospel music performance practices including songwriting, vocal and instrumental instruction and dance. As well, all participants are able to rehearse in a mass choir setting learning new songs, supported by a live band and, along with the Power Up Youth Choir and Vocal Ensemble, performs at a finale concert on the Sunday night. More info available on www.powerupgospel.ca
City Youth Gospel Project: An all-day workshop open to music teachers to bring their middle and high school students for an all-day Gospel music workshop. Supported by live musicians and presented at York University, Burke has hosted up to 300 students at a time offering them a unique opportunity to experience what it is like to sing in a mass choir Gospel setting. Teachers are also able to watch and learn new pedagogical techniques that improve musicianship in every area of singing – attention to diction, ownership of ‘the pulse’ and fully engaged, expressive singing. Begun in 2013 and usually offered the last Friday of April, CYGP leaves students breathless with excitement and always wanting more! Check out this below.