Katherine Ann Murdock was Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. She grew up in the Bay-Area region of California known as Silicon Valley and earned her first college degrees in music (piano and voice) and theatre arts from Humboldt State and San Francisco State Universities. In 1986 she received a Ph.D. in composition from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, and Warren Benson. Murdock’s works include vocal and choral music, chamber music, works for string orchestra and symphonic band, and a one-act opera. She has had numerous commissions, and performances of her works have occurred in many venues across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2003 her work Trees Dream of Dancing was premiered in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2007 she received a commission from the National Symphony Orchestra to compose a chamber work (Unquiet Night) to be premiered at the Kennedy Center Millennium Space in May of 2008.
In 1992 Murdock was awarded a $5000 Kansas Artist Fellowship in music composition by the Kansas Arts Commission. Other honors and awards include an honorable mention in the Harvey Gaul Competition for New Music sponsored by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (1986), the 1986 convention commission from the Kansas Music Teachers Association, the Louis Lane Composition Prize (Eastman School of Music, 1982), a special Third Prize in the Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest (1981), and a prize from the Culver City Chamber Music Series (1997). In the spring of 1988, Dr. Murdock was selected as an Emory Lindquist Honors Program Mentor at Wichita State University. In 2001 she was awarded the WSU College of Fine Arts Award for Excellence in Creative/Scholarly Activity.
In addition to teaching composition, theory, counterpoint and orchestration at Wichita State, Murdock taught at the University of Texas (Austin), San Francisco State University, and the Eastman School of Music. She has also adjudicated student composition contests on the regional and national levels. Murdock is the founder and director of the Wichita State University Contemporary Music Festival, and her music is published by Dorn Publications of Medfield, Massachusetts. Her composition Postcards from the Center is available on a CD of the same name by the Moran Woodwind Quintet, issued by Crystal Records (#CD754). Trio Bel Canto for two saxophones and piano is included on the CD Louder than Words issued by Red Clay Records.