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Department of Organ


Organ, harpsichord, carillon and church music


The faculty of the Department of Organ, eminent performers and scholars with a broad range of specializations, share a profound commitment to teaching. The department is rich in resources to prepare gifted musicians for professional careers as organists, church musicians, harpsichordists and carillonneurs. This well-rounded career preparation includes development of artistry, technique, scholarly research, and the ability to play music of all periods with integrity and knowledge of specific performance practices. The Department of Organ is internationally known for developing talent - a reputation evidenced by the number of its graduates now enjoying careers as recitalists, university professors, and music directors of large churches.



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Studies in improvisation enable students to develop their personal voices as musicians and add breadth to their work as church musicians and performers. A graded curriculum in church music exposes students to many musical genres reflecting diverse cultures and liturgical traditions.


Both solo and continuo playing are emphasized for harpsichord students, who will also build a strong foundation in historical performance practice. Other early music opportunities include Renaissance choir, Baroque chamber orchestra and a wide variety of chamber music experiences.


Carillon students explore the many and various purposes of bells while preparing for regular performances on the two carillons on the U-M campus.




James Kibbie (Chair, University Organist)

Joseph Gascho (harpsichord, early music)

Marilyn Mason (emerita)

Kola Owolabi (organ, improvisation, church music)

Edward Parmentier (harpsichord, early music; retirement furlough)


Associated Faculty

Vincent Dubois (Continuing Visiting Artist)
Jerroll Adams (University Organ Technician)


SMTD logo for newsThe Schoenstein Competition in the Art of Organ Accompaniment

SMTD Organ and Sacred Music majors participate in the Schoenstein Competition in the Art of Organ Accompaniment.  more

SMTD logo for news54th Annual Conference on Organ Music Honors Professor Michele Johns

Professor Michele Johns, who retired in April, will be honored at the 54th Annual Conference on Organ Music. more

See more department news

SMTD logo for newsSMTD Welcomes New Faculty

Meet Danielle Belen. Jason DeBord, Joseph Gascho, Benny Green, Tim McAllister, Kola Owolabi, and Courtney Snyder. more



SMTD logo for eventBrown Bag Recital Series: Megan Meloy, organ

Wednesday, March 18 - 12:15pm
Thomas Francis Jr. School of Public Health Building, Community Room
Free - no tickets required

Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner organ, Hill Auditorium
Fisk organ, Blanche Anderson Moore HallL├ętourneau organ, Community RoomOrgan studio 2102Organ Studio 2110Hill Auditorium consoleItalian positiv, Stearns CollectionLurie Tower bell chamberFranco-Flemish harpsichord after Ruckers by William Dowd
"The U of M Organ Department encourages each organist to pursue the music which sparks her or his musical passion, offering scholarly guidance and access to the great resources only provided by a world-renowned performing faculty."
Joseph Balistreri, Master of Music student in Organ Performance, 2011

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower