Professor and Co-Chair of the Organ Department & University Organist
Office: 2110 Moore
Marilyn Mason is University Organist and Chair of the Organ Department. Her extensive career as performer, lecturer, adjudicator, and teacher has taken her throughout the western world, at one point performing more than thirty recitals per year. She was the first American woman organist to perform in Westminster Abbey, the first woman organist to play in Latin America, and the first American organist to perform in Egypt. During one sabbatical leave, Mason’s performing career took her to five continents.
In her role as University Organist, she has performed at honors convocations, university presidential inaugurations, and at memorials for heads of state. In 1987 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Nebraska. In 1988, the New York Chapter of the American Guild of Organists named her Performer of the Year. On the occasion of the 2009 GALA, sponsored by the national council of the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Mason was honored as the seventh in a series of organ teachers/performers who have reached the highest level of success in their profession. Colleagues and alumni throughout the country celebrated this high honor with a concert and reception on the U-M campus.
Mason’s gifts as a teacher were recognized in the fall of 2007 when the 47th Conference on Organ Music, which she founded, was dedicated to her in celebration of her 60th year of teaching. Former students came to Ann Arbor to pay tribute and to attest to the many ways in which she has shaped their lives and promoted the study of organ.
Along with her performing and teaching career, which continues unabated, she has served as adjudicator at almost every major organ competition in the world. Her dedication to new compositions for the organ is evidenced by the 75 organ works she has commissioned and premiered to date. Currently, four volumes of her commissioned works have been released by MorningStar Music, Inc. Her discography, on Columbia and Musical Heritage Society labels, includes the music of Bach, Handel, and contemporary composers. She is now recording the complete organ works of Pachelbel for the Musical Heritage Society.
Her ever-popular historic tours to Europe to see, study, and hear famous organs continue, with Historic Tour 56 scheduled for July 2009, this time to Spain and France, from Barcelona to Paris.
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