- The organ faculty aim to offer support to all students as they plan future careers, teaching them skills to support multiple areas of the profession, including church music, concert work or related fields.
- We understand that each student has specific interests beyond core degree requirements in the major. We also appreciate that many organists will be working in organ/sacred music in their future careers alongside complementary fields.
- Graduate placements:
Adam Cobb, Assistant University Organist, University of the South
Jonathan Hehn, DM, Director of Basilica Schola, University of Notre Dame
Amy McCutchen, BM and MM, Director of Music, Sanlando United Methodist Church
- Our current students and recent graduates have earned many awards for their performing and teaching, as well as full-time and adjunct academic faculty positions in piano performance, piano pedagogy, collaborative piano and related fields, at university-level and precollege-level institutions.
- They have also held artist-faculty and collaborative pianist-performer positions at summer music festivals and ensembles in the U.S. and internationally.
- Graduate placements:
Dominic Muzzi, BM, graduate studies at Indiana University, numerous awards
André Golbert, DM, awarded scholarship to pursue Artist Diploma program at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Johnny Shaw, MM, awarded teaching assistantship to pursue DMA program at University of Maryland
Cholong Park, MM, Adjunct faculty at George Fox University; Director of International affairs at DMZ International Music Festival in South Korea
Mark Franklin, MM and DM, Assistant Professor of Music at Oklahoma Baptist University
David Brickle, MM and DM, Assistant Professor of Music at Milligan University
Christina Lai, MM and DM, Adjunct Professor of Piano at University of North Florida School of Music
Beibei Lin, MM Piano Pedagogy and DM Piano Performance, Assistant Professor of Piano at Valdosta State University
Daniel Weber, BM, awarded graduate assistantship to pursue MM program in Collaborative Piano at University of Michigan
Engaged Learning & Learning Opportunities
The Organ Studies program offers an experience tailored to the individual interests and strengths of each student, offering a myriad of opportunities including options such as harpsichord study, ensemble performances, and research in a particular area of specialization, by instructor permission.
Our organ students study a wide range of repertoire from the earliest compositions for the instrument to the most recent works with a great awareness for performance practice. The College’s Warren D. Allen Music Library has an especially comprehensive collection of organ music.
In addition to core studies in Organ and Sacred Music it is also possible to undertake additional Specialized Studies in the following areas: Music Entrepreneurial Studies, Piano Pedagogy, Special Music Education, Honors Specialized Studies in Music. Graduate students can also consider the following options: Arts Administration (DM), College Teaching, Early Music, Music Education and Leadership, Music of the Americas, Theory Pedagogy.
On-campus organ lessons primarily take place on the three manual mechanical action Holtkamp (1975) organ in Opperman Music Hall. The two-manual Juget-Sinclair (2013) organ, which is tuned with a mild unequal temperament, is ideal for Baroque repertoire. Additionally, there are two practice organs and two continuo organs built by Bennett & Giuttari and Juget-Sinclair (2013). The College also has a portative organ and a regal.
Within easy walking distance of the College of Music, students also have access to three other significant instruments. St. John’s Episcopal Church is home to two instruments, the historic Hill and Davidson (c. 1837-38) and the recent C.B. Fisk organ. A two-manual Taylor and Boody organ resides in First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee and Trinity United Methodist is home to a large Casavant organ built in the French Romantic style.
In addition to degree programs for performance majors, organ students in the BA Sacred Music degree pursue rigorous musical training with special emphasis on sacred music, coupled with substantial coursework in areas of study outside of music. College of Music students can also audition to study the organ as a principal study instrument. Further opportunities for secondary study exist for students in the larger College and University, by instructor permission.
Recent organ master classes and workshops at FSU include Bail Archer, Barnard College and Vassar College; Jonathan Hehn, University of Notre Dame; James Kibble, University of Michigan; Kimberly Marshall, Arizona State University; William Porter, Eastman School of Music; Colin Andrews, concert organist; Nathaniel Gumbs, Yale University; Alan Morrison, Curtis Institute of Music; and Eric Plutz, Princeton University.
The College of Music owns nearly two-hundred fifty pianos, with an exceptional variety of concert instruments in our five performance halls including a Fazioli, a Blüthner, two recently purchased Hamburg Steinways and additional Steinways from both New York and Hamburg. Five recently purchased seven-foot Hamburg Steinways reside in five of the piano faculty teaching studios where weekly applied lessons take place. Our instruments are maintained at the highest concert standards by our Piano Technology faculty and staff.
Piano studies feature weekly applied lessons and studio performance classes with piano faculty, keyboard literature classes, and frequent piano area seminar recitals. Competitive performance opportunities include the annual College of Music Carnegie Hall performance competition, two yearly concerto competitions, the Annual Competitive Festival for Pianists featuring yearly repertoire themes, the Rockwood Solo Competition for Graduate Pianists, and the annual Presser Award competition for advanced scholarship.
Additional opportunities for professional development include teaching experience through piano pedagogy studies, teaching practicums, and supervised teaching; collaborative studies in chamber music, accompanying, duo piano classes, New Music ensemble and other ensembles; and research opportunities in performance, pedagogy, keyboard literature and related fields. Students also regularly participate in off-campus community performances.
We host frequent guest master classes and workshops by leading artists in the field. Recent piano guest artists include Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, Ursula Oppens, Boris Giltburg, Sergei Babayan, Paul Lewis, Ann Schein, Boris Berman, Logan Skelton, Lang Lang, Simone Dinnerstein, Karen Shaw, Yi-Yang Chen, Thomas Rosenkranz, Caroline Hong, and Ney Fialkow among others.
Knowledge In Practice & How We Serve
Tallahassee has a very active AGO chapter and FSU students regularly give chapter presentations. They also regularly attend important conventions and conferences. Organ students often hold local church positions and also accompany for choirs and chamber ensembles.
In addition to degree recitals, students also participate in studio recitals, including recent performances of the complete organ works of Brahms and Bruhns, Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur, Bach’s Trio Sonatas, and Tournemire’s Sept chorals-Poèmes d’orgue. Future performances include the complete Sonatas, Preludes, and Fugues of Mendelssohn, Bach’s Art of Fugue, and the major works of Franck.
In the past four years, six organ students have received E. Power Biggs Fellowships from the Organ Historical Society in addition to scholarships from Oundle for Organists (UK) and an organ scholarship from the Royal School of Church Music in America.
The Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at FSU is a large and active group providing opportunities for leadership roles, networking, and helping to create a social fabric for our students.
The Biennial FSU New Music Festival affords outstanding opportunities for pianists to perform new music and to network with composers.
We regularly encourage our students to participate in music festivals across the U.S. and internationally; some of these are directed by our piano performance faculty.
The FSU Summer Pre-College Piano Institute enlists a small number of graduate assistants each year to perform and to teach applied piano, piano literature, and related topics.
For graduate students skilled in classroom lecturing, faculty-lecturer positions with the Tallahassee Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) featuring courses on a range of musical topics are available via application through an adjudicated proposal process.