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Department of Organ


Organ, harpsichord, carillon and sacred 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)

Kola Owolabi (organ, improvisation, sacred music)

Joseph Gascho (harpsichord, early music)

Tiffany Ng (carillon, University Carillonneur)


Associated Faculty

Jerroll Adams (University Organ Technician)



Photo, left to right: Kaelan Hansson and James Renfer
U-M Organ Students Win AGO Award

Organ students Kaelan Hansson and James Fenfer win American Guild of Organists award.  more


SMTD logo for eventPerforming Arts Technology Recital

Wednesday, March 28 - 12:00pm
Burton Memorial Tower,
Free - no tickets required

image for Fa_ulty ShowcaseFa_ulty Showcase

Monday, April 2 - 7:30pm
Earl V. Moore Building, Britton Recital Hall
Free - no tickets required

See more department events

image for Brown Bag Recital SeriesBrown Bag Recital Series

Mar. 7, Mar. 21, Apr. 4
Thomas Francis Jr. School of Public Health Building, Community Room
Free - no tickets required

image for Carillon Recital: MLK50 Bell TollCarillon Recital: MLK50 Bell Toll

Wednesday, April 4 - 7:05pm
Burton Memorial Tower,
Free - no tickets required

SMTD logo for eventOpera/Early Music Production: Charpentier’s La descente d'Orphée aux enfers

April 7 - 8
Earl V. Moore Building, McIntosh Theatre
Free - no tickets required

Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner organ, Hill Auditorium
Fisk organ, Blanche Anderson Moore HallLétourneau 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