Organ, harpsichord, carillon, and sacred music

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

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

Both solo and continuo playing are emphasized for harpsichord students, who 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: The 53-bell Charles Baird Carillon in Burton Memorial Tower on Central Campus, and the North Campus 60-bell Robert and Ann Lurie Carillon.

All students of the department have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including the Earl V. Moore Building, which recently received a $29.5 million expansion and renovation. Also available are cutting-edge audio and video recording resources, allowing for the highest-quality documentation of students’ creative work.
All SMTD students receive unprecedented entrepreneurial and career planning support through the school’s EXCEL department (Excellence in Entrepreneurship Career Empowerment & Leadership), poised to become the nation’s top program for funding student entrepreneurial ventures in the performing arts.

The University of Michigan is renowned for developing excellence. Combining the focus and rigor of a conservatory with the academic breadth and depth of a major public research university, an SMTD education is a transformative experience. Musicians receive a comprehensive program of instruction, performance and pedagogy, as well as the inspiration and knowledge of a liberal arts course of study, instilling the values of innovation and inclusion. Our graduates excel as artists, scholars, educators, entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, and arts administrators, and also as fully-engaged citizens eager to make a difference in their field and community.

The 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 (MM '11, organ)



DR. MARTIN JEAN (DMA ’89, MM ’94, organ)
Professor of Organ and Church Music, Director of the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University; winner of the Grand Prix de Chartres and AGO NYACOP competitions; concert organist and recording artist with Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists

Here are just a few of our celebrated alumni:

Dr. Jeremy Chesman (MM ’00, carillon) University Carillonist and Professor; Interim Department Head, Missouri State University
Dr. Christine Clewell (DMA ’96, organ) Assistant Professor of Organ, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Norah Duncan IV (DMA ’94, organ and church music) Professor and Chair, Department of Music, Wayne State University
Dr. Gregory Hand (DMA ’06, MM ’02, organ) Associate Professor of Organ, University of Iowa
Dr. Evelyn Lim (DMA ’97, organ) Professor, Methodist School of Music, Singapore
Meghan Meloy Ness (MM ’17, organ) Director of Music, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, Swarthmore, PA

Ways To Connect


734.764.0593 (SMTD Admissions)
734.763.5461 (Events Line)
734.764.2538 (SMTD/UMS Ticket Office)



Department of Organ
Earl V. Moore Building
1100 Baits Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2075