The purpose of organ study at Westminster is that of equipping students for church work, teaching and recitals. Thorough training and study of technique, service playing, organ literature and the instrument itself are integral to the total organ program. Details of jury, repertoire and recital requirements may be obtained from the Organ faculty.
There are currently 19 organs for student and faculty use on campus. These include an Aeolian-Skinner, 1935, completely refinished tonally in 1983 by Mark Brombaugh and Kenneth Wolfe; a Casavant, 1968; a Fisk, 1977; and others by von Beckerath, Casavant, Flentrop, Hildebrandt, Holtkamp, Möller, Noack, Ott, Phelps, and Schantz.
Organ Major: Undergraduate
Undergraduate Organ Performance majors are required to play six times each semester in performance class as outlined in the Organ Department Handbook. A half recital in the junior year and a full recital in the senior year, each partially memorized, are required. Juries are required at the end of each semester unless a recital is successfully completed during the semester.
Organ Primary: Undergraduate
Organ primary students majoring in Sacred Music, Music Education, or Theory/Composition are expected to play five times each semester in performance class as outlined in the Organ Department Handbook. Seniors must present a half or full recital, as determined by the instructor and with the approval of the department chair. Juries are required at the end of each semester unless a recital is successfully completed during the semester.
Organ Major: Graduate
Graduate Organ Performance majors are required to play six times each semester in performance class as outlined in the Organ Department Handbook. Semester juries are required unless a recital is successfully performed during the semester. The degree program is culminated by one fully memorized or two non-memorized recitals. The entrance audition may be waived for current Westminster seniors and, in some cases as determined by the department chair, for recent Westminster graduates. Students must take OR 433 and OR 434 (carrying no graduate credit) or pass an exemption examination.
Organ Primary: Graduate
Graduate students majoring in Sacred Music or Music Education may study organ as a primary instrument to satisfy degree requirements. Graduate organ primary students are required to play five times each semester in performance class as outlined in the Organ Department Handbook. Semester juries and a half recital are required.
Organ as an Elective
Undergraduate and graduate students who qualify by audition may study organ as an elective if it is not otherwise a specific requirement. An extra tuition fee is assessed for such study. Elective lessons are provided on a space-available basis to qualified students.
Organ Performance Class
Attendance and participation at weekly studio and performance classes is required for all organ primary students. All Westminster Choir College students are invited to attend.
Under the auspices of the Organ Department, private harpsichord instruction is available for elective credit at an extra tuition fee. The college owns two harpsichords: a one-manual Dupree and a two-manual Dowd.
Kathleen Scheide • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Harpsichord, 2006. B.M., M.M., New England Conservatory, D.M.A., University of Southern California.