Music Performance - Organ
- Bachelor of Music
The repertoire is as diverse as can be performed on any instrument, so you will need a true expert in all forms of sacred and secular expression on the organ and harpsichord. Dr. Jones has performed extensively nationally and internationally, and he has played every sort of organ repertoire imaginable for solo and ensemble performance.
In addition to numerous organs, the School of Music has 65 pianos available to students and faculty, including multiple Steinway Concert Grands (one, a gift from Katherine K. Davis, the other a gift from the Hagstrom estate) on the Elizabeth Hall stage and a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand (a gift from Beatrice Tinsley) in our main instrumental rehearsal hall. The school has three French-double harpsichords and one single manual instrument, along with two clavichords. To compete in a complicated music market demanding knowledge of sacred and secular keyboard music, you will need experience playing a variety of instruments, which is one of the reasons to major in organ at Stetson.
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Dr. Jones has performed extensively nationally and internationally. Let him walk you through the techniques and expressive capabilities of the repertoire on our numerous organs, especially featuring a campus centerpiece, the magnificent 54-Rank Beckerath organ housed in Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall.
As an organ major, you will participate in weekly lessons and master classes taught by Dr. Jones, and you will participate in Stetson School of Music ensembles and attend weekly recitals. You will also have numerous opportunities to collaborate with other musicians, ensembles and conductors in recitals and concerts. Many organ students take church jobs to gain additional experience during their college years.
The rigor of the academic coursework and the high expectations of performance faculty will prepare you for the best graduate schools and for church work or performance opportunities. The amount of performance experience gained by completing this organ degree will equip you with the confidence and technical ability to successfully audition for reputable graduate schools. The depth and breadth of the academic course work in music theory, music history and pedagogy fully prepare you for entrance-level exams required for graduate work in all music-related areas.
Boyd M. Jones, DMA, Yale University School of Music
There are many fine churches who pay competitive salaries for organists of quality. Whether you live in a major U.S. city, or whether your inclination is for a more regional gig, you are sure to find a good number of institutions seeking your services. Stetson receives multiple requests per year for help in procuring a short-term or long-term paid organist. Many positions require experience directing choirs, and Stetson is the right place to get experience in conducting and choral music. Organ majors have ensemble requirements and conducting classes as part of their standard curriculum.
After graduate work at Yale, Josiah Armes returned to Central Florida where he stays busy playing in churches and giving concerts on major organs throughout the state. Betsy Walch played a wide variety of repertoire at Stetson, and at the University of Illinois and at Notre Dame, where she did graduate work. She now works in Tampa as an organist and as an officer at the Florida Orchestra. Silviya Mateva has been concertizing for a few years already since graduation, and she is highly in demand around the country, and in Oklahoma, where she did her doctorate. She is on the faculty at Oklahoma City University and she is the director of music ministries and organist at S. Philip's Episcopal church. There are many other alumni currently performing and teaching across the country. Dr. Jones' connection with organists and organs in the Southern and Northeastern United States provides advantageous opportunities for all of his students.
The demand for talent is always high, and students graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree, whether in composition, performance or theory, will discover career paths aligned to their specific talents and capabilities. Some students go on to more in-depth study in graduate programs, and some find their calling by bringing music to their communities and schools. The Career Insight tool is built on a national database of job openings, postings and requirements, but for many students in Stetson's School of Music, career connections are made during their course of study and through their practice and performance, and with the guidance of their faculty and colleagues. Approximately one-third of positions related to performing arts and teaching ask for a Bachelor's degree, and nearly half of all openings are for candidates with one to two years of experience — a good indication there is demand for music graduates.
Source: Burning Glass Technologies 2019.
Use the Career Insight tool to see what opportunities look like for you.