Organ Week

High School Camp

Organ Week is designed for high school students interested in expanding (or beginning) their organ study. Led by a faculty of prominent concert and church organists, the program features one-to-one instruction, masterclasses, and recitals on the finest pipe organs in northern Colorado, including CSU’s Casavant organ.

Study the art of organ building, develop skills in choral conducting and harpsichord, and improve your organ playing with a faculty of concert organists including Ken Cowan and CSU’s chair of organ, Joel Bacon.

Organ weeks have a long history at CSU since the years when professor Robert Cavarra invited organists such as Marie-Claire Alain, Luigi Tagliavini, and Anton Heiller to give week long courses to capacity audiences. The festivals brought organ students from across the country, ideas were exchanged, insights were made, and great music filled the city!

Concerts feature world renowned soloists performing major solo and collaborative works.


What to Expect (for students)
  • Two tracks of education for beginner and advanced organ students
  • Tours of some large and historic instruments in Northern Colorado
  • Touring the inside of some large and historic organs
  • Private instruction during the week with some of the best organists in the field
  • Attending many recitals and performances with World Class Organists
  • Hands on classes from a master organbuilder
  • A chance to meet other students who share an interest in organ
  • The opportunity to take your keyboard skills to another level
  • Recreation activities, such as hiking in the Rockies
  • Spending time on CSU’s campus, taking advantage of great and new accommodation
  • Open to any level of organ student (must be proficient in piano, e.g. 2-part invention)

Camp Dates

UPDATE: Per Colorado State University policies regarding COVID-19, all School of Music, Theatre, and Dance events and related activities originally scheduled through June 30, 2020 have been cancelled, including Organ Week. Please check back in Jan. 2021 for next year's dates. 

June 14-18, 2020


Concert Dates

Recital schedule coming soon.

Guest Artists

Joel Bacon

Colorado State University; Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair of Organ and Liturgical Studies

A native of N.J., Dr. Joel Bacon holds degrees in mathematics and organ performance from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he was a student of Joyce Jones, and an artist diploma in organ from the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien (Vienna, Austria), where he studied with Michael Gailit. With a dissertation on the use of organ in selected orchestral works, he earned his PhD in historical musicology through a joint degree program of Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts and the University of Vienna.

Joel Bacon has a growing reputation as a performer, teacher and scholar in North America and Europe. He has been heard in recital in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Canada, and the US, and live performances have been broadcast on Austrian Radio (1) and Public Radio International. He has taught at the prestigious Oundle International Festival (Cambridge, UK), at several Pipe Organ Encounters of the American Guild of Organists, and at other courses in the US and Canada. With the principal violist of the Munich Philharmonic, Albrecht Rohde, he has recorded a CD of music for viola and organ.

Joel Bacon currently holds the Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies, the first endowed chair in the College of Liberal Arts. Before coming to CSU, he was assistant organist of St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Munich-Grnwald, and served as frequent guest organist at the former Hapsburg imperial church, St. Augustine, Vienna.

Ken Cowan

Rice University, Shepherd School of Music, Head of Organ Program

Ken Cowan is one of North America’s finest concert organists. Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues and churches in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Recent feature performances have included appearances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, Spivey Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as concerts in Germany and Korea. In addition, Mr. Cowan has been a featured artist in recent years at the national conventions of the American Guild of Organists held in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, has performed at many regional conventions of the AGO, and has been featured at several conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Ken received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music/Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray. Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with John Weaver. His major teacher during high school years was James Bigham, Organist/Choirmaster at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in Buffalo, New York, which is not far from his hometown Thorold, Ontario, Canada.

In 2012 Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as associate professor and head of the organ program. Previous positions have included associate professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, and associate organist and artist-in-residence at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.


Joel Bacon

Full Professor of Music; Keyboard Area Coordinator; Organ; Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies

(970) 491-2431

Past Guest Artists

  • Michael Unger, organ and harpsichord professor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, organist of Cincinnati’s historic Isaac M. Wise – Plum Street Temple
  • Ken Cowan

Guest Artist and Poster Gallery