Organ and Liturgical Studies


Organ students have an opportunity to perform on the world-famous Casavant organ. Since its installation in 1968, the Casavant organ has gained international fame as one of the 25 greatest organs in the world (Anton Heiller, 1968). Built in the North German tradition, the Colorado State University's Casavant is among the most beautifully balanced and well-voiced organs in the world. In addition to practice and lesson time on the Casavant, organ students, through an arrangement with local churches, have access to practice and lesson times on three other exemplary organs in Fort Collins: the Phelps organ at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the Marcussen & Son organ at First United Methodist Church, and the Allen Digital organ at the American Baptist Church. Harpsichord students practice and take lessons on a two-manual, three-choir instrument built by Dennis Brown (1982) to the specifications of Taskin, the great French harpsichord builder to the Louis' at Versailles.

Liturgical Studies is a course of study that compliments the degree program of an undergraduate or graduate music student interested in the field of church music. It is also designed to provide a continuing education to professional musicians in the community. The program seeks to offer theory and history of liturgical music together with applied music lessons and practical training for church music careers.


Study With

Joel Bacon

Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies
Associate Professor of Organ

(970) 491-2431

Phelps Collection

(1923-1999; bulk 1947-1999) Recognized for combining the historic art of organ building with modern mechanical design, Lawrence Phelps designed and supervised the construction of more than 800 organs, including organs at Colorado State University and at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Fort Collins. The Phelps Collection consists of articles, speeches, correspondence, design notes, tools and parts and biographical materials. The Phelps collection is held at the Morgan Library, please click here to visit the website.


February 20

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Colorado State University Casavant organ. Please join us in celebrating the legacy of our landmark instrument by... You can help keep alive CSU's legacy of great pipe organ music.

Organ Events

Guest Artist: Vincent Warnier, Organ

April 21, 2018 at 7:30 PM
50th Anniversary of the Casavant Organ at CSU Colorado State University’s Casavant Frères Organ was designed and voiced specifically for the university by Lawrence I. Phelps, in consultation with former CSU organ professor Robert Cavarra. Installed in 1968 in the previous music building on the Oval, it is one of the first modern mechanical-action (tracker) [...]

Organ Week

June 3, 2018 - June 7, 2018 at 12:00 AM
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.

Guest Artist: Michael Grill, Organ

September 4, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Michael Grill is director of music at the Erlöserkirche (Our Saviour’s Lutheran) in Munich, Germany. Frequently featured on German radio and television, the recitalist has played throughout Europe, Israel, South America, and the U.S. He founded the concert series "Neue Orgelmusik München,” dedicated to contemporary organ works, as well as "Fürstenrieder Bachtage,” a festival devoted [...]

Organ News

Into the Lions’ Den


Story by Erin Pihl, SMTD Publicity Intern In the early thirteenth century, New Year’s Eve wasn’t quite the elaborate celebration of fireworks and various renditions of “Auld Lang Syne” we might see today. Instead, the coming of the new year was celebrated by the Feast of Fools and a performance of a liturgical drama. On […]

Wes Kenney and Joel Bacon in front of the Casavant Organ at CSU

Fifth Annual Organ Week Includes Fort Collins Symphony and Free Beer!

Joel Bacon speaks at the President's Community Lecture Series

Bacon literally pulls out all of the stops during lecture