Organ and Liturgical Studies

Overview

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.

Audition Requirements

Undergraduate Audition (all degrees)

  • Two pieces: one from the German Baroque (a prelude/fugue or chorale prelude by Bach, Buxtehude, Bruhns, etc.), and a contrasting piece from the Romantic or Contemporary repertoire (for example, a Mendelssohn sonata movement, Brahms chorale prelude, piece by Langlais, etc.)
  • Sight reading: a hymn

Graduate Audition

Prospective graduate students should be prepared to play a work (or representative movements) from each of the following categories. Additionally, a chorale prelude from the Baroque period, as well as a short lyric work composed after 1800 should be prepared.

  • Before 1750 (not Bach) — Examples: a Buxtehude free work; a set of variations by Sweelinck; a French Classic suite or Noël
  • J.S. Bach — Examples: a large Prelude, Toccata, or Fantasy and Fugue (such as BWV 532, 542, 544, etc.); a trio sonata; Passacaglia; etc.
  • Romantic — Examples: a Mendelssohn sonata; representative movements or chorale fantasies by Reger; representative movements of a French organ symphony (Guilmant, Widor, Vierne)
  • Post-Romantic and Contemporary — Examples: large movements by Messiaen (from La Nativité, L’Ascension, etc.); a sonata by Hindemith; a partita by Distler; pieces or movements by contemporary composers such as Hakim, Guillou, Rorem, Paulus, Hambraeus, etc.

Organ Events

Halloween Organ Extravaganza

October 31, 2022 at 6:00 PM
Monday, October 31, 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m. The organ studio, with faculty artist Joel Bacon, presents the 17th annual Halloween Organ Extravaganza, with classic (and not-so-classic) works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. If you think organ music or organists are boring, this concert is [...]

Virtuoso Series Concert: Joel Bacon, Harpsichord

November 7, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Faculty artist Joel Bacon performs on the department’s new Italian harpsichord; the concert features famous works by J.S. Bach. Concert programs are available in a virtual format only and may be viewed via a QR code at the performance when available.

Organ News

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2022 Milestone Years of Service

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Every year, Colorado State University celebrates employees achieving a decade of service of more. Congratulations to all who have reached a Milestone year of service this academic year, and thank you for your commitment to Colorado State University. 10 years Copper Ferreira, Senior Instructor; Music Theory; Ensemble Coordinator Wesley Ferreira ,Associate Professor of Music; Clarinet […]

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Filming an organ concert during the pandemic

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If you’ve never seen the hands and feet of an organist up-close during an organ concert, Colorado State University’s RamProductions’ most recent project will change that. With social-distancing guidelines impacting large gatherings, CSU music professor, Dr. Joel Bacon, put on a private organ concert at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Listen to Journalism and Media Communications […]

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2021 Milestone Years of Service

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Every year, Colorado State University celebrates employees achieving a decade of service of more. Congratulations to all who have reached a Milestone year of service this academic year, and thank you for your commitment to Colorado State University. 10 years Dawn Grapes, Associate Professor of Music; Music HistoryBonnie Jacobi, Associate Professor of Music; Music EducationAdam […]

Guest Artists

Guest Artist and Poster Gallery

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 visit lib2.colostate.edu/archives

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