Organ and Liturgical Studies

Study With

Joel Bacon

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

(970) 491-2431


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.


Organ Events

Kodaly Certificate Program

July 14, 2018 - July 28, 2018 at 12:00 AM

KDIA Session 5

July 16, 2018 - July 21, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim - Concert Version

July 21, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Summer Conducting Seminar Final Concert, co-conducted by the seminar's graduating class. For what has become a fun summer tradition, the CSU music program, in collaboration with Opera Fort Collins apprentice artists, presents the Summer Conducting Seminar Final Concert. The seminar, a master’s program designed for secondary music educators in band, orchestra, and choir, presents its [...]

Children's Singing Camp

July 23, 2018 - July 25, 2018 at 12:00 AM
A fun day-camp of singing games, choir, folk dancing, keyboard improvisation, and movement with sessions for K – 6th graders. Students attending the camp will be provided with quality instruction from graduate-level musicians and teachers specializing in Elementary Music Education.

KDIA Session 6

July 23, 2018 - July 28, 2018 at 12:00 AM

International Folk Dance Workshop for Teachers

July 23, 2018 at 10:30 AM
Hosted by the Colorado Kodály Institute at Colorado State University Sanna Longden is a well-known world dance educator who presents at Kodály, Orff, and other education conferences and chapters throughout North America and beyond. She has taught at universities, in-services, and folklore festivals, and serves as artist-in-residence in U.S. schools. Sanna’s series of instructional DVDs [...]

2018 Colorado Kodály Institute Choir Concert

July 27, 2018 at 5:00 PM
As the finale to the Colorado Kodály Institute Summer Seminar, enjoy a performance by the graduate students, followed by a brief certificate ceremony celebrating levels students who have satifactorily completed their work. Alumni of the institute will be invited onstage to sing the final song.

Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko, Pianist

July 31, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Capturing the attention of juries, audiences, and critics alike for “mesmerizing and exhilarating” performances that [bring] the crowd to their feet, cheering him like a rock star. Presented by the International Keyboard Odyssiad® & Festival.

Ju-eun Lee, Pianist

August 1, 2018 at 7:30 PM
After a brilliant performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto” with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, this rising young star from Korea returns to dazzle audiences once again with her elegant and passionate playing. Presented by the International Keyboard Odyssiad® & Festival.

Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Olga Kern, Pianist

August 2, 2018 at 7:30 PM
The international superstar from Russia is recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists. Kern’s jet-setter career has her performing in major concert halls around the world! Presented by the International Keyboard Odyssiad® & Festival.

Frederic Chiu, Pianist

August 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM
The cerebral American pianist / philosopher / artist / chef offers richly colored, fiery interpretations in his performances. “Chiu is a stunningly virtuosic pianist with a dynamic range that almost defies the capabilities of modern recording techniques...” ~ BBC Music Magazine. Presented by the International Keyboard Odyssiad® & Festival.

Kemal Gekic, Pianist

August 4, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Performing worldwide from a vast repertoire, the Croatian pianist presents fascinating, uncompromising and ever-changing interpretations, always generating frenzied audience enthusiasm. Presented by the International Keyboard Odyssiad® & Festival.

Kids Do It All: Summer Music-Theatre Camp

August 6, 2018 - August 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

CSU Marching Band: CSU vs. Hawaii

August 25, 2018 at 12:00 AM

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 [...]

Casavant Organ 50th Anniversary Concert: Joel Bacon

October 15, 2018 at 7:30 PM
On the final concert of the 50th Anniversary of the Casavant Organ, CSU’s Professor of Organ Joel Bacon performs selected pieces from the organ’s 1968 opening concert program. “CSU’s Casavant organ is a remarkable instrument – a great point of pride for the university and the community, and a joy for me personally to play [...]

Organ News

CSU’s annual Organ Week features nightly concerts and free public lectures and masterclasses


The six annual Organ Week, a summer organ festival presented by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University, takes place June 4-7 with concerts, lectures, and masterclasses held at the University Center for the Arts, First United Methodist Church, and First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins. The School continues its year-long […]

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!


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


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.