Organ and Liturgical Studies

Study With

Joel Bacon

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

Joel.Bacon@colostate.edu

(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.

Audition Requirements

Undergraduate Audition

  • 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, 2019 at 5:00 PM
Performances: Thursday, October 31, 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. The organ studio and faculty artist, Joel Bacon, present the 14th annual Halloween Organ Extravaganza, with classic (and not-so-classic) works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. Spooky sounds, combined with lighting and special effects, are sure to [...]

2019 Halloween Organ Extravaganza

October 31, 2019 at 5:00 PM
The organ studio and faculty artist, Joel Bacon, present the 14th annual Halloween Organ Extravaganza, with classic (and not-so-classic) works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. Spooky sounds, combined with lighting and special effects, are sure to put you in the Halloween spirit! “Every year the students seem [...]

Organ News

Joel Bacon speaks at the President's Community Lecture Series

Bacon literally pulls out all of the stops during lecture

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Organ Professor Joel Bacon

CSU’s amazing pipe organ featured in lecture

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Joel Bacon is featured – along with the Casavant organ – in the President’s Lecture Series by Tony Phifer Joel Bacon doesn’t attempt to hide his enthusiasm for the pipe organ. Not even close. Bacon, associate professor of organ in CSU’s Department of Music, Theatre & Dance, will be the next featured speaker in the […]

Baylor Organist Helps Realize Donors’ Musical Dream

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By Brandon Adams Emeritus Professor Robert Cavarra dreamt of having the world’s greatest organists visit Colorado State to perform and share their expertise and passion for knowledgeable audiences. While he was a professor here, he invited world renowned artists such as Marie-Claire Alain, Luigi Tagliavini, Gillian Weir, E. Power Biggs, and Anton Heiller to play […]

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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