Organ and Church Music Academy

June 21–27, 2015

Organ and Church Music Academy participants will have access to all the excellent organ facilities at St. Olaf. Skifter Hall, adjacent to Christiansen Hall, houses the Tormodsgaard-Bakken Recital Hall (commonly known as Studio A), with a mechanical action Dobson organ with three manuals and 42 ranks. Skifter Hall also houses seven practice instruments (four mechanical, three electro-pneumatic) by Dobson, Wilhelm, Holtkamp, and Schlicker).

Boe Memorial Chapel is home to a 2006 Holtkamp organ (chancel organ 75 ranks and gallery organ 15 ranks — each playable from either of two three-manual consoles).

In addition, Christiansen Hall of Music houses Urness Recital Hall, the Halvorson music library, three large rehearsal halls, faculty studios, a keyboard/computer lab, practice rooms and classrooms. A new music facility that opened in 2012 includes 36 additional practice rooms, four chamber music rehearsal spaces, a reed room for double reeds, a percussion suite, and 12 faculty studios.


  • Private organ instruction
  • Master classes
  • Hymn-playing workshops
  • Secondary instrument study in piano and/or voice
  • Conducting classes
  • Performance opportunities
  • Participation in St. Olaf Music Camp choral ensemble

Students are required to bring well-prepared pieces from home to work on during lessons and, if applicable, a hymn to prepare for a recital performance.


Recitals begin on Monday evening with performances by St. Olaf faculty and camp counselors. At the end of the week there will be a formal recital on both the Studio A Dobson pipe organ and the Boe Memorial Chapel Holtkamp pipe organ. Students also will sing with the camp choir. Family and friends are encouraged to attend.


The academy is open to high school students who have completed grades 8–12. A recording is encouraged for experienced organists and should include a work of Bach, a contrasting work, and a hymn. For pianists desiring their first organ experience, a Bach invention showing appropriate keyboard skill should be submitted. The recording, approximately 10 minutes long, should be representative of your current level. The recordings may be either video or audio files. You may attach the files to the registration form or provide a YouTube or similar link to recordings online.

Admission is on a rolling basis and ends May 1 or when academy capacity is met. Contact St. Olaf Camps (507-786-3031) if you need additional information or would like the forms mailed to you.

Academy Fees

Residential campers: $TBD (contact St. Olaf Camps, 507-786-3031, to inquire about non-residential options)
Optional lesson package (two additional half-hour lessons): $65
Late charge (for registrations received after May 1): $50

Financial assistance is available for qualified Minnesota residents.

Register online or mail the downloadable registration form.

Refund Policy

Written cancellation received by May 1 will receive a refund less a $100 non-refundable deposit. No refunds will be made after May 1.

Room and Board

Students are housed in comfortable, secure residence halls. Stav Hall, the college cafeteria, offers healthful choices including a salad bar, hot entrees, grilled meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, and desserts.


The St. Olaf Summer Organ and Church Music Academy will be awarding a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to one outstanding participant. The camper must be a rising senior who must be enrolled as a first-year student at St. Olaf College for the fall 2016 term. The recipient will be chosen by the academy faculty. All rising seniors will be considered for the award, which will be presented at the final recital on Saturday morning. The award, a renewable scholarship for up to four years for a total of $4,000, requires only that the student continue piano lessons and participate in a St. Olaf music ensemble.

Location and Transportation

St. Olaf College is located in historic Northfield, Minnesota, just 40 miles south of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The self-contained campus is set atop wooded Manitou Heights, affording striking views of neighboring farmland and the city of Northfield. This serene setting provides an ideal atmosphere for youth camps and other summer groups. Students enjoy a beautiful, safe environment that fosters creativity. During the academic year, St. Olaf is home to nearly 3,000 students, about one-third of whom participate in a St. Olaf music ensemble.

Since many students come from out of state, we provide an airport shuttle service to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport. Pre-registration for the shuttle is required.