Organ & Church Music

Studies in Organ & Church Music

  • The organ department at St. Olaf College is one of the largest undergraduate organ departments in the country. The program has maintained a stable enrollment for more than a quarter-century.
  • Each semester, approximately 25 St. Olaf students take private lessons from one of two professional organ faculty. Instruction in organ for music majors and non-music majors is offered in private weekly half-hour or one-hour lessons. Organ students have the opportunity to perform as soloists in solo recitals, group recitals and weekly studio classes.
  • St. Olaf also offers a variety of courses that prepare students for careers as practicing church musicians or in organ performance . In addition, the January Interim term and the programs of independent study and research, and collaborative undergraduate research provide opportunities to create projects that fulfill individual needs and interest.
  • Music majors may elect an interim or semester abroad; offerings include programs in Milan, Vienna or Copenhagen specifically designed for music majors.
  • Skifter Hall, adjacent to Christiansen Hall, houses seven practice instruments (four mechanical, three electro-pneumatic by Dobson, Wilhelm, Holtkamp, and Schliker.) Each room has been acoustically engineered to provide a satisfying practice experience. In addition, Skifter Hall houses the Tormodsgaard-Bakken Recital Hall (commonly known as Studio A), a small hall designed especially for organ teaching, practice and recitals. Its mechanical action Dobson organ is three manuals and 42 ranks.
  • In the fall of 2006 a new Holtkamp organ was installed in Boe Memorial Chapel one of the final steps in a complete renovation of this significant space on the St. Olaf campus. The chapel serves as a laboratory for church music majors as well as a locus for organ study and performance.

Students take lessons with one of our 2 faculty


Students participate in ensembles and lessons


major in something other than music

Organ Faculty

Organ & Church Music Faculty

James E Bobb

James E Bobb

Associate Professor of Music; Elliot M. and Klara Stockdal Johnson Chair in Organ and Church Music

Christiansen Hall of Music 218
View Profile →