Organ Academy


 

picture of four organs of Oberlin in three different concert spaces on campus
Organs of Oberlin (l-r): Fairchild Chapel's Brombaugh Op. 25, Finney Chapel's C.B. Fisk, and Warner Concert Hall's Flentrop and Harrold organs.
Photo credit: David Kazimir and Julie Gulenko

Sweelinck Studies: June 14-19, 2021

Summer Institute: June 20-25, 2021

 REGISTER  Registrations received until program is filled.


We are excited to offer two virtual programs this year for every level of organ instruction: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. DETAILED SCHEDULES BELOW.


Sweelinck Studies: Observing the 400th Anniversary of the death of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

5-day Zoom Course: Monday-Friday from 7:00pm-9:00pm (EDT)
Saturday Masterclass: 10:00am-Noon (EDT)

Up to 6 full-course participants (high school age and older) will be selected to perform in the Saturday masterclass. Those interested in performing should submit recorded performances of any keyboard work by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck on organ, harpsichord, or clavichord for critique. A separate form for masterclass submission will be sent to all full participants by June 1.

    Full course - $500
    Masterclasses: $125 per session (observation only)
    Zoom Course: $75 per lecture



Summer Institute June 20-25, 2021

Open to those in middle school and older! Yes, adults too!
Two package programs and options for single events offer a variety of choices for each student and every budget, including private lessons, academic classes, community events, virtual tours, and organ demonstrations.

The Institute will culminate in a live-streamed concert on Oberlin's renowned concert organs. Even though we can't be together in person, we can still connect.

Join us this summer in Oberlin....wherever you are!


Register for the level of your choice...

     Level One ($285) - All Institute events, including three private lessons
     Level Two ($135) - One lesson, one class, organ demonstrations, and community events
     Level Three - Single Event Registration, and community events
          Lessons: $75
          Classes: $75
          Organ Demonstrations: $50

     Level Four - Community Events
          Introduction to Oberlin and Virtual Tour of the Organ Collection
          Q & A with Faculty, Staff, and Students


Program Detail

Private Lessons
50-minute lessons will include individualized instruction via the Zoom platform. Lessons will consist of evaluation of submitted recordings from the student and consultation on topics such as educational resources, practice techniques, using the piano to develop organ technique, and other areas of inquiry. Consultations with the student's local private teacher are also possible. Other lessons will include introduction to the harpsichord, clavichord, and improvisation.

Classes and Demos (50 minutes)
Organ Literature - One session will provide an overview of the development of the organ from antiquity to the present day, along with resources for study and listening.

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
This class will explore the remarkable life and legacy of one of the most remarkable keyboard performers and instructors of the 17th century, whose influence continues beyond the 400 years since his death in 1621.

Organ Construction and Design
An overview of the mechanical design and development of the organ across the centuries, including a tutorial on the rudiments of tuning and temperament.

The Sacred Musician
This class examines the profession of the sacred musician from both a historical and contemporary perspective, with guidance on how to prepare for a lifetime of creative work that both inspires and "pays the rent."

Hymnody
A rousing game of "Name that Tune" with discussion of hymns everyone should know and where they came from. Whether you were raised in one denomination, or several or none, a church job is likely to become part of your life.

Our Siblings
This session explores the clavichords, harpsichords, and pedal piano in the Oberlin collection, with particular focus on music of the baroque, how our ancestors composed for "keyboard," and the level of versatility expected of a musician in the 18th century.

Beginning Improvisation
Why do some students "latch on" to improvisation techniques and become serious improvisers quickly, while others struggle? What are the basic skills everyone needs to have in order to advance with ease and joy? We will discuss the basics of music theory and experiment with exercises to implant a harmonic vocabulary into your hands, so that techniques and patterns become "automatic." Students will need zoom access at a keyboard.

The Oberlin Community
Introduction to Oberlin and Virtual Tour of the Organ Collection - Even though you can't be on campus, come with us on this live guided tour of the campus and its amazing instrument collection.

Organ Demonstrations
In-depth examinations and performances on our most famous instruments, including the Fisk organ in Finney Chapel (French Romantic style), the Flentrop and Harrold organs in Warner Concert Hall (North German and Spanish style), the Brombaugh organs in Fairchild Chapel, and the Bozeman-Gibson organ in Peace Church (Silbermann style).

Robert and Victoria Sirota: Lives of Music and Ministry
Oberlin Alumni, "Bob and Vicki" share insight into their multi-faceted careers in music and ministry. This zoom session will include the premiere of a new work for organ, Prayer, by Robert Sirota and performed by Victoria Sirota.

Q & A with Faculty, Staff, and Students
This session allows students to ask questions about all things in Oberlin—auditions, student life, lessons, practice rooms, social activities—the sky's the limit.

Virtual Student Concert
Recorded performances by participants of the 2021 Summer Institute will be presented in a Youtube premier concert event.

Jonathan W. Moyer, David S. Boe chair and assistant professor of organ
Christa Rakich, visiting professor of organ
David Kazimir, curator of organs

Sweelinck Studies guests:
Mark Edwards, Assistant Professor of Harpsichord
Megan Kaes Long, Associate Professor of Music Theory
Chris Marx, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Christina Neilson, Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History
Steven Plank, Andrew B. Meldrum Professor of Musicology

Summer Institute guests:

Composer – educator ROBERT SIROTA holds degrees from Oberlin (BMus) and Harvard (PhD). His works have been performed by numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras across the US and Europe. Recent commissions include the Sarasota Music Festival, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Palladium Musicum, American Guild of Organists, the American String Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the Naumburg Foundation, and yMusic, Thomas Pellaton, Carol Wincenc, Linda Chesis, Trinity Episcopal Church (Indianapolis), and the Sierra Chamber Society, as well as arrangements for Paul Simon.

Grants include the Guggenheim and Watson Foundations, NEA, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center, Sirota’s works are recorded on Legacy Recordings, National Sawdust Tracks, and the Capstone, Albany, New Voice, Gasparo and Crystal labels. His music is published by Muzzy Ridge Music, Schott, Music Associates of New York, MorningStar, Theodore Presser, and To the Fore.

Before becoming Director of the Peabody Conservatory in 1995, Sirota served as Chairman of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University and Director of Boston University's School of Music. From 2005-2012, he was the President of Manhattan School of Music, where he was also a member of the School’s composition faculty.

For complete information, visit www.robertsirota.com

VICTORIA R. SIROTA, Episcopal priest, organist, lecturer and author, holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BMus), Boston University (MMus; DMA) and Harvard Divinity School (MDiv). She has taught at Yale Divinity School and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Boston University.  Former National Chaplain for the American Guild of Organists, Chair of the Professional Concerns Committee for the Association of Anglican Musicians, and Coordinator of the 1990 National AGO Convention in Boston,

Dr. Sirota is the author of articles, reviews and texts for hymns, cantatas and song cycles. She is recorded on Northeastern, Gasparo and Albany Records and her book Preaching to the Choir: Claiming the Role of Sacred Musician is available from Church Publishing.  Prior to her nine years as Canon Pastor and Vicar at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, she was Vicar of The Church of the Holy Nativity in Baltimore. The Reverend Canon Sirota is currently Rector of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Getty Square, Yonkers, NY.

Zweelinck Studies Schedule

Time listed - Eastern Daylight Time

Monday, June 14   

Session 1: 7:00pm
“Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, ‘Orpheus of Amsterdam,’ Life and Legacy”
Jonathan W. Moyer, Associate Professor of Organ

Session 2: 8:00pm
“What’s Mean in Meantone?”
Chris Marx, Associate Professor of Mathematics
 

Tuesday, June 15

Session 3: 7:00pm
"Iconoclasm and Image Making 17th-Century: Architectural Paintings from Amsterdam"
Christina Nielson, Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History

Session 4: 8:00pm
“Calvin, Sweelinck, and Psalmody,”
Steven Plank, Andrew B. Meldrum Professor of Musicology
 

Wednesday, June 16

Session 5: 7:00pm
“Sweelinck and the English Virginalists”
Mark Edwards, Assistant Professor of Harpsichord

Session 6: 8:00pm
“Sweelinck’s Psalm and Chorale Variations”
Jonathan W. Moyer, Associate Professor of Organ


Thursday, June 17

Session 7: 7:00pm
“How to Succeed at Imitation Without Really Trying: Improvised Canon and Stretto Fuga in Sweelinck's Ricercar”
Megan Long, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Session 8: 8:00pm
“Sweelinck’s Toccatas and Fantasias”
Jonathan W. Moyer, Associate Professor of Organ
 

Friday, June 18

Session 9: 7:00pm
“Der Organistenmacher”
Christa Rakich, Visiting Professor of Organ

Session 10: 8:00pm
“Sweelinck and Performance Practice”
Round Table Discussion
 

Saturday, June 19

Virtual Masterclass: 10:00am-12:00noon

ABSTRACTS

Monday, June 14

Session 1: 7:00pm

“Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Orpheus of Amsterdam” Jonathan W. Moyer, David S. Boe Associate Professor of Organ

In the 400 years since the death of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, the “Orpheus of Amsterdam” has aptly attained an almost mythological status in the pantheon of keyboard composers. His influence is ubiquitous in the development of keyboard music leading up to J.S. Bach and beyond, inspiring endless scholarship and innumerable recordings. This introductory presentation reviews extant knowledge of Sweelinck’s life during the blossoming and tumultuous rise of 16th century Amsterdam, the organs of the Oude Kerk, and sources for Sweelinck’s corpus of keyboard works. For perhaps the first time in 400 years, Nicolaas Voocht’s Lyck-Klacht (1621), a funeral ode for Sweelinck, will be read in an English translation.

Session 2: 8:00pm

“What’s Mean in Meantone? – A Question of Math and Music”
Chris Marx, Associate Professor of Mathematics

This talk presents a mathematical point of view of meantone temperament and its connection to the question of scale division. Starting from the Pythagorean tuning problem of creating a scale by successively “adding’’ fifths, we will explore a mathematical framework which will allow for a common perspective of the Pythagorean and meantone temperament. Using this point of view, we will show how different historically important proposals for dividing the octave, in particular the 5,7,12, and (Vicentino’s) 31 tone scale, can be understood.

Tuesday, June 15

Session 3: 7:00pm

“Calvin, Sweelinck, and the Psalms”
Steven Plank, Andrew B. Meldrum Professor of Musicology

This lecture examines Jean Calvin’s attitude towards the arts in general and towards music in particular, drawing especially on his “Epistle to the Reader” in the Genevan Psalter (1542). Building on an understanding the psalms as affective expressions, the lecture also explores various musical iterations of the psalms in the Calvinist world, including the Genevan Psalter, Souterliedekens, and the four-volume complete psalter set by Sweelinck (1604, 1613, 1614, 1621).

Session 4: 8:00pm

“Sweelinck’s Psalm and Chorale Variations”
Jonathan W. Moyer, David S. Boe Associate Professor of Organ

Sweelinck’s psalm and chorale variations are not only remarkable keyboard works but they are also windows into the religious, cultural, and pedagogical world in which Sweelinck lived. This lecture explores the varied corpus of Sweelinck’s “sacred” variation sets with considerations in performance practice.

Wednesday, June 16

Session 5: 7:00pm

“Iconoclasm and Image Making: 17th-Century Architectural Paintings from Amsterdam”
Christina Nielson, Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History

Emanuel De Witte’s paintings showing the interior of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam purport to record reality. However, although these paintings are executed in a crisp, naturalistic style, they are in fact carefully crafted artifices. In this lecture we will explore the work of the architectural church painters of Sweelinck’s Netherlands and consider how paintings were sites that bore witness to history and sources for creatively imagining potential transformations at a time of radical political and religious turmoil.

Session 6: 8:00pm

“Sweelinck and the English Virginalists”
Mark Edwards, Assistant Professor of Harpsichord

This talk examines the influence of the English virginalists on Sweelinck’s keyboard music, ranging from figuration and ornamentation to large-scale form.  Focusing on Sweelinck’s secular variations, the talk draws comparisons between the style and technique of Sweelinck’s music with that of English composers like Byrd, Bull, and Phillips. Moreover, it argues that an acquaintance with the music of these virginalists can also prove instructive in matters of performance practice.

Thursday, June 17

Session 7: 7:00pm

“Sweelinck’s Toccatas and Fantasias”
Jonathan W. Moyer, Associate Professor of Organ

Toccatas and fantasies comprise over half of Sweelinck’s known keyboard works, representing a milestone in the development of European keyboard music. Yet, why was a Dutch organist employed in a strict Calvinist environment composing a genre associated with the Catholic south? This lecture will explore the derivation and distinction of both toccata and fantasia, their uniqueness in Sweelinck’s compositional form, and issues of performance practice.

Session 8: 8:00pm

“How to Succeed at Imitation Without Really Trying:
Improvised Canon and Stretto Fuga in Sweelinck's Ricercar”
Megan Kaes Long, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Sweelinck’s fantasias and his ricercar are often discussed as important precursors to Baroque fugue, but this evolutionary approach misses many of the distinctively Renaissance features of Sweelinck’s counterpoint. This lecture treats Sweelinck’s Ricercar as an example of stretto fuga, a contrapuntal technique based on the principles for improvising a first-species canon. We will reverse-engineer Sweelinck’s compositional process from its improvisational roots and explore how Sweelinck uses diverse stretto techniques to organize the ricercar.

Friday, June 18

Session 9: 7:00pm

“Der Organistenmacher: A Legacy of Students”
Christa Rakich, Visiting Professor of Organ

His father died when he was 11. Little is known about his education. He spent his entire life in Amsterdam, serving one church. Yet the greatest organists in northern Europe made the pilgrimage to him to learn their craft. He was so renowned his colleagues referred to him as “Der Organistenmacher” – Maker of Organists. Towns gave stipends to their best young musicians to study with him. His students, including Scheidt, Scheidemann, and Schildt, established what we call “the North German Organ Tradition.” This presentation samples the work of Sweelinck’s students, arguably his greatest legacy.

Session 10: 8:00pm

“Sweelinck and Performance Practice”
Round Table Discussion

This session will examine various passages in Sweelinck’s keyboard works that present challenges or questions in performance practice with perspectives and possible “solutions” presented by Oberlin’s keyboard faculty. Other questions and musical excerpts can be submitted by participants.

Saturday, June 19

Virtual Masterclass: 10:00am-12:00noon

Participants are invited to submit recordings of any work by Sweelinck on organ, harpsichord, or clavichord to be presented during the masterclass with helpful comments and suggestions by Oberlin’s keyboard faculty.

Oberlin Virtual Summer Institute 2021 Schedule
Time listed - Eastern Daylight Time

Saturday, June 19
4:00pm  Pre-academy Organizational Zoom

Sunday, June 20
4:00pm  Introductory Meet and Greet Zoom Session
5:00pm  Video Presentation: The Organs of Oberlin 6:00pm  Presentation: Robert and Victoria Sirota: Lives of Music and Ministry

Monday, June 21
8:30am  Morning check-in Zoom
9:00am-12:00noon  Zoom Lessons
12:00noon  Lunchtime Chat Group
1:00pm-3:00pm  Zoom Lessons
3:30pm  Class: Organ Construction and Design
5:30pm  Class: Our Siblings, Exploring the Harpsichord, Clavichord, and Pedal Piano

Tuesday, June 22
8:30am  Morning check-in Zoom
9:00am-12:00noon  Zoom Lessons
12:00noon  Break
1:00pm-3:00pm  Zoom Lessons
3:30pm  Class: Organ Literature
5:30pm  Hymnody: “Name that Tune”
7:30pm  Stage Left: Der Oberliner Orgelbüchlein

Wednesday, June 23

8:30am  Morning check-in Zoom
9:00am-12:00noon  Zoom Lessons
12:00noon  Break
1:00pm-3:00pm  Zoom Lessons
3:30pm  Class: Composer of the Week: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
5:30pm  Faculty and Alumni Q&A

Thursday, June 24
8:30am  Morning check-in Zoom
9:00am-12:00noon  Zoom Lessons
12:00noon  Break
1:00pm-3:00pm  Zoom Lessons
3:30pm Class: Beginning Improvisation
5:30pm  Zoom Masterclass

Friday, June 25
8:30am  Morning check-in Zoom
9:00am-12:00noon  Zoom Lessons
12:00noon  Break
1:00pm-3:00pm  Zoom Lessons
3:30pm  Class: The Sacred Musician
7:30pm  Student Concert: Presenting Highlights from Oberlin Student Recitals from the 2020

There is one registration form for both workshops. Each workshop requests that you include your current repertoire (5), and other musical experience, along with contact information and teacher's name and email address.

Full payment for one or both programs is due one week after you receive your confirmation letter.

Summer Institute
Please complete the registration form.

Sweelink Studies
Please complete the registration form.
Space available on the registration form to upload a link to your performance of a Sweelinck piece should you wish to be considered for critique in a master class.

REGISTER

Full payment for one or both programs is due one week after you receive your confirmation letter.

Sweelinck Studies
Full Course: $500
Individual Sessions:
     Masterclasses: $125 per session
     Zoom Course: $100 per session

Summer Institute
Level One: $285 - Full participation
Level Two: $135 - One lesson, one class, organ demos, and community events
Level Three - Single Event Registration
     Lessons and Classes - each $75
     Organ Demonstrations - each $50
Level 4: Community Events - free

You may make an electronic payment  with a credit card, or if you prefer to send a check, please make the check payable to Oberlin College and mail to:

Summer Organ Workshops
Conservatory of Music
77 W. College St.
Oberlin, OH 44074

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop, or tablet to the internet using an ethernet cable, a strong, stable wi-fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your wi-fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio.

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

Explore Zoom's new High-Fidelity Music Mode, which has made a huge difference for lessons and master classes.