Organ and Harpsichord

A female organ student performs in the Feast of Carols concert in Corbett Auditorium

CCM offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in both organ and harpsichord.

Bachelor of Music (BM) degrees are available in both majors. CCM also offers a degree in Music Education with concentration in these instruments. The Music Education program can be completed in conjunction with major study, constituting a double major which is normally a five year program.

CCM also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree, with concentration in organ or harpsichord. This degree offers a greater emphasis on non-music academics, and is designed for students who do not seek either a performing or a music education degree.

Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Artist Diploma (AD) degrees are also offered.

Organ Study

Organ study at CCM emphasizes the development of musical, performing and teaching skills. The degree programs are rigorous in their challenges, while retaining flexibility in order to address each student’s needs on an individual basis. In addition to the eight pipe organs in CCM, students have access to many of the finest instruments in the city.

Harpsichord Study

Harpsichord study at CCM exposes keyboardists to the full range of expressive, technical and historical elements associated with stylistic early keyboard performance. Lessons emphasize healthy and responsive technique while simultaneously revealing the colors of the instrument as well as the nuanced language of baroque rhetoric. Classes in basso continuo bring new perspective and skill to the art of accompanying, enhancing students’ improvisational and keyboard harmony capabilities while opening them up to a deeper awareness of early ensemble practices. Several fine harpsichords are available, along with a fortepiano and fretted clavichord. Visiting artists are often invited to coach, play with and perform for early keyboard and Baroque Performance students at CCM.

Headshot of Stephan Anthony Casurella

Stephan Anthony Casurella

Adjunct Instructor of Liturgical Organ

513-842-2065

Headshot of John Deaver

John Deaver

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies

859-431-1786

Headshot of Michael S Unger

Michael S Unger

Assistant Professor of Keyboard (Organ and Harpsichord)

513-556-9520

CCM's admissions process begins on August 1 (undergraduate) and September 1 (graduate) for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Pre-screening and Audition Requirements

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Prepare two contrasting pieces from the standard harpsichord repertoire that demonstrate the applicant’s technical and musical skills.
    • Selections should represent contrasting chronological and national schools: English, French, Italian, German, Iberian, etc. 
  • Memorization is not required.
  • For undergraduate applicants with a strong piano background who wish to major in harpsichord, one of the two pieces may be a piano selection from the standard repertoire.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • Same repertoire requirements as the pre-screening audition.
  • The audition will have a short sight-reading exercise.
  • Candidates will also have a brief interview.

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-Screening Requirements

  • Prepare three contrasting pieces from the standard harpsichord repertoire that demonstrate the applicant’s technical and musical skills.
    • Repertoire selections should represent contrasting chronological and national schools: English, French, Italian, German, Iberian, etc.
  • Memorization is not required.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • Same repertoire requirements as the pre-screening audition.
  • The audition will have a short sight-reading exercise.
  • Candidates will also have a brief interview

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Prepare two contrasting pieces from the standard organ literature that demonstrate the applicant’s technical and musical skills. One selection must be from the 17th or 18th century, and the other from the 19th, 20th or 21st century. 
  • Memorization is not required.
  • For undergraduate applicants with a strong piano background who wish to major in organ, one of the two pieces may be a piano selection from the standard repertoire.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • Same repertoire requirements as the pre-screening audition.
  • The audition will have a short sight-reading exercise for manuals only.
  • Candidates will also have a brief interview.

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Prepare three contrasting pieces from the standard organ literature that demonstrate the applicant’s technical and musical skills. One selection should be from the 17th or 18th century, and the other two from the 19th, 20th or 21st century. 
  • Memorization is not required.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • Same repertoire requirements as the pre-screening audition.
  • The audition will have a short sight-reading exercise.
  • Candidates will also have a brief interview.

Additional Information

  • Information about the spring 2021 annual Strader Organ Scholarship Competition for graduate organ studies will be announced to applicants to all organ applicants in Fall 2020.

In state-of-the-art facilities, students practice and perform on instruments that include 200 pianos, eight harpsichords, a fortepiano, a clavichord and seven pipe organs. Keyboard Studies majors have separate practice rooms, and CCM's performance spaces include four traditional halls plus other chamber spaces. These features contribute to an environment conducive to improving musical and performing skills, helping to prepare students for their professional careers. Learn more about the CCM Village.

The city of Cincinnati offers a rich cultural environment for students: the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Playhouse in the Park, as well as ballet, opera and art museums. Many local churches, along with the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and CCM’s own Tangeman Sacred Music Center, offer a variety of concerts, lectures and master classes to students throughout the year.


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