World-Renowned Organist Marilyn Mason in Indiana

Posted on 5/11/2011 10:27:12 PM
Marilyn Mason

The Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee is pleased to present University of Michigan faculty member Dr. Marilyn Mason in a solo organ recital on Friday, May 13, 2011, at 7:30 p.m., as well as being the adjudicator for the fifth annual Carol Teti Memorial Organ Competition on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at 1:00 p.m., featuring three outstanding pre-college age performers.

Both recitals and post-concert receptions are located at Zion Lutheran Church, located at the corner of South 6th and Church streets in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and are free and open to the public, with donations to the scholarship fund gratefully accepted.

Since its establishment in 1993, the challenge and mission for the Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee has been working to overcome the continually growing trend of fewer organists in the United States on the local, state, and national levels. In this effort to combat “the vanishing organist,” the committee’s primary focus is raising scholarship money through fall and spring fundraising events for Indiana University of Pennsylvania students who wish to pursue the study of organ and church music. To date, the committee has awarded over $30,000 to nearly thirty-five students.

Dr. Marilyn Mason is university organist and chair of the Organ Department at the University of Michigan. Her extensive career as performer, lecturer, adjudicator, and teacher has taken her throughout the western world, at one point performing more than thirty recitals per year. She was the first American woman organist to perform in Westminster Abby, the first woman organist to play in Latin America, and the first American organist to perform in Egypt. During one sabbatical leave, Mason’s performing career took her to five continents.

In her role as university organist, she has performed at honors convocations, university presidential inaugurations, and at memorials for heads of state. In 1987, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Nebraska. In 1988, the New York Chapter of the American Guild of Organists named her Performer of the Year. On the occasion of the 2009 Gala, sponsored by the national council of the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Mason was honored as the seventh in a series of organ teachers/performers who have reached the highest level of success in their profession. Colleagues and alumni throughout the country celebrated this high honor with a concert and reception on the U-M campus. She is currently the longest-tenured teaching faculty member at the University of Michigan.

Marilyn Mason

Mason’s gifts as a teacher were recognized in the fall of 2007 when the forty-seventh Conference on Organ Music, which she founded, was dedicated to her in celebration of her sixtieth year of teaching. Former students came to Ann Arbor to pay tribute and to attest to the many ways in which she has shaped their lives and promoted the study of organ.

Along with her performing and teaching career, which continues unabated, she has served as adjudicator at almost every major organ competition in the world. Her dedication to new compositions for the organ is evidenced by the seventy-five organ works that, to date, she has commissioned and premiered. Currently, four volumes of her commissioned works have been released by MorningStar Music, Inc. Her discography, on Columbia and Musical Heritage Society labels, includes the music of Bach, Handel, and contemporary composers. She is now recording the complete organ works of Pachelbel for the Musical Heritage Society.

Her ever-popular historic tours to Europe to see, study, and hear famous organs have been an important part of her career, with Historic Tour 57 having been completed in 2010.

Dr. Mason's appearance in Indiana is made possible by the generous support of Diane Duntley, the Rev. E. Vincent Stratton, Kay and David Smith, Nancy Newkerk, Mark King, and Charles and Donna Cashdollar.

For more information on the recitals, please contact Jeff Wacker at (724) 465-5119 (, or Dr. Christine Clewell at (724) 463-8046 (

Department of Music