Private instruction by a well-qualified organ teacher is a time-honored approach that has many benefits. The individual accountability provides motivation to practice regularly. The instructor can focus on the particular needs of the student. Also, the interactions and friendships between teacher and student can enrich the lives of both. Please contact the following teachers directly to inquire about their services.
Dr. James Welch
, 650 400-3278
James Welch is available as an organ instructor and coach. He studied at BYU with Parley Belnap and received his doctorate in organ from Stanford University. He has taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at Santa Clara University. He has given concerts around the world and has numerous recordings to his credit. See www.welchorganist.com. He is happy to work with organ students of all levels.
Neil Harmon earned a Bachelor of Music degree from BYU and Master of Music & Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Harmon teaches organ at BYU and enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. He has served as a Guest Organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle since 1991. His compositions and arrangements are widely published, and are performed around the country.
Lori Serr is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in both piano and organ and has taught both instruments for several years. She has also achieved the Colleague Certification through the American Guild of Organists (CAGO) and a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Brigham Young University where she studied with Dr. Parley Belnap.
She frequently teaches organ training workshops for local units of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well teaching private piano and organ lessons at her home in Mapleton, Utah.
An active member of the UMTA, Lori serves on the state board as the State Certification Chairman and as the certification chairman for the Nebo Chapter where she teaches and mentors study groups for teachers working towards certification. She has been involved with the UVAGO for many years as is currently serving as Dean of the chapter.
BMus (BYU) and MMus (Eastman School of Music) degrees in organ performance. Organist at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salt Lake City, since 1987. Pipe organ builder/designer with M. L. Bigelow & Co., Inc., American Fork, since 1985. Composer and publisher of LDS Hymn Voluntaries. Presenter at BYU Organ Workshops. Lifelong familiarity with LDS organ playing. “I love to help my students with creative and effective hymn playing and making all kinds of organ music come to life.”
Nora Hess has studied both piano and organ at BYU. She is a successful piano teacher of 40 years and has taught organ since 2013 to groups and private students. All ages and levels are welcome to contact her.
She began playing the organ in 1994 when she took a semester of Organ Essentials at BYU; attained Colleague certification (CAGO) through the American Guild of Organists; has played for BYU Women’s Conferences; is actively serving on the board in the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (UVAGO); has been a stake and ward music chairman as well as ward organist in many different wards and stakes; served as temple organist in the Mount Timpanogos Temple; is organist at Orem Community Church, United Church of Christ, and maintains a growing teaching studio.
BM and MM in Organ Performance from Brigham Young University. Studied with Don Cook, Douglas Bush, Carol Miles, and Brian Mathias. Adjunct organ faculty at BYU. Served two terms as dean of the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and as a member of the Regional Nominating Committee.
Earned the Colleague Certification (CAGO) with the AGO. Presenter at numerous workshops, including the annual BYU Organ Workshop. Member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), as well as a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).
Wide variety of interest in various styles of organ music. Lifelong experience with LDS organ playing. Organist for the Seventh Day Adventist Church and past organist for St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Provo, Utah. Performed with the BYU Symphony Orchestra and various choirs at BYU, performed numerous recitals, organist for BYU devotionals, and performed a concert for the West Region American Guild of Organists Convention.
Teaches group classes and private lessons to children, youth, and adults. Teaches in Utah and Salt Lake counties. She delights in working with individuals and helping them achieve their goals.
Organ teacher; Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Music degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara; colleague of the American Guild of Organists; former dean of the Utah Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists; instructor at the annual BYU Workshop on Church Music; professional accompanist for choral groups, instrumentalists, and vocal students; organist at the Provo Temple. Lella is a resident of Utah County and is accepting organ students from Orem to Spanish Fork, Utah. For more information, please e-mail Lella at: .
Ruth Eldredge Thomas (BM Organ Performance, BYU: MM Organ Performance, BYU, Master of Studies, Musicology, University of Oxford, UK)
Ruth is an active organist, historian, and teacher. She studied with Dr. Douglas Bush and Dr. Don Cook at BYU, and with Nicolas Kynaston and Edward Higginbottom at Oxford University, where she was assistant organist to the New College Choir. Previous to taking her degree, she was a visiting student at King’s College, Cambridge University, where she studied organ with Daniel Hyde, currently the director of Music at King’s College.
She has held weekly organ positions for over twelve years, including director of music for the Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy, St Mary’s Episcopal in Provo, Utah, and for the Baltimore Catholic Archdiocese, in addition to multiple congregations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has accompanied for the BYU Philharmonic, BYU Singers, Goucher College Choral Department (Baltimore, MD), and many professional and community-based choirs. She is general editor of the Complete Works of Hubert Parry, which will be published by Wayne Leupold Press in 2018, and contributed to the New LDS Organist podcast.
Ruth has taught over 300 organ and piano students in the past 20 years, ranging in age from eight to eighty, and from beginners to advanced and pre-professional levels. She has been an adjudicator for local and regional and piano competitions. She teaches primarily from her home studio in Provo, where students benefit from the use of a pipe organ and concert grand piano, though she makes a practice of regularly visiting students on their “home” instruments, as well.