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Dr. John Schwandt

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John Schwandt

Dr. John Schwandt

Professor of Music (Organ)

Office: Catlett Music Center 227
Phone: (405) 325-5572

Dr. John D. Schwandt is Professor of Organ and Director for the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma. He is a nationally acclaimed performer and is in demand as a clinician, recitalist, leader of hymn festivals, silent film accompanist, adjudicator, and as an organ consultant. Dr. Schwandt has been a featured performer for conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. Select performances have also been featured on American Public Media's Pipedreams broadcasts. Equally at home on a classical or theatrical pipe organ, he is known for his award-winning improvisational skills, his musical versatility, and his ability to excite and engage audiences of every kind.

Prior to Dr. Schwandt's appointment to the University of Oklahoma faculty, he was Assistant Professor of Music and curator of organs at Indiana University from 2001 through 2006. John Schwandt has served churches in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana as a parish musician. Currently, he serves as Artist-in-Residence at McFarlin United Methodist Church in Norman. He has recorded for the Calcante and GIA labels, as well as independent producers. Dr. Schwandt is under management with En Chamade Artists.

John Schwandt began his formal organ study with Dr. George Damp at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. His undergraduate studies were at St. Olaf College under the tutelage of Dr. John Ferguson. Graduate degrees, as well as the prestigious Performer's Certificate, were earned at Indiana University, where he was an organ student of Dr. Larry Smith. Dr. Schwandt placed first by a unanimous jury decision in the 1998 National Competition in Organ Improvisation held in Denver, Colorado in conjunction with the American Guild of Organists' National Convention. At the Institute, Dr. Schwandt teaches applied organ lessons, performs solo and collaborative faculty recitals, and coordinates organ concerts and master classes. He also acts as primary liaison between the Institute and University of Oklahoma administration, coordinates Institute funding and development, and consults on Institute projects. He is also one of those rare people who are as comfortable repairing, tuning, and voicing pipe organs as they are playing them. Even amid a hectic schedule, one can sometimes find Dr. Schwandt tuning organs in Norman as well as in the shop working alongside the staff and students.

John Schwandt resides in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife, Kirstin, a board certified Genetic Counselor.

  • DM - Indiana University
  • MM - Indiana University
  • BM - St. Olaf College