Organ Study at PLU

Organ study is alive and well at PLU. Besides their weekly organ lessons, organ students have a weekly organ seminar, plenty of performance opportunities both as soloist as well as accompanist, and usually can easily find a church position in the area if they so desire. Most lessons are taught on the Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ, a wonderful instrument well known to the organ world, nationally and internationally acclaimed. It is a tracker instrument in a beautiful hall with a superb acoustics. The key action is very sensitive and responsive, making the instrument the best teacher one can wish for. Another organ of one of the six organs owned by PLU and available to the students, is a recently restored Kilgen organ from 1890, located in Trinity Lutheran Church, just across the street from the PLU campus.

Dr. Paul Tegels playing the organ
Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ
Student rehearsal on the organ for the Christmas concert

Organ students study with Michael Plagerman, University Organist. Plagerman holds a B.M. from Pacific Lutheran University (summa cum laude), a Master of Sacred Music in organ from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Fine Arts from Cornell. As an active church musician he is the Director of Sacred Music at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Seattle, where he directs two volunteer and one professional choral ensembles in addition to administrating the church’s concert series.

Other learning possibilities include the J-Term trip to the Netherlands and Germany, as well as free attendance to the organ concert series that are held every academic year.

PLU is located just minutes from Tacoma’s bustling arts scene, about 40 minutes from downtown Seattle, and about one hour from Mount Rainier National Park. It is a school of about 3,100 students, of whom nearly 600 participate in some way in music programs and ensembles. We offer many experiences that are open to all majors: large ensembles such as band, choir, jazz and orchestra, plus smaller ensembles for guitar, percussion, piano and chamber groups. For those who want to focus their studies in music, we offer degrees in performance, education, composition and the liberal arts. Our graduates have gone on to become highly successful music educators, opera singers, singer-songwriters, orchestra and chamber musicians, conductors, and even actors and reality television hosts. No matter what your field of study, there’s a place for you in our music community. Please check out the many avenues of music study available to you at PLU by visiting the main music page.

We offer music scholarships to prospective majors and non-majors alike, that are stacked on top of other merit awards. Scholarship auditions are held in February. These awards are renewable for up to three additional years provided all scholarship requirements are met.

With so many opportunities for learning and performing, PLU provides an excellent environment for the best in Undergraduate Organ studies.