St. Vincent Organ

This program is not currently accepting students. 

-This program is not yet approved for international students-

Organ studies at CUA have produced musicians working in some of the most important churches in the country. Building upon these successes, the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art is launching a new degree program, the Master of Music in Organ Performance.

This program will build on a solid undergraduate foundation in organ technique by cultivating artistic judgment and performance acumen at the very highest level. Studies in organ repertoire, improvisation, and service-playing along with historical and theoretical studies form the academic basis supporting the artistic development needed for a career on the bench as recitalists and church musicians. In addition to the required recital preparation, the program offers several short format opportunities for performance throughout the academic year, often taking advantage of the extraordinary instruments that Washington, D.C. is so fortunate to host.

It is worth noting that the DMV region is rich with opportunities for employment for competent organists, and our students are often called upon to serve as organists and music directors in the churches of our community.

Because of the nature of the sacred music field, all organists receive an integrated instructional component in choral conducting, and have the extraordinary opportunity to conduct our Repertory Chorus.

Entrance Requirements

 A formal application to the M.M. in Sacred Music will include the following:

  1. Letter of Application
  2. Current Curriculum Vitae
  3. Personal Statement relating candidate's professional goals to the practice of Sacred Music (500-1000 words)
  4. Audition: either recorded or in-person. Auditions are scheduled through the Departments of Music application process on Acceptd.
  5. For both recorded and in-person auditions, prospective students auditioning for the M.M. in Organ Performance should prepare the following:
    • a prelude and fugue by J.S. Bach
    • a 19th-century work for organ
    • a 20th- or 21st-century composition for organ
  6. For both recorded and in-person auditions, demonstration of conducting skills is required. For both online and in-person auditions, please provide a video of the applicant conducting one work from the traditional sacred choral repertoire from the 15th-century to the present day, e.g., Josquin, Palestrina, Tallis, Mozart, Bruckner, Durufle. If the applicant does not have access to an actual performing ensemble, he or she may "conduct" a pre-recorded example.

All students entering the Master of Music degree program in Sacred Music must take the Music Theory Placement Examination and the Music History Placement Examination. These placement exams are administered by the Department of Music Theory, History, and Composition faculty, and are always offered in-person on the Saturday before a given term begins.

Musical Prerequisites

The undergraduate music degree (typically the Bachelor of Music degree) is a prerequisite except in extraordinary circumstances. Graduate entrance examinations will be administered.


Graduation Requirements

  1. A one-hour public recital (MUS 697A w/ classes; MUS 697B w/out classes) in the area of concentration is required
  2. The student may schedule comprehensive examinations (MUS 698A w/ classes; MUS 698B w/out classes) following the advsor's written approval. Responses to the questions are prepared beforehand, and the candidate must pass a two-hour oral examination regarding the content of the questions and his or her responses. Candidates receive the questions one week prior to the scheduled oral exam.

Minor in Latin American Music

Requirements listed above apply, with the following exceptions:

  1. A minimum of 44 hours of graduate work is required.
  2. Six semester hours of Latin American music electives are required.A significant portion of the student's performance repertoire for the final recital must consist of music by Iberian or Latin American composers. For the composer, a significant portion of compositions must be works for Hispanic/Latin American liturgical needs.