Organ Department


Join the Alumni Association!

Go to the Jacobs School Alumni site
Indiana Organists United

Established in 2005, Indiana Organists United (or "IOU") was established through the auspices of the Indiana University Alumni Association for the benefit of graduates and students from the organ department.  Through the energy and vision of David K. Lamb (BM/BME '83, MS '85, SME '94, DM '00), IOU has held biennial reunions since 2006 to allow alumni to reconnect with each other and the Bloomington campus.  IOU also established the Oswald Gleason Ragatz Distinguished Alumni Award, bestowed upon two oustanding alumni at each biennial reunion. For more information about IOU and upcoming activities, please click here.

Greetings from the President of IOU

Dear Organ Department Alumni and Friends,

I greet you on behalf of the IOU Board!  We are delighted and honored to be of service to you. IOU strengthens our bonds of friendship and champions the ongoing success of the vibrant JSOM Organ Department.We stand on a tradition of notable teachers and distinguished alumni.  Your participation in IOU will make a great organization even better.Here are a few ways you can connect with IOU:

  • Join the IU Organ Alumni Facebook page
  • Invite other alumni to our Facebook page
  • Share photos, anecdotal stories, and reminiscences on Facebook or with me for inclusion in future newsletters
  • Keep your email address current with the IU Foundation
  • Let me know of alumni from other IU schools and organ enthusiasts who would like to be connected with us
  • Email IOU and reunion ideas to me
  • Don’t be shy about letting us and IUAA know of your professional accomplishments
  • Attend the alumni reception at the Kansas City AGO convention on Tuesday, July 3, 10:00pm, at the Sheraton Crown Center Hotel

Warmest wishes,

Wayne Peterson (MM, 1987)

Current IOU Officers

President: Wayne Peterson (MM‘87)
Vice-President: Vicki Shaeffer (DM’92)
Secretary: A. Lee Barlow (MM’88)
Past President: Edie Johnson (MM ’98, DM ’03)
Honorary Founding President: David K. Lamb (BME’83, BM’83, MS’85, SME’94, DM’00)
Honorary Lifetime Member: Thomas F. Wood (BM’66, MM’68)


2019-2021 Board of Directors: Randy Elkins (BM '86, MM '88), Carol Nave (DM '13), John Simpson (MM ''69, DM '93)
2018-2020 Board of Directors: Vincent Carr (BA’04, BM’04), Thomas A. Nichols (BME’92), Kraig Windschitl (MM’02)
2017-2019 Board of Directors: Irene Ator (BME’66), Yun Kim (MM’96, DM05), Paul Monachino (MM’87)

Past winners include:

2006: William F. Entriken (BM '71) and Herndon Spillman (MM '68, DM '77)
2008: Peter Richard Conte (Performer's Certificate '84) and Jesse Eschbach (BM '73, MM '75)
2010: George Ritchie (DM '74) and David Schrader (MM '76, DM '87); posthumous award to Michael Farris (MM '85)
2012: William H. Bates (MM '68, DM '78) and Janette Fishell (BM '81, MM '82)
2015: Carla Edwards, Yun Kim and Yoon-Mi Lim, James Mellichamp

2017: Faythe Freese

Faith Frees

Carla Edwards, Yun Kim and Yoon-Mi Lim, and James Mellichamp

Organ Professors at IU

The first degree in organ performance was awarded in 1943 to Mary L. Christena (who later became Mary Ragatz, wife of Oswald G. Ragatz, professor of organ from 1942-1983).  Since that time, more than 400 students have studied organ in the Jacobs School of Music at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The legacy of organ graduates at Indiana has come full circle, with "one of our own," Janette Fishell (BM '81, MM '82) serving as department chairperson.  Dr. Fishell follows in the footsteps of distinguished pedagogues who have taught in the department:

George Wilson (19??-1975; Professor Emeritus, 1975)

Oswald G. Ragatz (1942-1983; Professor Emeritus, 1983)

Robert Rayfield (1963-1990; Professor Emeritus, 1990)

Clyde Holloway (1965-1977)

Wilma Jensen (1977-1981)

Larry Smith (1981-2008; Professor Emeritus, 2008)

Marilyn Keiser (1983-2008; Chancellor's Professor Emerita, 2008)

Christopher Young (1991- )

John Schwandt (2002-2006)

Todd Wilson (2008-2009)

Janette Fishell (2008- )

Jeffrey Smith (2009-2011)

Bruce Neswick (2011-2015)

Robert Nicholls (2015-2017)

Michael Boney (2016-2017)

Vincent Carr (2017- )