John D. Schwandt


John D. Schwandt is Associate Professor of Organ and Director for the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma (OU).  He is a nationally acclaimed performer and is in demand as a clinician, recitalist, leader of hymn festivals, silent film accompanist, and as an organ consultant.  Along with regular appearances across the United States, he can also be heard in collaboration with his brother Daniel, Cantor to the Seminary Community at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park.   John Schwandt has been a featured performer for the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and the Organ Historical Society (OHS).  Select performances have been featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams broadcasts. 


Prior to his appointment at OU, Dr. Schwandt was Assistant Professor of Music and curator of organs at Indiana University.  He 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 George Damp at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music.  His undergraduate studies were at St. Olaf College under the tutelage of John Ferguson.  His graduate degrees, as well as the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, were earned at Indiana University, having studied organ with Larry Smith.  Among the numerous notable organ competitions in which he as participated and won, he 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.


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