Carrie Gates | April 27, 2020
Acclaimed organist Kola Owolabi will join the faculty of the Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame this fall as professor of music and head of the Graduate Organ Studio.
Owolabi — whose expertise includes a broad range of organ repertoire, composition, choral conducting, church music and improvisation — will replace Craig Cramer, who is retiring at the end of the academic year.
“Kola Owolabi is a consummate virtuoso organist, scholar and pedagogue with a deep commitment to the performance of new music and the music of African American composers,” said Mark Doerries, acting director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame. “He is well poised to continue the historical organ legacy of Craig Cramer, who has been influential in the organ landscape of Notre Dame for 39 years, while also extending our musical gamut into contemporary and diverse music and composers.”
Owolabi comes to Notre Dame from the University of Michigan, where he has taught courses in organ performance, improvisation and sacred music since 2014.
Before that, he taught at Syracuse University — where Owolabi got to know Cramer after inviting him to participate in a series of organ recitals. Owolabi also performed at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in 2016 and offered a masterclass for Notre Dame organ students.
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