John Ferguson retired June 2012 after serving 29 years as Elliot and Klara Stockdal Johnson Professor of Organ and Church Music and Cantor to the Student Congregation at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. His responsibilities included directing the church music-organ program, teaching organ and conducting the St. Olaf Cantorei. During his tenure at St. Olaf he oversaw three major capital projects: the renovation of space adjacent to the music building into an organ recital hall housing a new Dobson organ(3/42); the complete renovation, acoustical upgrade and installation of a new Holtkamp organ (3/89) for Boe Memorial Chapel; and a new suite of rooms housing the school’s seven practice organs. During his tenure the organ department at the college defied national trends by growing in enrollment and in quality.
In retirement he continues his travels to design and lead hymn festivals for which he is internationally known as well as composing and arranging, adding to the many publications already in print. Drawing upon his 59 years experience as a church musician, especially his work at the Kent, Ohio United Church of Christ (15 years while on the faculty of Kent State University) and Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota (5 years full time), he is at work on his fourth book exploring his philosophy of the vocation of the church musician.