Isabelle Demers is Organ Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University in Texas, where she teaches organ and courses in the organ curriculum. A native of Québec, she is rapidly becoming recognized as one of North America’s most virtuosic organists. Her concert at the 2010 national convention of the American Guild of Organists, in Washington, D.C., was received with great acclaim not only by critics, who deemed it “one of the most outstanding events of the convention." (The American Organist), but also by the standing-room-only audience, which called her back five times. A review of her concert for the joint ISO-AIO convention in 2010 said that “she enchanted the entire audience with her virtuoso performance," leaving the entire congress in an atmosphere of "Demers fever."
Isabelle Demers was a featured performer at the 2008 national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Minneapolis, and her performance was later broadcast to a national radio audience. She was a featured artist at the 2009 national convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Toronto, at the 2010 national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Washington, DC, and at the 2010 joint convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders and International Society of Organbuilders in Montréal. She has been a prize-winner and finalist in several international performance competitions and performs widely in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
2015 Breakout Sessions
A pianist's guide to the organ
An introduction to the organ, geared towards pianists and other keyboardists.
Improvisation is one of the most valuable liturgical skills, yet it is all too easy to suffer from white-page syndrome when facing a liturgical transition. This session will focus on simple improvisational techniques and strategies which can be used easily by all, even beginner organists.
The 10000-hours rule: Practice strategies for church musicians
Church musicians are called upon to be among the most versatile of musicians. However, their many duties limit the time at their disposal for practice. This workshop will introduce efficient practice techniques, so that we can make the most of our limited practice time.
Participants are invited to bring works from all eras and genres, including arrangements.
Transcriptions: arranging piano and orchestral works for worship
Organists are often asked to perform works originally written for piano or orchestra. This workshop will provide some techniques and strategies to successfully handle the passage from one medium to another.
A survey of organ repertoire suitable for worship, including lesser-known composers.
Participants are invited to bring works from all eras and genres, including arrangements. Given the baroque aesthetics of the organ in the studio, pre-romantic works are strongly encouraged.
Accompanying choirs is a crucial component of most church positions, one that requires a very high skill level. This workshop will provide some ideas to facilitate collaboration with vocal ensembles.