Performing Artists

The Smith Organ inaugural concert was presented on September 27, 2009, by Dr. Joby Bell, organ professor at the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. The inaugural program included Psalm Prelude No. 6 by Herbert Howells, Sketches for Pedal-Piano, Op. 58, by Robert Schumann, Toccata by ThĂ©odore Dubois, Symphony No. 6, II and III, by Widor, Free Fantasia on "O Zion Haste" and "How Firm a Foundation" by William Bolcom, and Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532, by Bach.  Dr. Bell received the Audience Choice Award and Second Prize in the 2000 American Guild of Organists' National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. He maintains an active schedule of solo performances and various collaborative projects. He has played numerous times at the invitation of the Victoria Bach Festival, Houston Masterworks Chorus, and individual chapters of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). He has performed at AGO conventions in Atlanta (National Pedagogy Conference, 1992), Seattle (National Competition, 2000) and Houston (Region VII, 2001). Please visit Dr. Joby Bell's website at

HBU University professor Dr. Rhonda Furr offered the Opening Faculty Recital November 17, 2009, which included Buxtehude's Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne, BuxWV 137, Bach's "ST. ANNE" Fugue in Bb Major, BWV 552,  and the Final of Symphony No. 1, Op. 14, by Vierne.  Dr. Furr also performed the American Premier of Respighi's Suite in G Major for Organ and Strings with the Houston Civic Symphony on January 22, 2010. 

The First Anniversary Concert was presented by Dr. Crista Miller, Associate Director of Music and Cathedral Organist, Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, on September 24, 2010.  The recital included Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532, DuruflĂ©'s Fugue sur le nom d'Alain, Op. 7 and Carillon-Sortie by Henri Mulet.

Monthly afternoon recitals sponsored by the School of Music have included numerous outstanding area organists:

2010-2011 Smith Organ Recital Series:
  • Dr. Crista Miller, Associate Director of Music and Cathedral Organist, Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart,
  • Dr. David Henning, Director of Music and Parish Organist, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston
  • Mr. Daryl Robinson, Organist/Music Associate, South Main Baptist Church, Houston
  • Mr. Rob Landes, Organist/Artist-in-Residence, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Houston
  • Dr. Rhonda Furr. Professor of Music, HBU; Organist, First Presbyterian Church, Houston
  • Mr. John Meier, Assistant Director of Music, The Church of St. John the Divine, Houston
  • Ms. Carol Nave, HBU Organ Performance Alumni, '98; IU Doctoral Candidate, Organ Performance
  • Mr. Clayton Roberts, Organist, Zion Lutheran Church, Houston
2011-2012 Smith Organ Recital Series:
  • Alexander Rusakov, Ph.D. candidate, physics, Rice University; doctoral candidate, physics/math, Yaroslavl State University, Russia. Alex avocation is organ performance.
  • Lois Gurney, Organist and Director of Children’s Choirs, New Hope Lutheran Church, Missouri City
  • Rhonda Furr,  Professor of Music, HBU; Organist, First Presbyterian Church, Houston
  • Ann Frohbieter, Organist, Cypress Creek Christian Church; Organist/Choirmaster, Congregation Emanu El
  • Brian Granquist, Organist, First United Methodist Church, Sugar Land; Temple Beth Yeshurun
  • Kathryn Sparks White, Coordinating Music Director/Organist, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
2012-2013 Smith Organ Recital Series:
  • Dr. Joyce Jones, Joyce Oliver Bowden Professor of Music, Baylor University
  • Sigurd Ogaard, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Houston
  • Rhonda Furr,  Professor of Music, HBU; Organist, First Presbyterian Church, Houston
  • Jackson Hearn, Choirmaster/Organist, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Kingwood
  • Stephen Distad, Organist, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, Houston
  • Joseph Painter, Organist/Choirmaster, Episcopal Church
2013-2014 Smith Organ Recital Series:
  • Joby Bell, Associate Professor of Organ; Director of the Sacred Music Program, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
  • Benjamin Kolodziej, Chapel Organist, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
  • Rhonda Furr, Professor of Music, HBU; Organist, First Presbyterian Church, Houston
  • Jim Connors, Organist, Christ Church United Methodist, The Woodlands
  • Steven Newberry, Director of Music Ministries, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, Houston
  • Steve Godowns, Organist/Choirmaster, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Fort Bend

2014-2015 Smith Organ Recital Series:
  • Yoon-Mi Lim, Associate Professor of Organ, Albert L. Travis Chair of Organ, and Chair of the Organ Department, Southwestern Theological Seminary
  • Patrick Parker, Associate Organist, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church; Doctoral candidate, University of Houston
  • Rhonda Furr, Professor of Organ and Musicology, HBU; Organist at First Presbyterian Church, Houston
  • Paul Butt, Organist/Choirmaster at St. Timothy's Episcopal, Lake Jackson and accompanist for the United Nations Association International Choir
  • Joanna Whitsett, Organist, Moody Methodist Church, Galveston
  • Dan Fenn, Director of Music, Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston