Organ Festival

In From the Heat – June 17 and July 15, 2023
The return of the ‘In From the Heat’ summer luncheon and recitals will resume on June 17 and July 15, 2023.   These popular offerings to the community include lunch with a recital by local Southwestern Organists.   Tucson Native Paul Oftedahl and Dr. Stephen Keyl will be the guest artists this summer with chefs du jour – Bruce Gillaspie and Todd Eanes. 
Tucson native Paul Oftedahl is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in Chemistry at Iowa State University.  He recently completed double degrees in chemistry and organ performance at Arizona State University, where he studied with Kimberly Marshall.  In May 2021, he was awarded 1st place in the AGO/Quimby West Regional Competition for Young Organists and performed at the 2022 AGO National Convention in Seattle.  He has performed collaboratively with the ASU Chamber Singers in concerts including Bach Cantatas, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and a program of Liszt and Brahms in conjunction with the 2019 American Liszt Society Festival.  In solo performance, he particularly enjoys exploring the French organ tradition, from Nivers to the 20th century.   His interests outside of school include cooking, hiking, and learning languages. 
He remains active in the organ world in central Iowa and is studying with Miriam Zach.
Stephen Keyl studied organ and musicology at Williams College and Duke University. His organ teachers were Robert G. Barrow, Andrew Clarke, and Fenner Douglass. He received a Ph.D. in musicology at Duke with a dissertation on the German Renaissance organist, composer, and writer on the organ Arnolt Schlick. Dr. Keyl has published articles in Imago Musicae and Early Music and has served on the faculty of the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona. He is Director of Music at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Tucson. 
Program will present ‘Hymns, Chants and Chorales for Organ’
The Catalina Organ Festival committee announces the 2023 – 2024 guest artists.

A decade of exceptional organists have been hosted at Catalina UMC sanctuary bringing outstanding music to Southern Arizona.   The 2023-2024 festival will debut French Organist Johann Vexo on Friday, October 20 to initiate the 10th season on the Ralph & Shirley Morgan Memorial Organ.

The Quimby Opus 70  IV Manual 57 rank organ was installed in Spring of 2014. 



Friday, October 20th, 2023 – Johann Vexo
Friday, January 19th, 2024 – Ken Cowan

Purchase Tickets – Ken Cowan



Friday, March 22nd, 2024 – Nathan Laube

Purchase Tickets – Nathan Laube



Friday, November 15th, 2024 – Chelsea Chen

History of the Catalina Organ Festival

This music ministry of Catalina UMC was established with the dedication of the new organ in 2014. 
Each year  outstanding organists from around the U. S., Canada and the world come to Tucson. 

Internationally Renowned Musicians

The Catalina Organ Festival has recently hosted international performing artists Lynne Davis (France & US), Aaron Tan (Canada), Hector Olivera (Argentina & US) in 2022-2023.   Prior year artists include: Isabelle Demers(Canada), David Briggs (UK), Olivier Latry (France), Shin-Young Lee (France) and Renée Anne Louprette. Other luminaries of the organ community to grace the chancel at Catalina include: Kimberly Marshall, Douglas Cleveland, Katelyn Emerson, Crista Miller, David Enlow, John Schwandt, Raúl Prieto Ramírez, Christopher Houlihan, Peter Krasinski, Colin Lynch, Jan Kraybill and Dorothy Papadakos. 

In addition to the major winter concert venues,  the summer ‘In from the Heat’ luncheons and recitals have featured regional artists.  They have included: Ilona Kubiaczyk-Adler, Janet Tolman, Larry Kuipers, Dennis Grannan, Maxine Thévenot, Edmund Connally, Ji Sun Lee, Michael Lich, Joseph Ripka, Jeffrey Campbell, Woosug Kang , Douglas Leightenheimer, David Horr, Emma Whitten, Gordon Stevenson, Margaret Martin Kvamme, Paul Lee, Pamela Decker, Jared Isaac Aragon with Samavaya and David Ramirez on flutes. 

 We would like to also thank the many ‘angels’ who have generously supported the festival over the past decade, the S. Arizona Chapter of American Guild of Organists (SAAGO) and Catalina United Methodist Church.  A special thank you to the Lodge on the Desert who help to host our guests to Tucson!