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Organist Dr. Larry Palmer Presents His 41st Faculty Recital on Monday, Aug. 30

Member of the Meadows music faculty since 1970, Dr. Palmer continues his tradition of providing an annual organ and harpsichord concert for SMU and the community

His consistency in giving a yearly recital is just one example of Dr. Palmer’s commitment to serving the students of SMU.

Dr. Palmer has worked under every Meadows dean since the founding of the School of the Arts in 1964. He currently teaches private organ and harpsichord lessons for graduate students. He also leads courses related to organ and harpsichord, including “Church Service Playing and Improvisation,” “Organ History and Literature” and “Intro to Organ” for the Master of Sacred Music choral track students. In recent years, he has also taught the “Graduate History Review,” a Bach seminar and “Twentieth Century Early Music Revival.” In addition, he has taught “Renaissance to Romanticism” for 16 years in Dedman College.

“Teaching is my profession, what I do and have done for 47 years,” says Dr. Palmer. His philosophy of teaching is “truly sharing with one’s students—discoveries, ideas and techniques.” In regards to the musician’s balance of performing and teaching, he says, “In music, performing and teaching are totally related. I love performing and have always maintained that aspect of my career, but I have not attempted to make it the primary focus of my life.” Aside from performances of the organ and harpsichord in public recitals, Dr. Palmer held various local organist-choirmaster positions from 1970 to 1993, most notably at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church off Royal Lane.

In addition to teaching and performing, Dr. Palmer served as director of graduate studies for the Division of Music for 30 years and on the Faculty Senate for 12 years. He also has made writing a significant part of his career with three published books, an editorship, articles and reviews. Currently, he is completing a chapter for a book discussing the organ works of Herbert Howells.

As for the concert, Dr. Palmer will play the first half on the grand Fisk organ inside Caruth Auditorium, and the second half on harpsichord. Works on the program are by early 18th-century composers whose music is still relevant, such as Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Louis Marchand (1669-1732), as well as composers contributing new works to the organ and harpsichord repertoire like Gerald Near (b. 1942) and Rudy Davenport (b. 1948).

How much longer does Dr. Palmer intend to work at SMU? “Until it is no longer interesting or fun!”

The recital will be held at 8:00p.m. in the Caruth Auditorium on Monday, August 30. View full event details.

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