Margaret Harper

Margaret Harper is a Dallas, TX-based organist and harpsichordist, whose career combines performing, teaching, work in sacred music, and a passion for new music.

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Biography

Organist Margaret Harper has performed across the U.S., as well as in central Europe and southeast Asia. Croatian newspaper Glas Slavonije writes, “The freezing cold of a January evening dominated the cathedral in Djakovo, but it could not diminish the richness and warmth of sound brought out of the cathedral organ by Margaret Harper.”

Margaret has performed in noted venues around the U.S., including Methuen Memorial Music Hall (MA), St. Thomas Church (NYC), St. Paul’s Cathedral (Pittsburgh), and Harvard University, as well as for national conferences of the Organ Historical Society and the Association of Anglican Musicians. She has been hailed by the Diapason magazine for her “elegant performance” and by the Boston Musical Intelligencer for “outstandingly lively, punchy” playing.

In addition to an active schedule of concertizing, Margaret serves as the Associate Director of Music and Organist at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX, one of the largest Episcopal churches in the U.S. At Saint Michael, Margaret helps to run a diverse music program, including overseeing a thriving chorister program, teaching music history courses for adults, and serving as one of three full-time organists on staff.

Before coming to Saint Michael, Margaret served as the Director of Music and Liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH, the largest Episcopal church in that state. In her time at St. John’s, Margaret oversaw a dramatic expansion of all aspects of the church’s music program. Under her direction, the church developed The Choir School at St. John’s, an after-school RSCM-based music program aimed at low-income youth. In its initial years, the Choir School received several significant accolades, including the opportunity to premiere a newly commissioned work at the critically acclaimed Newburyport Chamber Music Festival.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, Margaret is Visiting Instructor of Organ at Baylor University's School of Music, where she heads the organ studio and teaches organ major undergraduate and graduate students.  She is the founding Co-Director of the RSCM-America’s Dallas Boys Course, which launched its inaugural season in the summer of 2022. In addition, she has also served as Artist Faculty in Organ at the University of Southern Maine, on the faculty and board of the Young Organist Collaborative, and as a secondary instructor of organ at the Eastman School of Music. She has presented academic papers at national and regional conferences of organizations including the American Bach Society and the American Guild of Organists.

Margaret holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Her primary teachers include William Porter, David Higgs, Michel Bouvard, Edoardo Bellotti, and Edward Zimmerman. She is active in the Association of Anglican Musicians and currently serves as Co-Chair for that organization’s 2023 national conference. She has also served in many leadership roles for the American Guild of Organists, and currently serves on the Dallas chapter's board of directors.

Margaret is on the roster of Concert Artist Cooperative.
www.concertartistcooperative.com

Press Quotes

“The freezing cold of a January evening dominated the cathedral in Djakovo, but it could not diminish the richness and warmth of sound brought out of the cathedral organ by Margaret Harper.”

-Glas Slavonije

"The quality of the playing was impeccable... highlights included Harper's elegant performance of 'Vater unser im Himmelreich' (BWV 682) from the Clavierübung of Johann Sebastian Bach, surely one of the hardest pieces in the repertoire."

-The Diapason