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Arts Playlist: Organist Gail Archer to perform at UD

Stephanie Berger
Gail Archer

A New York City organist is coming to Delaware next weekend to play a concert dedicated to female composers.


Gail Archer is an international concert organist, recording artist and choral conductor and lecturer. 


Archer also serves as director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus.

She started playing the organ at 13 years old, and says she plays the it for “the color,”


“The sonic color and the variety and the creativity of all of that. I’ve always been drawn to that," said Archer. "Yes, you can play the piano and there’s splendid music for the piano; there’s no question about that - I took many years of piano lessons. But then just organ, because of the vast literature - it runs from the renaissance to the present.” 



Archer plays at Bayard Sharp Hall at the University of Delaware on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 3 p.m.


“I was invited by my colleague Jennifer Barker (Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of Delaware School of Music) who’s there teaching and she’s a woman composer also," said Archer. "So she asked me to play entire women’s literature, so that’s what I’m going to do. Two of the pieces on the program are pieces that I commissioned.” 


Archer says one of those pieces is from Joan Tower called Power Dance. The second is from Judith Shatin called Dust and Shadow. 

There are a total of seven pieces on the program that Archer will play.

Tickets for the perfomance are available online and will be available at the door for $15.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.