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History

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History

The Organ Department at the University of Oklahoma was one of the most highly regarded organ programs in the United States during the nearly four-decade tenure of Mildred Andrews Boggess (1941-1976). Professor Andrews produced more Fulbright Scholars among her organ students (17 in total) and national organ competition winners (20 in total) than any other professor in American history. Many of her students, including Dorothy Young Riess, Clyde Holloway, Diane Bish, Delbert Disselhorst, Stephen Roberts, and Donald Dumler, went on to become significant leaders in the organ profession, holding positions of note as performers, church musicians, and pedagogues at numerous institutions.

Gothic Hall
Mildred Andrews Boggess with Students

A generous bequest from her estate allowed for the construction of the "Mildred Andrews Boggess Memorial Organ" (C.B. Fisk, Opus 111, 1999) in Kerr Gothic Hall of Catlett Music Center. With all the grandeur of a cathedral space and five seconds of reverberation, the hall is perfectly suited for this exemplary teaching and performing instrument that memorializes a legendary organist. Historical documents from her life are on perpetual display in the organ suite, including several plaques and certificates honoring her achievements as well as photographs and memorabilia.

“Teaching is more than a matter of technique. It is an art. Organ teachers are the guardians of a living tradition. A distinguished teacher should pass his art on to another generation with the tradition enriched and still-growing.” -Mildred Andrew Boggess