Jared Ostermann


  • Moving Past the Accompaniment Book: Hymn Playing from the Melody Line Alone
    1217 6th Ave
    July 6 @ 10:00 am
    Church organists, particularly in the United States, are often in the habit of playing exclusively from 4-voice hymn scores. However, there are many benefits to taking an extra step in personal practice and study, and learning to play from the melody line alone. With practice, it is possible for organists of any skill level to not only harmonize the tunes themselves, but to harmonize with proper SATB voice-leading. This workshop will explore some of the many possibilities that open up for the organist who commits to this hymn-playing approach, from voicing the melody as a soprano, tenor, or bass solo, to playing descants, to transposing hymns, to re-harmonization, to simplifying service music folders, to improvising simple contrapuntal introductions and interludes. In addition to looking down the road at eventual opportunities, this workshop will give practical, step-by-step instructions on how to begin practicing this type of hymn-playing. 


Jared Ostermann is the Director of Music at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Sioux Falls, SD; a landmark church designed by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray, completed in 1919, and fully restored in 2009-2011. The Cathedral will be further enhanced in 2025 with the installation of a new 52-stop mechanical-action organ from Juget-Sinclair Organ builders. As music director, Jared oversees all liturgical music and conducts three adult choirs, as well as serving as Artistic Director of the Cathedral Sacred Arts Series. In addition to his work at the Cathedral Jared teaches organ at the University of South Dakota. 

Jared holds degrees from the University of Kansas (B.M., D.M.A.) and the University of Notre Dame (M.S.M.). His teachers include Michael Bauer, Craig Cramer, and James Higdon. He also studied for one year with Peter Planyavsky at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. 

As a concert organist Jared has been awarded prizes at numerous prestigious competitions, including the Canadian International Organ Competition in Montreal, Quebec, the Miami International Organ Competition, the John R. Rodland Scholarship Competition, the San Marino Organ Competition, and the Augustana/Reuter National Undergraduate Competition. He was also a semi-finalist in the Dublin International Organ Competition. Current projects include performing the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Areas of teaching and research interest include organ performance and pedagogy, service playing and improvisation, organ building and design, and Roman Catholic ritual and musical history.