Division of Organ and Church Music
Professor of Organ & Church Music
Michael Bauer received his early training in organ while studying for four years at the Eastman School of Music in high school. His bachelors and masters degrees were obtained at the University of Alabama, while his doctorate is from the University of Cincinnati's College - Conservatory of Music. On both his masters and doctoral degrees he completed double majors in organ and choral conducting. Following his doctoral work, Bauer spent two years in Geneva Switzerland, where he earned the Certificat de Perfectionnement from the Conservatoire de Musique. He has done additional study in theology while working on a Master of Theological Studies degree at the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University. His major teachers include Sue Seid-Martin, Patricia Fitzsimmons, Warren Hutton, Roberta Gary, and Lionel Rogg - organ; Frederick Prentice and Elmer Thomas - choral conducting; and Larry Palmer and Susan Marchant - harpsichord.
Bauer is a Professor of Organ and Church Music at the University of Kansas. Since arriving at the University of Kansas in 1987 he has developed a new doctoral program in church music. In 1995 Bauer held a Keeler Family Intra-University Professorship at KU, which enabled him to work in the art history and architecture departments. From 1988-1990 he served as the Associate Director of the International Church Music Workshop that met each summer in Geneva, Switzerland and Cambridge, England. Every two years he directs students, alumni, and friends of KU on a European organ study tour. Bauer is a past Dean of the Topeka, Kansas and the Tuscaloosa, Alabama chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He has played or lectured at three regional conventions of the AGO.
Bauer has held eleven different church positions, including serving as Director of Music at the American Church in Geneva, and at Central Congregational Church in Dallas. He currently serves as Organist/Minister of Arts at St. John's Lutheran Church in Bennington, NE, where his wife, Marie is Director of Music at St. Cecilia Cathedral. In 2001, along with colleagues from Kansas and Missouri, he founded IMAGO DEI: Friends of Christianity and the Arts, a regional, ecumenical, Christian arts organization serving the Great Plains states.
For twelve years, Bauer performed regularly on harpsichord as a member of the Oread Baroque Ensemble, with whom he released a CD of French music entitled La Magnifique. With his wife, Marie, he released a CD of the organ works of Petr Eben on the Calcante label. They have also served together as contributing authors for the book Leading the Congregation's Song, published by Augsburg. In addition, Bauer has written a chapter for the book A Tribute to Petr Eben published by the British Dvorak Society. He has published in a number of journals, including CrossAccent, L'Orgue, and Reformed Worship. He is in demand as an organ recitalist, having played extensively in Switzerland, Poland, and America, and he lectures widely on topics concerning the relationship between religion and the arts.