Fritts Organ

Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra

Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra

Dr. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra resuscitates historic improvisation pedagogy in her acclaimed publications, Bach and the Art of Improvisation (professional-level), Improvisation Endeavors (entry-level), and Muse (a capella works for children), published by CHI Press. Ruiter-Feenstra performs solo recitals, hymn festivals, and early music concerts throughout North America and Europe. She composes liturgical organ and choral works; conducts choral and chamber music ensembles; leads choral, historic keyboard, and sacred music workshops; and presents and teaches improvisation courses on historical instruments nationally and internationally, including at the Westfield Center for Keyboard Studies, the Smarano (Italy) International Organ and Improvisation Academy, and the Göteborg (Sweden) International Organ Academy. She was a featured artist and clinician at the 2014 National Conference of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, and Director of the AGO 2014 Pipe Organ Encounters Advanced for high school students.

From 1989–96, Ruiter-Feenstra served as Professor of Music at Bethany College, then Professor of Music, University Organist, and Director of Collegium Musicum at Eastern Michigan University from 1996–2008. During 1996–2002, Ruiter-Feenstra was engaged as Senior Researcher, pedagogue, and performer of historic improvisation at the international Göteborg (Sweden) Organ Art Center (GOArt). Her CDs include: Tunder Organ Works, and Bach, the Liturgical Year, and Improvisation (; and on the harpsichord: Froberger on the 1658 De Zentis, and Bach’s Teacher Böhm and Improvisation ( Ruiter-Feenstra is a Fleur De Son Classics recording artist.

Ruiter-Feenstra received the DMA and MFA degrees in Organ Performance & Pedagogy, with emphases in Conducting, Sacred Music, and Music Theory from the University of Iowa. Her undergraduate degree in Organ Performance and Choral Music Education is from the Dutch immigrant school, Dordt College. Her postdoctoral work focused on historic keyboard instruments in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy. Ruiter-Feenstra’s mentors include Delbert Disselhorst, Delores Bruch, Harald Vogel, William Porter, Edoardo Bellotti, historic instruments and builders, and decades of colleagues, collaborators, and students.