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Elisa Williams Bickers performs regularly in recital as a solo organist, harpsichordist, and piano accompanist. She is the Associate Director of Music and Principal Organist at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, where she directs the Alegria Young Adult Choir and the Village Ringers advanced hand bell ensemble. As organist at Village, she oversaw the acquisition and installation of a new mechanical-action pipe organ, built by Richards, Fowkes & Co. of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bickers dedicated this stunning instrument in August of 2017, and its inaugural year included fifteen concerts of solo organists, choirs, instrumental ensembles, and hymn festivals. The instrument has received high acclaim from players and listeners far and wide.

As a solo performer, chamber musician, and choral accompanist, Bickers has performed in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Italy, and Thailand, as well as all over the United States. She feels at home on ancient and modern instruments alike, enjoying repertoire from the entire breadth of the history of the pipe organ. Her doctoral lecture recital focused on the organ works of Olufela Sowande, a delightful Nigerian composer whose works were inspired by African folk song, Anglican traditions, and American jazz.

Bickers is the keyboardist for the Bach Aria Soloists, a Kansas City-based chamber music ensemble devoted to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and those inspired by him. Their programs range far beyond the Baroque, celebrating new compositions, tango, jazz, and art song. The Bach Aria Soloists were featured as Artists in Residence at the Thai International Composition Festival in Bangkok, Thailand in 2016.

A native of Clinton, Maryland, Bickers began her organ studies with the Potomac Organ Institute. She holds degrees in church music and organ performance from Texas Christian University (B.M., M.M.) and the University of Kansas (D.M.A.). Her organ teachers have included Dale Krider, Joseph Butler, and Michael Bauer; she studied harpsichord in summer sessions with Edward Parmentier. She competed in and won prizes in the William Hall Competition, National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), and the International Buxtehude Competition. She was awarded the 2009 Carlin Award for excellence in teaching, the highest honor possible for graduate students at KU. In 2016, she earned the Fellow certificate from the American Guild of Organists, the Guild’s highest certification. She has served on the music faculties of the UMKC Conservatory and Washburn University as instructor of organ and harpsichord.

Bickers served as chair for New Music for the 2018 AGO National Convention, held in Kansas City, and is currently sub-dean for the Greater Kansas City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She makes her home in Overland Park, Kansas, along with husband Robert, their daughter Isabel, and a harpsichord built by Thomas Pixton. When not making music, she can be found covered in dirt in her vegetable garden.

Email: elisa.bickers@villagepres.org

See her Dedicatory Pipe Organ Recital on YouTube.

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Elisa Bickers