Organist Rhonda Sider Edgington is a creative and eclectic musician, with a diverse repertoire and wide range of musical interests. Often commended for her innovative programming, imaginative use of registrations, and exciting playing, Rhonda feels equally at home playing small mechanical-action instruments as well as large Romantic or modern organs.
Having spent seven years working and studying in Bremen, Germany (originally with a Fulbright scholarship to study with Prof. Harald Vogel), Rhonda has acquired an extensive repertoire, from Sweelinck and the music of 17th-century Northern Germany, through music of 19th- and 20th-century France, to the music of today. She has played recitals at venues such as St. Thomas Fifth Avenue in New York City, Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, St. Paul Catholic Cathedral in Pittsburgh, and Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, as well as on many historic organs in Germany, such as the Schnitger in Norden, the Silbermann in Freiberg and the Hildebrandt in Naumburg. She has played at five national conventions of the Organ Historical Society and a regional convention of the American Guild of Organists. She has also been heard on the nationally syndicated radio program “Pipedreams.”
Rhonda has worked as a church musician since her student days, and has held jobs in almost every major denomination here in the states, as well as working as a church musician in Germany. As organ teacher, Rhonda was Assistant Professor at Concordia University, River Forest (IL), and Interim Professor of Organ at Houghton College (NY), and now teaches privately. She also enjoys playing the harpsichord, piano, and carillon, and is an avid chamber musician.
Rhonda studied in Germany with Harald Vogel, Hans-Ola Ericsson, and Hans Davidsson, and in the U.S. with Larry Smith, Marilyn Keiser, John Chappell Stowe, Edward Zimmerman, and her father Ronald Sider. She has a Master’s degree in Organ from Indiana University, a Bachelor’s degree in Piano from Wheaton College (IL), and a Diploma in Organ Performance from the Hochschule für Künste/ University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany, where she was awarded the highest possible grade for her graduation recitals. She helped lead an educational tour for the European chapter of the American Guild of Organists in 2011 to visit organs of Northern Germany, and is currently Dean of the Holland, MI chapter of the AGO.
Rhonda lives with her family in Holland, Michigan, where she is the organist at Hope Church, a staff accompanist at Hope College, Seminary Organist at Western Theological Seminary, and maintains a private studio, while continuing to perform regularly in the U.S. and abroad. Her website rhonda.edgington.info contains photos and recordings of some of her favorite pipe organs.
“Rhonda Edgington is a fun, smart, bright young light on the organ horizon.”
—Christa Rakich -Music Director, St. Mark the Evangelist Church, West Hartford, CT; Recording Artist
“Rhonda Edgington’s recital for the Region III AGO Convention in Harrisburg, PA was on the Taylor and Boody opus 12 at Holy Trinity Lutheran in York Springs. In an unusual program for an AGO regional, the 13 stop tracker organ and the pure Baroque repertoire excited the audience with adventurous, powerful playing and winsome musicality.”
—John Boody - Organ builder, Taylor and Boody Organguilders, Staunton, VA
“Playing early music, Rhonda displayed a well-grounded understanding of style and historical performance practice. In the area of new music, she presented a successful selection of pieces both virtuosic and with audience appeal. All of her interpretations are characterized by technical aplomb and an electrifying musical expression.”
—Hilger Kespohl - Organist at St. Pankratius Church, Hamburg-Neuenfelde, Germany, Musical director of the series “Orgelpunkt Bremen,” Germany
“Rhonda has an enormous passion for (and understanding of) the music which she plays, and the instruments on which she does it.”
—Bary Jordan - Cathedral Organist, Magdeburg, Germany
“Edgington is a pro who played a nicely chosen program with panache and energy. She connected nicely with the audience, who enjoyed it all so much that we asked her back for another recital the following year. Same skill, same delight.”
—Ernie Drown - Director of Music and Organist, Church of Christ at Dartmouth College
“Rhonda was dynamite.”
—Donald Fellows - Organist and Director of Music, St. Paul Catholic Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA
“Rhonda’s playing shows the deep power of her musicianship, her imagination, and her training. There is creativity and personality in Rhonda’s playing, but also a humility that allows the music itself to speak and inspire. Rhonda looks for the truth in music and explores it’s expressive potential as well as anyone with whom I’ve worked.”
—Gary Rand - Pastor of Worship and the Arts, LaSalle Street Church, Chicago, IL