-The American Organist Magazine
Elisa Williams Bickers is the Associate Director of Music and Principal Organist at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, where she leads the Alegría Young-ish Adult Choir and the Village Ringers hand bell ensemble. She also aided in the acquisition and installation of a new mechanical-action pipe organ for the church, built by Richards, Fowkes &. Co. Bickers has served on the music faculties of the UMKC Conservatory and Washburn University as instructor of organ and harpsichord. She is the harpsichordist and organist 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.
Active as a solo and collaborative organist, harpsichordist, and pianist, Bickers has performed throughout Europe and in Thailand, as well as all over the United States. She has collaborated with such musical groups as the Te Deum Chamber Ensemble, the Spire Chamber Ensemble, the Grammy award-winning Kansas City Chorale, and the Kansas City Symphony. Her album recordings include “Brahms – A German Requiem” (2017) with the Te Deum Chamber Ensemble, and soon-to-be-released albums of Baroque oboe sonatas with oboist Margaret Marco and “Le Dolce Sirenes” with the Bach Aria Soloists.
A native of Clinton, Maryland, Bickers began her organ studies with the Potomac Organ Institute. She has 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 has studied harpsichord playing and repair with Ed Parmentier and Ed Kottick, Jr. She has competed and won prizes in the William Hall Competition, National Young Artists' Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), and the International Buxtehude Competition. During her studies at KU, she was presented with the Carlin Award for excellence in teaching, the highest honor possible for graduate students at the university. She has also earned the Fellow certificate from the American Guild of Organists, the Guild's most advanced certification.
Bickers served as chair for New Music for the 2018 AGO National Convention, held in Kansas City, and currently serves on the KC AGO chapter’s Investment Advisory Board. She makes her home in Overland Park, along with husband Robert, their daughter Isabel, three cats, and a harpsichord built by Thomas Pixton. When not making music, she can be found in her vegetable garden, covered with dirt.
Bickers is represented by Concert Artist Cooperative.