Our Faculty

Dr. Richard K. Fitzgerald is currently the Director of Music and Organist of Saint Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to this appointment, he served the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC as the Assistant Director of Music (2003-2007) and the Associate Director of Music (2013-1014) where his playing could be heard during internationally televised broadcasts.


On October 1st, 2013 Dr. Fitzgerald won first prize in the 2nd Annual Competition in Organ Improvisation sponsored by the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to performing improvisations, Dr. Fitzgerald has taught organ improvisation at the Peabody Conservatory and has presented workshops on the subject to professional organizations including the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, as well as several chapters of the American Guild of Organists. For his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Fitzgerald formulated a method for organ improvisation pedagogy that he continues to present as a basis for his teaching.


Dr. Fitzgerald received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, Maryland where he was awarded a full scholarship as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Music Theory.  He earned the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and the Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey.


A published composer, Dr. Fitzgerald has received commissions and his work has earned him favorable reviews in The Hymn, Choir and Organ, Pastoral Music, and The American Organist. His Mass in Honor of Saint Bernadette, a setting for organ and congregation of the ICEL ©2011 translation of the mass, is available on the Corpus Christi Watershed website (www.ccwatershed.org/Mass/). His Mass in Honor of Saint Cecilia, also a setting of the mass for congregation, choir, and organ, was recently released from International Liturgy Publications (ILP).


An experienced concert organist, Dr. Fitzgerald has made appearances on the nationally syndicated radio program Pipedreams, including a performance of Leo Sowerby's Toccata (program 1446, 'With Praise and Thanksgiving').

Organ/Organ Improvisation


*Fall Registration Now Open!

Music Theory 1

Online Presenter: Emily Lapisardi

This course provides an overview of the foundational components of music including notation, intervals, key signatures, harmonic analysis and realization, and figured bass. Students will have access to ten weekly lectures on the course material. They will also receive individual feedback from the instructor on tests and quizzes and may contact the instructor as needed by email, phone, or Skype.

Start date: September 30, 2019

History of Sacred Music

Online Presenter: Emily Lapisardi

This course provides a survey of the historical role of music in worship from its roots in the Old Testament to the present day. Landmark repertoire will be explored within the framework of historical turning points in ecclesiastical history. While the class will focus primarily on Christian music in the western world, cross-cultural influences will also be explored. This is a ten-week course comprised of weekly lectures and music listening assignments; students are also required to participate in a minimum of three online discussions and will be evaluated through midterm and final examinations. 

Start date: September 30, 2019

*Also Registering for Organ, Voice, and Cantor Lessons

For more information and to register for any of these fall offerings, send an email to asacredmusic@gmail.com or fill out the contact form on this website.

Registration deadline Friday, September 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Make checks payable to Sacred Music Institute of America and send to the following address:

P.O. Box 55

Lewis Center, Ohio 43035

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Faculty and Staff


Dr. Jason J. Keefer, Program Director

Organ/Sacred Music Topics                                

Dr. Rebecca Abbott


Jeremy Bankson


Dr. David Baskeyfield

Organ/Organ Improvisation

Mari Kay Dono

Cantor Program Liaison/Basic Cantor Training

Dr. Richard K. Fitzgerald

Organ/Organ Improvisation

Dr. Jason Hiester


Emily Lapisardi

Music Theory/History of Sacred Music

Steven Nanni


Rachel Parfenchuk


Nicholas John Steltzer


Dr. Jennifer Whitehead


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