A native of Toronto, Canada, Kola Owolabi is the University Organist and an Assistant Professor of Music at Syracuse University. There, he teaches courses in organ, improvisation, continuo playing, and music theory, in addition to playing for weekly chapel services and special events and coordinating the Malmgren Concert Series at Hendricks Chapel. He is also the Dean of the Syracuse Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Dr. Owolabi holds a B.M in Organ Performance from McGill University, a M.M. in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting from Yale University, and a D.M.A. in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers have included Bruce Wheatcroft, John Grew, Martin Jean, Thomas Murray, Hans Davidsson, and William Porter. Dr. Owolabi has held positions as Assistant Organist at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and at the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal. While studying at Yale, he was the organist at the University Chapel and directed the chapel choir at the Yale Divinity School.
A published composer, Dr. Owolabi has received commissions from the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. In 2002, he was awarded second prize and audience prize at the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. As a recitalist, he has performed across Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Jamaica, including venues such as St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York, Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Massachusetts, Cornell University, and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. Since 2010, he has performed regularly as an organist and harpsichordist for Seraphic Fire, a professional vocal ensemble, and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, based in Miami, Florida.
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