Elliot M. and Klara Stockdal Johnson Professor of Organ and Church Music
The Elliot M. and Klara Stockdal Johnson Chair in Church Music was established in 1986 by Klara Johnson '38 to recognize the role of music in the life of the church and the continued strong interest in St. Olaf by her family and her late husband. Klara Johnson’s father and three sisters also graduated from St. Olaf; Elliot Johnson, graduated from Shattuck Academy in Faribault, attended college in California, and then returned to Minneapolis where he had a long career in real estate investments and participated actively in the life of Central Lutheran Church.
The first holder of this chair, Dr. Ferguson is active not only as choral conductor and teacher of organ but also as improviser, composer, and arranger with over 100 works in print. He has served the American Guild of Organists as chair and member of national committees on pedagogy and improvisation, and has served as visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Each year he designs and leads many hymn festivals and church music clinics both nationally and internationally. Dr. Ferguson is the author of numerous articles and several books including Worship Blueprints: Guide to Planning for Worship Music and Walter Holtkamp: American Organ Builder, and coauthor of A Musician’s Guide to Church Music.