Mt. Vernon Washington Organ Workshop – May 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Mt. Vernon, Washington workshop, held on May 12-13! There were 129 attendees from 12 stakes at the event. A huge thank you to Brian Plummer, the local coordinator, for making this a great event!


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Instructor Biographies

D Kim CroftKim Croft holds B.Mus. and M.M. Degrees in Organ Performance from Brigham Young University, having studied with Parley Belnap and J.J. Keeler. He also has the M.A. degree in Historical Musicology from New York University, and the MLIS Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, where he has also done additional post graduate studies in Musicology.

Kim taught group and private organ instruction while at BYU, and has continued to teach privately in the Seattle area and has participated in numerous ward and stake training workshops. His “Nine Hymn Studies” has become a staple pedagogical tool in the LDS organ community.

He has served as a guest organist at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.  Last fall, he was invited to perform at Everett, Washington’s First Presbyterian Church in the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the installation of the organ. In additional to numerous music callings in the LDS church, he has served other denominations as well. Currently, he is organist at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Everett, Washington, a position he has held for over eighteen years. He also serves as accompanist for the Everett Chorale, a community based choir, and has appeared with the Everett Symphony Orchestra as featured soloist in the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony.

For his “day job,” Kim is employed by the King County Department of Public Defense in Seattle. He is eagerly looking forward to a productive retirement.

Kim and his wife, Shauna, are the parents of five children.

Brian MathiasDr. Brian Mathias is Adjunct Professor of Music at Brigham Young University, where he teaches applied organ and carillon, as well as courses in organ literature, keyboard harmony, and hymn playing. Before coming to BYU in 2014, he taught at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and was Associate Organist at Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dr. Mathias earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organ performance at BYU before completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas, where he studied with James Higdon.

Dr. Mathias’s recent solo performances include recitals at Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), Texas A&M International University (Laredo, Texas), and the Community of Christ Temple (Independence, Missouri). He has performed regularly as a guest organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle since 2007. He has also been a competitor in major international competitions, including the Canadian International Organ Competition (Montreal, Quebec) and the Grand Prix de Chartres International Organ Competition (Paris, France).

Dr. Mathias currently resides in Provo with his wife, Alicia, and daughters Claire (4) and Evie (2).

Eric McKirdyEric McKirdy began playing the organ at an early age, and pursued it as a major in college, studying at the University of Oregon with Dr. Barbara Baird. Since that time, he has been honored to perform throughout the United States, the UK and Europe, both as a soloist and as organist for several choirs, and also performs semi-regularly on the organ in the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle. He has written a number of arrangements for choir and organ, and for the last several years has extensively taught courses for organists and ward/stake music chairpersons at the Portland Regional LDS Church Music Workshop. Previously, he served on the board of directors of the Eugene Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He and his family live in Salem where he recently completed his twenty-fifth year as ward organist, and also serves as principal organist at Albany First United Methodist Church.

dsc_0371croppedKymberly (Stone) Payne is a young organist who is passionate about sharing her love of the organ, and the power we have as organists to bless others and change lives. Kymberly completed her Masters of Music with an emphasis in Organ Performance at Brigham Young University in 2016, even though she didn’t start playing the organ until just a few years earlier. Her first introduction to the organ started at BYU in 2009 when she took Music 115: Basic Organ Skills from Don Cook. While listening to the organ at an evensong service in Oxford the next summer, her love of the organ blossomed, and the rest is history! She began the music program in 2010 and graduated with her Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Organ Performance, Magna Cum Laude, August 2013.

While at BYU, Kymberly taught and performed extensively, both on the organ and carillon. As part of her graduate assistantship, Kymberly taught group organ classes, sightsinging and dictation classes, as well as private carillon and organ lessons. In addition to teaching, Kymberly was an Associate Carillonneur at Brigham Young University where she gave weekly carillon recitals, and assisted in organ tuning and repair on campus. She accompanied the congregational hymn for the weekly BYU Devotionals seventeen times, and performed in both group and solo organ concerts frequently.

In January of 2016, she began working as Organ Department Executive Assistant, and continued her work for BYU after graduation. She married Curt Payne in November 2016 and moved to California, but she is humbled that she gets to continue her involvement with these LDS Organ Workshops from her home in San Leandro, CA as BYU Organ Workshop Administrator. During her involvement with these workshops, she has planned, performed, and taught at various LDS Organ Workshops around Utah County (including teaching at the annual BYU Organ Workshop), as well as in Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.

Kymberly currently serves as Ward Organist in San Leandro, CA. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the Organ Historical Society (OHS) and is a carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA). Her newest organ service opportunity is her appointment as Guest Organist at the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Brian PlummerBrian Plummer’s love for organ began early and has grown.  He studied with Dr. Daniel Kerr at BYU-Idaho, and is currently serving as ward organist and stake music chair.

He previously served as organist for the Provo Missionary Training Center, was the accompanist for several choirs including the Orem Utah Institute Choral, the BYU-Idaho Men’s Choir, the BYU-Idaho Women’s Glee, the BYU-Idaho University Choirs and numerous stake and multi-stake choirs.  He was a guest organist for the Latter-Day Celebration Choir performance in the 2013 church music festival at Temple Square.  He served as rehearsal accompanist for two General Conference Choirs, and has performed on several church-wide broadcasts.