Dr. Don Cook
Don Cook joined the organ faculty of Brigham Young University in 1991. In that capacity he serves as organ area coordinator, as university carillonneur, and oversees the group organ program.
Formerly he held associate organist/choirmaster positions at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and at First United Methodist Church, Lubbock, Texas. He toured Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia with the Lubbock choir, and accompanied the Parish Choir of Christ Church Cranbrook on a singing tour of England.
After earning Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in organ at Brigham Young University, he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the University of Kansas. His principal organ teachers were J.J. Keeler at BYU and James Moeser at KU. For many years he served as head of the instrumental area for the BYU Workshop on Church Music, and currently directs the annual BYU Organ Workshop, founded in 2002. He appears frequently as a Guest Organist at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.
Dr. Cook studied carillon with Albert Gerken while pursuing doctoral studies in organ at the University of Kansas. He became a full member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America in 1984, and has performed actively throughout North America since that time. He has served on the Board of Directors and as chair of the Music Publications Committee for the Guild. Carillon performances include a concert tour of Holland in 1990, and a recital tour of east-coast carillons in the summer of 1992. In 1994 he hosted the annual Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America at Brigham Young University.
He has developed and published the first multimedia organ tutorial for pianists, Organ Tutor Organ 101 in several versions. The tutorial is used for private and group instruction, BYU Independent Study courses, and by individuals in at least nine countries.
Dr. Tyler Boehmer
Internationally acclaimed for his technique and artistry, Dr. Tyler Boehmer is a passionate and devoted organist. Dr. Boehmer completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas, graduating with honors on his final exams. His principal teachers include Dr. Don Cook (Brigham Young University), Dr. James Higdon (University of Kansas), and Professor Edoardo Bellotti (Hochschule für Künste, Bremen, Germany).
Boehmer has quickly begun to distinguish himself as a rising star. Recent solo performances have taken him to five cities throughout Russia, the Washington National Cathedral, and the 2016 AGO Houston Convention. He has also been active in many national and international competitions. Recent accolades include first prize in the 2019 Miami International Organ Competition, second prize in the 2018 Sydney International Organ Competition, second prize in the 2022 Concours d’orgue de Québec, and third prize (ex-aequo) in the 2021 Canadian International Organ Competition. He continues to set a high standard of excellence in his performances, and has been described as “consistently good and expressive” (John Karl Hirten, MM), and “accurate, musical, controlled, with good attention to detail” (Dr. John Longhurst, Tabernacle Organist Emeritus).
Dr. Boehmer also strives to be an ambassador for the organ. In this capacity, he has co-taught several organ workshops aimed at helping volunteer church organists become more confident and comfortable playing in worship services. He was also recently appointed a Guest Organist at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he performs several times a year. As part of these recitals, he has the opportunity to introduce the Tabernacle Organ to visitors from around the world.
Previously, Boehmer held positions as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kansas, and the Organist and Director of Music at Leavenworth First United Methodist Church. Boehmer currently works at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas as an Assistant Professor of Music and College Organist. His primary responsibilities include teaching private music lessons, music theory, music history, and assisting with campus chapel services.
Dr. Valerie Harris
Valerie Harris has performed on many notable historic pipe organs in Europe and the United States. An active recitalist, she recently performed in Belgium and the Netherlands. She performs frequently as a guest recitalist at the Tabernacle.
She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Organ Performance from Arizona State University, where she studied with Kimberly Marshall. She also holds a Master of Music in Organ Performance from Shenandoah University in Virginia and a Bachelor of Music degree in piano from Brigham Young University. She has done post-graduate historical organ performance study in Europe with Pieter Dirksen, Hans Davidsson, Luc Ponet and Léon Berben. She serves as Dean of the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, as National Media Chair for the National Federation of Music Clubs, and as Director of Music Ministries and Organist at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale, AZ.
She has taught piano, organ, and conducting to hundreds of students, motivating many young musicians to study music in college and achieve successful experiences competitively and through community and church service. She is committed to promoting the vision of excellently prepared and spiritually reflected music in the Church.
Kymberly (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 both her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees with an emphasis in Organ Performance at BYU, where she studied with Dr. Don Cook.
While at BYU, Kymberly taught and performed extensively, both on the organ and carillon. As a graduate student, she taught group organ classes, sight-singing and dictation classes, as well as private carillon and organ lessons for the BYU School of Music. In 2016, she became involved with the Traveling BYU Organ Workshops, and since then, she has had the opportunity to plan, perform, and teach at many organ workshops around the country.
Kymberly and her husband now live in Katy, TX where she continues to teach and perform. Her busy schedule includes recitals as Guest Organist at the Tabernacle of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, accompanying, running her large private organ and piano studio, and serving as Ward Music Coordinator and Ward Organist. She is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, and is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano and Organ.