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. 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.

Dr. Jacob Hofeling

Originally from Arizona, Dr. Hofeling has a bachelor of music degree from Arizona State University in Organ Performance, where he studied under Kimberly Marshall. Hofeling holds a master of music degree and a doctorate of musical arts in organ from the University of Kansas where he studied under James Higdon and Michael Bauer. Hofeling also has a master of music degree in music theory from the University of Kansas. Recently, Hofeling has returned from a study abroad in Bremen, Germany. While there, he studied at the Hochschule für Künste under Professor Edoardo Bellotti. Hofeling holds a position as Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Mark Catholic Church in Independence, Missouri, and was recently the interim professor of organ at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. 

As a solo recitalist, he has recently performed concerts in Salt Lake City, Utah, Gold Canyon, Arizona, Gilbert, Arizona, Kansas City, Missouri, and several cities in Western Kansas. In addition, he performs frequently at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, where he holds the title of staff organist. Hofeling is also a guest recitalist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle which houses the famous and historic Aeolian-Skinner organ.  The KC Metropolis wrote that Hofeling’s playing, “had a wonderful variety of registers and colors and displayed a secure sense of control.” As a continuo player he has had the honor of performing with the Kansas City Symphony in December 2018. Hofeling was a semi-finalist in the Mikhael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition in Kaliningrad Russia, and he was awarded second prize in the Fort Wayne, IN National Organ Playing Competition. His performances have been heard on the radio at KBAQ in Phoenix, Arizona and KPR in Kansas. 

Nora Hess

Nora Hess, CAGO, MM, MS, is an adjunct faculty member in organ at Brigham Young University. Her research specialty is developing curriculum for elementary-aged children to learn the organ as their first instrument. Nora also enjoys composing, performing, accompanying, and conducting church music. She has conducted numerous church choirs, and served for 10 years as a member of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Nora holds a Master of Music degree from Brigham Young University in Organ Performance, where she studied with Don Cook and Brian Mathias. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Utah. Nora and her husband, Bret, are the parents of 10 children and 13 grandchildren.