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Jacob Benda

Adjunct Faculty - Organ

Music, Film & Creative Enterprise

  • Education
  • B.M. Piano Performance - Louisiana State University, 2007
    M.M. Organ Performance - Louisiana State University, 2010
    D.M.A. Organ Performance (Minor field: Music Theory) - Louisiana State University, 2015
  • Expertise
  • Organ performance, Liturgical Music

Jacob Benda is the Director of Music, Liturgy & Sacred Arts at the Chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas at the University of Saint Thomas, as well as the Organ Area Professor in the Music Department. He is an active recitalist, published author, editor, and organ consultant.

Acclaimed for his virtuosity and imaginative programming, Dr. Benda has been featured as a solo recitalist and lecturer at universities, festivals and cathedrals throughout the United States including Yale University, the Universities of Iowa, Arizona, North Texas, the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Los Angeles AGO opening gala concert, Christ Cathedral in New Orleans, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and others.

Engagements for 2023 include organ concerti performances with the University of St. Thomas String Orchestra, a solo performance for the opening gala concert of the American Guild of Organists North Central Regional Convention, solo recital at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in La Crosse, WI, and a European tour including a lecture and solo recital at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, Poland, with additional performances throughout Eastern Europe.

As a collaborative artist he has worked with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Cornell University Glee Club, Basilica of St. Mary Cathedral Choir, violinist Borislava Iltcheva, and an upcoming tour with the Quatuor International de Saxophones. Enthusiastic about new music, he has performed premieres by Pamela Decker, James Sclater, Gary Bachlund, James Callahan, and has championed the music of 20th century composer Clarence Mader. His landmark recording, Music at Midnight, A Tonal Palette, Organ Music by Clarence Mader, was applauded by the American Record Guide as: "an important picture of American organ art in the 20th century...talented young American organist Jacob Benda performs with confident rhythmic stability and polished technical assurance."

Former Dean of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Benda serves on the Board of Directors of the Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2015 he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University under the mentorship of concert organist Herndon Spillman, protégé of Maurice Duruflé.

Benda, Jacob R. The Stylistic Variance and Underlying Unity in Selected Organ Works by Clarence Mader (2015). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 167.

Benda, Jacob R. Unveiling The Mystery: A Pianist’s Discovery Of The Organ. Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) e-journal. 14-23.

Recordings: Benda, Jacob. Music at Midnight: A Tonal Palette, Organ Music by Clarence Mader. 2014 Centaur Records Inc. CRC 3361