Fred Swann

Artist Teacher, Organ
School of Music


Watchorn Hall


B.M., Northwestern University
S.M.M., Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music

Areas of Expertise

Consultant and designer of major pipe organs


Frederick Swann, President of the American Guild of Organists (2002-2008), serves as Organist Emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral, Organist Emeritus of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, and Organ Artist-in-residence at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California.

Mr. Swann, a native of Virginia, holds degrees from Northwestern University School of Music and the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary, all granted "with distinction". In addition to his prominent church positions, Riverside Church, NYC (1957-1982), Crystal Cathedral (1982-1998) and First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (1998-2001). He was for 10 years Chair of the Organ Department at the Manhattan School of Music and served on the faculties of the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary as well as Teacher's College of Columbia University, New York City.

In addition to more than 2,000 solo recital presentations in major churches, cathedrals and concert halls throughout North America and abroad, Mr. Swann performs frequently with symphony orchestras and choral organizations. In 2002 he was named Performer of the Year by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In 2004 he was selected to perform the Inaugural Recital on the new organ in The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. 

Although semi-retired, Mr. Swann is sought after as a leader of organ and church music workshops and is retained frequently as a consultant for new pipe organs, including some of the largest and most prominent in the country.

Courses Taught at Redlands

Applied Organ
Church Music
Organ Literature
Mr. Swann also serves as organist for University functions and accompanying the choral program.

Awards and Honors

2014 Royal Canadian College of Organists FRCCO (honoris causa) recipient

Chosen to perform inaugural recitals on new organs in Philharmonic Hall, NYC; Orchestra Hall in Chicago; Davies Hall in San Francisco; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; Henry and Renee Segerstom Hall in Costa Mesa

Merit Award, Northwestern University

Legend of Performance Award, Northwestern University

Performer of the Year Award, NYC Chapter, American Guild of Organists

Distinguished Teacher and Performer Award, Manhattan School of Music

Paul Creston Award

Publications and Presentations

Composed and published 20 choral and 25 organ works

Recorded 43 LP and CD recordings, most recent being:

First recording on the new organ in Segerstrom Hall, Orange County Performing Arts Center – released March 2009.

First commercial recording on the organ in Memorial Chapel, University of Redlands; released January 2010

Wrote monthly columns for The American Organist magazine during six years as President of the AGO