Leon W. Couch III

Organist, Music Theorist, and Teacher
Info about Leon Couch
As a scholar, Dr. Leon W. Couch III concentrates on pragmatic applications of contemporary and historical music theories to keyboard performance. Numerous grants for his scholarship, performances, teaching, and public service have resulted in pedagogy software, an international solo recording, and a highly regarded 3-CD educational resource entitled Playing Buxtehude's Works Rhetorically offered by the national organization of the American Guild of Organists. Dr. Couch has presented at numerous international, national, and regional conferences. (He also enjoys presenting lectures to the local AGO chapters and to the general public.) Recent projects include rhythmic analyses (Schenker) of Baroque organ works and musical-rhetorical interpretations of seventeenth-century German music.

As a performer, Dr. Couch presents organ recitals, masterclasses, and lecture-recitals throughout the United States. In August 2007, the respected label Pro Organo released his solo recording Hamburger Rhetoric; selections have been featured on NPR's Pipedreams (public radio). He is represented by the Concert Artist Cooperative, as advertised in The Diapason and The American Organist. Each year, he performs in numerous states and has played in major venues, such as the Spoleto Festival and in recital series at the University of Calgary, Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, the Old Salem Museum in NC, St. Philip's Cathedral in Atlanta, and St. John the Divine in NYC. He recently performed in Seoul, Korea.

Recognized nationally for his scholarship and teaching since 1993, Couch was chosen as the 2007 Nelson visiting scholar at Northwestern College. More recently, he was invited to as a guest artist and lecturer for the 2011 Heidelberg Keyboard Festival in Tiffin, Ohio. While on the faculty at Texas A&M University, the university named him their 2005–2006 Montague Teaching Excellence Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (230+ faculty). In addition to designing and coordinating their music-theory curriculum for several years, Dr. Couch supervised pedagogy and student research projects. Earlier, Dr. Couch taught organ studio, music theory, and undergraduate mathematics at the University of Cincinnati. At Converse College from 2006-2010, Dr. Couch taught both organ and music theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is now on the faculty at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Couch earned two doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music: the D.M.A. in Organ Performance and the Ph.D. in Music Theory. His undergraduate degrees in physics, mathematics, and music are from the University of Florida. His principal organ teachers include Willis Bodine and Roberta Gary. His main scholarly mentors include Frank Samarotto (Schenker), Severine Neff (Schoenberg), and Edward Nowacki (History of Theory). He is also active in several musical organizations (CMS, AGO, AMS-SW, CMS-SW, ICMC, and TSMT).


"Magical music making and engaging verbal presentation” Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA
"Clever programming, executed with a great deal of artistry" St. Petersburg College












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(c) 1998-2012 Leon W. Couch III