He will play a varied program of baroque and modern French, German and American compositions on the Barnhart Memorial Organ.
Blackburn excels at the art of improvisation and has performed, lectured and coached other organists and pianists in this field. In 2005, he was invited to perform in a concert given by American organists in Paris, France, where he was asked to solely improvise a program to demonstrate a synthesis of French and American musical languages.
His St. Philip’s concert will include improvisations based on hymns suggested by audience members.
The concert is free to all students through high school age and to Coastal Bend College students with their photo ID’s. Other adults will pay $7 at the door if they do not hold BCA season membership tickets.
A Beeville native, Blackburn began his keyboard studies with former Beeville music teacher Patricia Powers. After graduating from A.C. Jones High School, he studied at Baylor University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in church music with organ emphasis and a master’s degree in church music.
Blackburn is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, and the Royal School of Church Musicians. While he studied in Waco, he served as director of music ministries at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and organist for Temple Rodef Shalom.
Blackburn has participated in the Doctorate of Musical Arts program at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Judith and Gerre Hancock. During his years at Baylor, his primary professors included Joyce Jones, David Music, Terry York and Randall Bradley.
During his undergraduate years at Baylor, Blackburn served two seasons as organist for the Baylor University Concert Choir as well as organist for several different university events. He also made his orchestral conducting debut in March 2007 when he conducted a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Missa in Tempore Belli as part of an ecumenical Lenten project.
He also has served the Central Texas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists as dean and as secretary. Blackburn has served on the board of Schola Cantorm of Texas, a professional choir based in Fort Worth. He has served as a lecturer, teacher and performer for several Pipe Organ Encounters, a national effort to teach both youth and adults how to play the organ.