Bryan Dunnewald, of Arvada, Colorado, is an organ major in the studio of Thomas Bara and a piano minor under the instruction of Steve Larson at Interlochen Arts Academy, in Michigan, where he was invited to study beginning fall 2011, at the start of his sophomore year of high school. He was one of five organists selected to perform in Los Angeles in April 2012 for Interlochen’s 50th Anniversary tour. Prior to his studies at the Academy, Bryan attended the Interlochen Arts Camp organ program for three summers, where he studied under Thomas Bara and began playing Interlochen’s many organs, including a 50-rank Æolian-Skinner/Reuter organ and 12 practice organs.
Bryan began learning piano at age 4 and organ at age 9. At age 10, he began organ and piano studies with Dr. Martha Sandford-Heyns, in Boulder, Colorado. The first pipe organ Bryan played, when he was 9 years old, was at the American Guild of Organists’ program for young, aspiring organists, entitled “Pedals, Pipes and Pizza.” Four years later, he led a demonstration of the instrument for young students at the same event.
Bryan arrived at Trinity United Methodist Church of Denver in 2008, where he has served as assistant and student organist, working with the church’s principal organists, performing recitals and playing services on the renowned Roosevelt organ. He has performed in Colorado, Michigan, Washington D.C. and California.
Bryan has been heard live on Interlochen Public Radio and has been interviewed and featured on Colorado Public Radio. He was also selected to perform on National Public Radio’s ‘From The Top’, a nationally syndicated radio program featuring young talented musicians. Recently, Bryan has performed with the Interlochen Academy Band and has performed as a soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
As a composer, Bryan has written works for soloists and ensembles, including pieces for organ, choir a cappella, choir and piano, brass and others. He enjoys collaboration and has worked with writers and other instrumentalists to create two recent pieces: one for choir, hand bells and piano; the other for choir, brass and piano.
In addition to organ music, Bryan is fascinated by organ design and building. He enjoys creating concept drawings and designs for organs, in addition to creating their stoplists. Another passion of Bryan’s is researching and experiencing different organs and styles of organ building. He has traveled to view and play more than 90 organs around the country and is a database contributor and photographer for the Organ Historical Society. Bryan is also interested in architecture and physics, and is an Eagle Scout.