Northwestern College alumnus to present organ recital Jan. 19

Dan LaavegDan Laaveg, a 2007 graduate of Northwestern College who is pursuing a doctorate in organ performance at the University of Iowa, will present a guest recital on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Laaveg, a native of Clear Lake, Iowa, graduated from Northwestern with a degree in vocal music education. His senior year marked his first time playing the organ, as he took lessons from MaryLou Wielenga, organ instructor. Laaveg directed choirs at Sioux Center Community Schools and Waterloo East High School for five years before deciding to switch career paths.

He earned a master’s degree in organ performance from Iowa in 2016 and is in the second year of the Doctor of Musical Arts program, studying under Dr. Gregory Hand. He also expects to complete the sacred music certificate and a secondary area option in choral conducting by May 2018. 

Laaveg has served as the worship director for First Presbyterian Church in Marengo, Iowa, for two years. His main responsibilities include leading congregational song through organ and piano accompaniment, singing solos for the prelude or service, leading and accompanying the choir, and accompanying soloists. 

“Dan was gifted in many areas of music and made tremendous progress as an organist in only two semesters of lessons at Northwestern,” says Wielenga. “I remember wishing he had started organ lessons earlier in college. I was very excited to find out several years later that he was working on his master’s degree in organ and is now pursuing his doctoral degree. I am thrilled to have him come back to Northwestern and present this alumni organ recital.”

Laaveg’s recital will include performances of J.S. Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in G Major,” movements of “Premier livre d’Orgue: Kyrie” by Nicolas de Grigny, “Sonata no. 5, op. 65” by Felix Mendelssohn, movements from Gerhard Krapf’s “Reformation Suite,” and the first movement of Charles-Marie Widor’s “Organ Symphony no. 6.”