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Leon W. Couch III

Leon W. Couch III has been featured recitalist and speaker at colleges, churches, seminaries, and AGO chapters throughout the United States and Canada. He is renown for engaging audiences through excellent programming, arresting playing, and inviting verbal program notes.

Recent recital engagements include major venues and recital series at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (Charleston, SC), the University of Calgary (Calgary, Canada), St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, FL), Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church (Washington DC), and St. Philip’s Cathedral (Atlanta, GA). He has also performed at regarded universities and seminaries including Concordia Theological Seminary (Ft. Wayne, IN), University of Louisville (Louisville, KY), University of Northern Iowa (Ames, IA), Northwestern College (Orange City, IA), and Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy, MA). Samples from live performances can be found on his website. With performances in over twelve states each year, Dr. Couch especially cherishes the opportunity to share music with churches throughout the United States.

As regular presenter at international, national, and regional conferences, Dr. Couch also gives demonstrations and masterclasses for AGO Chapters and universities. Listeners consistently praise his speeches for their usefulness to performers as well as for their insightfulness, scholarship, and good humor. A compilation of a series of recent scholarly speeches on musical rhetoric, the three-CD set Playing Dieterich Buxtehude’s Works Rhetorically ( was issued in December 2007 by the American Guild of Organists.

Also during the Buxtehude celebration year (2007), the regarded Pro Organo label released his solo recording Hamburger Rhetoric (CD 7166) ( The persuasive recording features dramatic music and musical settings of the Vater Unser (Lord’s Prayer) by J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn, and other composers associated with Hamburg, Germany. Couch’s interpretations were recorded on the beautiful Noack tracker instrument at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Leon Couch was born in Gainesville, Florida. He earned undergraduate degrees in physics, mathematics, and music from the University of Florida, where he studied under Willis Bodine. The College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati awarded both the D.M.A. in Organ Performance and the Ph.D. in Music Theory, where he studied with Roberta Gary and served as her graduate assistant. Since then, Dr. Couch has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for his teaching, scholarship, performances, and public service. In addition to being active in several musical organizations (AGO, AMS-SW, CMS-SW, ICMC, and TSMT), he is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, the Phi Kappa Phi, and the Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies. For more information, see his website.

Professor Couch can be contacted directly at