Susan Burkhalter

The Official Website of Susan Burkhalter, Church Organist



On February 25th,  I played the 11:00 service at St. Thomas Episcopal in NW Washington, DC where Lucinda Atkins is music director-organist.  Since their church is being rebuilt in the middle of a new church-owned apartment complex, we temporarily used the sanctuary of the Universalist Church on 16th Street, where I played a 1929 Gottfried pipe organ with a Moller console.

July 8th and August 19th I played the 11:00 service at Our Savior Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, where I also played last summer (see “2017” report above).  Bruce Cole is the Organist-Director there, and they have a mostly African-American congregation and a 2-manual Casavant pipe organ. The congregation’s hymn singing is beautiful and joyous!  It is exciting to accompany them.  As I told Bruce Cole, “Bruce, I can't get over how all the people in your church (I guess about 80 were there this a.m.) are such excellent singers!  They have so much feeling and verve, and they sing the hymns with great emotion and they're on key and with deep religious feeling, it's awe-inspiring to me!  Yet they are just regular African-American people, some born in the U.S. and some from other countries.  The congregation singing hymns sound like one massed voice!  You don't hear this in regular churches where I play (especially the ones that are "upper middle class" or whatever).”

I played a memorial service July 21st at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arlington where Michael Michaelis is the Organist-Director.  I had sung in their choir for a year when my friend Ted Gustin was the organist-director there in 2007 and also substituted at a church service around that time. 

August 5th I played the 10:00 service at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls, Virginia where Pat Howell is organist and Larry Vote is Music Director and Cantor.  He sang near the organ, so that was useful.  The organ is a 1986 2-manual Randall Dyer pipe organ from Jefferson City, Tennessee with 20 stops, no pistons, and some duplexing.  Its sound carried well and adequately supported the congregation’s singing.

December 30th I played the 11:00 service at Gaithersburg Presbyterian.  They have a 2-manual 1981 Schantz pipe organ..


On February 17th I played the 8:00 and 11:00 services at Gaithersburg Presbyterian.  On Easter Sunday, April 21st, I played the 10:00 service at John Calvin Presbyterian Church on a Rodgers organ in Annandale, Virginia where Kevin Allen is Music Director. 

On May 19th I played the 10:00 service at Northwood Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, also on a Rodgers.  On July 7th, I played organ and directed the choir at the 9:00 and 11:00 services at Interfaith Chapel at Leisure World, Silver Spring Maryland, where Kevin Clemens is Organist-Director.

On August 18th, I played the 10:00 service at Northwood Presbyterian again (I had played there in May).  Rev. Maggie Hayward is the pastor, but Rev. Currie Burris substituted that Sunday. 2019: