Kola Owolabi

Professor of Organ
S532 O'Neill Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-1423

Professor of Organ
Head of Graduate Organ Studio

Research Interests

  • Historical Performance Practice of Organ Repertoire from 16th-21st centuries
  • Creative Hymn Playing
  • Organ Improvisation


Kola Owolabi is professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame. There he teaches the graduate organ performance majors in the sacred music program, as well as courses in hymn playing and improvisation. He previously held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan from 2014 to 2020, and at Syracuse University from 2006 to 2014.

He has had an active career as a solo recitalist, including performances at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York, St. James Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, The Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY, St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto, Cornell University and Yale University. International venues include Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria, Église du Bouclier in Strasbourg, France and the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. He was a featured performer at the American Guild of Organists national conventions in Seattle in 2022 and in Boston in 2014. He also performed a concert for the Organ Historical Society Convention in Syracuse in 2014. He has performed numerous concerts as organist and harpsichordist with the Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra, based in Miami, FL.

He is a published composer and has received commissions from the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. His solo organ composition "Dance" was selected for the Royal Canadian College of Organists National Competition in August 2013, where all of the finalists performed this composition. His choral works have been performed internationally by ensembles such as the Santa Cruz Chorale, CA, Nashville Chamber Singers, Illinois Wesleyan University Choir and the Elmer Isler Singers in Toronto.

In 2002, he was awarded second prize and audience prize at the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. He holds degrees in organ performance and choral conducting from McGill University, Montreal, Yale University, and Eastman School of Music. His former teachers have included Bruce Wheatcroft, John Grew, Martin Jean, Thomas Murray, Hans Davidsson, and William Porter.


  • Fantasia on Sine Nomine

    Craig Phillips

  • Concerto in F major, Opus 6 No. 2

    Arcangelo Corelli

  • Toccata prima (Second Book of Toccatas)

    Girolamo Frescobaldi