Margaret Martin Kvamme is a Canadian-born organist based in the San Francisco Bay Area who teaches private lessons in organ, piano, conducting, and music theory. She performs as a solo artist, with a special interest in thematic programming and promoting the works of female composers. She has been described in The American Organist as “a solid performer with ample technical facility and fine musicianship.” The American Record Guide has called her “intelligent and especially sensitive to the lyrical qualities of the music.”
Ms. Kvamme won first prize in the 1993 Naples International Organ Festival Competition in Florida. Solo organ engagements have taken her to her native Ontario, Canada, and also to Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and Quebec. In California, she has played on the guest recital series at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; First United Methodist Church, San Diego; and at Stanford University. Ms. Kvamme has performed as featured recitalist at Holsclaw Hall at the University of Arizona and at the Dr. Arturo Rando-Grillot Hall at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The nationally syndicated public radio program Pipedreams has included Kvamme's performances in multiple episodes.
A versatile presenter, Kvamme speaks and instructs on various topics and has presented workshops at several regional American Guild of Organists conventions. She is passionate about introducing young people to the pipe organ and regularly gives informational, hand-on presentations to students.
Four of Kvamme's private organ students have won the San Jose AGO Chapter Frasier Scholarship, and one was an AGO Quimby Regional Competition winner. She has held university choral director positions, first as Director of Choral Activities at Marygrove College in Detroit and later as Director of the Concert Choir at the University of California at Santa Cruz where she also taught theory and conducting courses.
As a church musician, Ms. Kvamme served as Director of Music for Joint Venture Churches in San Jose for six years, leading two adult choirs and playing the organ for Episcopal and United Church of Christ congregations. Currently she plays as a substitute and special service organist, including at Stanford University. For fifteen years, Ms. Kvamme was organist for the Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos, where she recently was named Organist Emerita. She appeared in concert multiple times at PCLG as featured organist with the Silicon Valley Symphony, in works ranging from Poulenc's Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3, to Holst's The Planets. She continues teaching organ lessons at the church and acts as curator of the Möller-Schoenstein pipe organ.
Ms. Kvamme is an honors graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and Master of Music degrees in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting from the University of Michigan. Her studies at the organ have been with David Craighead, Robert Glasgow, David Higgs, David Palmer and Sandra Soderlund. Her debut solo album, Sevenfold Gifts, was released by the Albany label in 2007 and was recorded on the 1898 Felgemaker organ at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. The American Record Guide called the recording “... beautifully [played] by a sensitive and creative artist” and “an interesting program well played on an exquisite instrument”. The album is available on Amazon, Albany Records, Spotify, and Apple Music. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms. Kvamme recorded the entire Orgelbüchlein chorales of J. S. Bach; these can be heard on her YouTube channel. She is represented by Concert Artist Cooperative, found online at www.concertartistcooperative.com.
- Private Instructor, organ, piano, music theory 1989–present
- Associate Organist, Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA, 2004–2019
- Music Director (Organist/Choir Director), Joint Venture Churches, San Jose, CA, 1996–2003
- Lecturer in Music Theory/Choral Conductor, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, 1996–2000
- Music Theory Teacher/Choral Director, Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto, CA, 1995–1996
- Assistant Professor/Director of Choral Activities, Marygrove College, Detroit, MI, 1993–1995
- Chorus Master, Windsor Symphony Chorus Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1994–1995