About Heidi Bender


My name is Heidi Bender.

In 2009 I decided to become an organist. This was much more of an undertaking than I ever imagined. It has taken a lot of persistence. I am continuing to take lessons to increase my skill to become employable as a church organist. In this blog I share about my experiences with the organ and hope to provide a little inspiration to those that feel “too old” to start something new. My route to becoming an organist was atypical. I started lessons at the age of 33 and continue to study (and practice) in my living room. Most organists begin lessons when they are young and some go on to earn degrees in organ. Read more about how I decided to become an organist here.

This blog will document how my life continues to be impacted by my pursuit of the organ. I also hope you will learn something new about the pipe organ, organists, and organ music (and perhaps, cats!). To subscribe to receive posts via email, enter your email into the subscribe box on the right side of this page.

Since starting this blog, I’ve struggled a bit to define my audience. Is it other organists? People looking for inspiration? Currently, it is a mix of both. I thank you for reading. Please feel free to use the contact page if there is a topic you’d like to see on this blog.

I will also include photos and stories of my cats from time to time. Sometimes my cats visit me when I am on the organ bench when I practice on my Saville electronic organ.

I am currently employed as a full time data manager (this does not mean data entry). I’ve been married to Ted for 11 years and we have three indoor cats. We also fed the stray “Other Buster” in the backyard for about 18 months, but he has since disappeared. In July, 2014 a mom cat showed up with 5 kittens and we’ve spent the summer feeding them and will look to find homes for them soon.

My Teacher – Michael Gartz

Michael Gartz

Michael Gartz

Michael Gartz is my teacher and mentor. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organ Performance from Eastman School of Music. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Organ and Choral Accompanist at Bowling Green State University. He is also the organist at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Toledo, OH and for the Canterbury Singers USA. Michael is an incredibly patient teacher and I am thankful that he continues to provide me with lessons.

My 3 cats at my organ.

My 3 cats at my organ.


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Bill B - December 12, 2018 Reply

I was searching for Saville organs, and found your posts. Someone donated a Saville to the Chicago Auditorium Theatre long ago. Virgil Fox recorded on the organ, and you can find it on YouTube. That venue had a Roosevelt organ installed in 1899. It was removed after William Barnes bought it in 1942. Barnes wrote about it in his book. It was headed for junk! Most problems with older electronic organs involves the capacitors. In particular, capacitors in the amplifier(s). Keep up your work.

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