PAMELA DECKER is Professor of Organ/Music Theory at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona in Tucson and serves as Director of Music/Organist at the Lutheran Church of the Risen Savior in Green Valley, Arizona. She completed the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree at Stanford University, with emphasis in both performance practices and composition. During her period of graduate work at Stanford, she studied both organ and composition as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. She has won prizes in national and international competitions as both performer and composer. At the University of Arizona, she was awarded the Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize for Research/Creative Activity (as the first arts-related winner in the history of the university), as well as the College of Fine Arts Award for Teaching Excellence.
As both recitalist and composer, Pamela Decker has been active in the United States, Europe, the Baltic Region, and Canada. She has been a featured recitalist in many conventions and festivals, including the American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Convention, two AGO regional conventions, the Annual Conference on Organ Music at the University of Michigan, the Twice Festival, the Redlands Organ Festival, Tallinn International Organ Festival, and the Festival International d'Orgue de Monaco. Her works for various instruments and/or ensembles are published by Wayne Leupold Editions, C.F. Peters, Hinshaw, Augsburg Fortress, World Library Publications, and Oxford University Press. Her compositions have been performed in at least nineteen countries and recorded commercially on the Albany, Loft, Gothic, ReZound (Loft), Arkay, and Arktos labels. Leading performers such as Douglas Cleveland (Gothic: Celestial Fire), Janice Beck (Albany 282: Janice Beck Performs Works of Pamela Decker), and Christa Rakich (ReZound: Christa Rakich in Recital at St. Mark's Cathedral) have recorded major works by Pamela Decker on recordings that have received excellent reviews in many journals. Pamela Decker's disc on the Albany label, Flights of Fancy, recently received a rave review in the "Classical Hall of Fame" section of Fanfare, in which she was acclaimed as "one of America's most intrepid virtuoso organists." Of the Loft Recordings disc entitled Decker Plays Decker: Desert Wildflowers (LRCD 1076) , a Gramophone review referred to Decker as "an organist noble in the Bach line...as a composer-performer she falls clearly into the lineage from which Bach and Duruflé are but two points on a long and distinguished timeline."
Pamela Decker has been named AGO Distinguished Composer for 2018; as part of this designation, she was awarded a commission for a 40-minute organ solo work that will be premiered as an evening event at the 2018 AGO national convention in Kansas City. Pamela Decker's list of works includes music for organ, piano, and harpsichord duo, as well as choral, vocal, and orchestral works. Elegy and Dances, her concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra (also in a version for alto saxophone and organ; both versions published by C.F. Peters) was premiered in the Great Hall of Moscow-Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow by saxophonist Frederick Hemke and organist Douglas Cleveland, both of whom have enjoyed illustrious careers at both national and international levels. El Tigre, her concerto for organ and orchestra, was premiered at the Eastern Music Festival under the baton of Gerard Schwarz, long-time conductor of the Seattle Symphony and the Director of the Eastern Music Festival; concert organist Edie Johnson was the soloist. In the spring of 2016, Pamela Decker's art song cycle, Haven: Songs of Mystery and of Memory, was released as a commercial CD (Albany/Troy 1621). Critics have praised the music and performances as "direct and immediate in their appeal...covering a wide spectrum of the human condition, exhibiting pathos, wistfulness, tenderness, and unexpected joy." The music is described as "achingly beautiful and memorable," as well as "poignant and enduring." The texts (also by Pamela Decker) have been praised as "simply arresting," and the playing hailed as "faultless" (Fanfare). The cycle also has received positive reviews in response to concert performance. Decker's SATB/organ anthem, Taste and See, was recently published by C.F. Peters and has been performed in concert and liturgical settings across the country.
Pamela Decker is represented by Seven Eight Artists.