A native of Pennsylvania, Joe O’Donnell holds the degrees of Bachelor of Music in Organ and Master of Liturgical Music from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where his teachers included Daniel Roth and Gunther Kaunzinger. During his time in Washington, he served as assisting organist at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and as organist/choir director at St. Joseph’s Church on Capitol Hill.
It was in Washington that he also began his career in organ building over 30 years ago, working as a service technician. He continues to work in that capacity on the staff of Bond Organ Builders, Inc. in Portland, Oregon, where he has taken on additional responsibilities including design engineering. Joe is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Organ Builders and for the past three years has reviewed the institute’s annual convention for the Journal of American Organbuilding. At the 2004 convention in Los Angeles he lectured on the topic “Zen and the Art of Organ Maintenance.”
Joe is organist at the First Unitarian Church of Portland (playing an 1870’s Hutchings Plaisted organ he helped to restore). He is a veteran of convention committes for the AGO (regional) and the Unitarian Universalist Musicians’ Network (national). In 2006 he was a recitalist at the Organ Historical Society’s national convention in Southeastern Massachusetts.
He is presenting the Organ Maintenance workshop