Dr. Tom Mueller is Assistant Professor of Church Music and University Organist at Concordia University in Irvine, California, where he directs academic programs in keyboard, composition, and jazz. An award-winning church musician, he serves as the Associate Organist at St. James’ Church in Los Angeles, where he accompanies the acclaimed Choir of St. James’ under the direction of James Buonemani. He is an active recitalist, clinician, and adjudicator.
In 2014, Mueller was awarded first place in the Schoenstein Competition in Hymn-Playing, held in conjunction with the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, Massachusetts. He was honored by The Diapason as a member of the inaugural “20 Under 30” list of influential figures in the world of organ and church music in 2015.
He maintains an active concert schedule, and has performed at universities and churches across the United States. In 2010, he performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach in a series of seventeen concerts in his native state of Maine. He has received numerous commissions for new choral and liturgical works, and performances of his compositions have been broadcast on national radio and television. Mueller is also an accomplished guitarist, and toured the country as a member of The Muellers, a nationally-recognized family bluegrass band. Their fourth album, The Muellers, was released in 2009.
Research interests include the early organ and keyboard works of J. S. Bach, the performance practice of organ continuo playing in the classical-era concerted sacred music of Germany and Austria, and the American reception of the nineteenth-century opera star Jenny Lind. He has presented workshops, masterclasses, and lectures for numerous organizations, including several chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as a faculty member for the Guild’s Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) program for young organists. He currently serves on the national Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE) of the AGO, as a regional president for Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and chairs the organ study grant program of the Orange County chapter of the AGO.
Mueller earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Higgs. He also holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame (M.S.M. in organ), and the University of Maine at Augusta (B.M. in jazz composition and piano), where he graduated summa cum laude. His former teachers include Craig Cramer, Alan Wingard, William Porter, Frank Mauceri, and Steve Grover, and he has performed in masterclasses with Stephen Tharp, Isabelle Demers, Ken Cowan, Alan Morrison, Michael Bauer, and Diane Meredith Belcher, among others. He resides in Orange County with his wife and two daughters.