• Professor of Music, Organ and Music Theory; University Organist
  • 864.294.2969
  • Daniel Music Building, Room 109
  • charles.tompkins@furman.edu
  •  

Charles Tompkins is recognized as one of America's most outstanding organ teachers and concert organists. A member of the Furman faculty since 1986, his students have gained admission to major graduate schools in organ performance--including Yale University, Indiana University, and Florida State University--and may be found in significant church and university positions.

A graduate of the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, Tompkins performs each year at universities and major churches throughout the United States. He has played recitals at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, S.C.

Tompkins has also performed at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, Association of Anglican Musicians, Music Teachers National Association, and the College Music Society. His performances have been broadcast nationally on American Public Media's PIPEDREAMS radio program.

An active church musician throughout his career, Tompkins has been organist of Greenville's historic First Baptist Church since 1997, where he presides over the largest organ in South Carolina, an 86-rank instrument by Casavant. He has served as consultant for a number of outstanding organs, including Furman's magnificent Hartness Organ, a 42-stop instrument by C.B. Fisk Organbuilders.

Name Title Description

MUS-065

Chamber Choir

MUS-111A

Basic Musicianship I: Written

Introduction to music fundamentals, basic principles of voice leading, and harmonic progression through development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-111B

Basic Musicianship I: Aural

Introduction to music fundamentals, basic principles of voice leading, and harmonic progression through development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-112A

Bsc Musicianship II: Written

Ongoing study of voice leading, diatonic harmony, basic modulation, and small forms through continued development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-112B

Basic Musicianship II: Aural

Ongoing study of voice leading, diatonic harmony, basic modulation, and small forms through continued development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-211A

Bsc Musicianship III: Written

Ongoing study of voice leading, chromatic harmony, advanced modulation, and small forms through continued development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-211B

Basic Musicianship III: Aural

Ongoing study of voice leading, chromatic harmony, advanced modulation, and small forms through continued development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-212A

Bsc Musicianship IV: Written

Overview of large musical forms and of contemporary compositional techniques through continued development of complementary skills in analysis, composition, improvisation, music technology, sight-singing, ear training, and at the keyboard.

MUS-212B

Basic Musicianship IV: Aural

MUS-341

Hymnology

Survey of major developments in hymnody 151 both hymn texts and hymn tunes 151 from the early Christian era to the present.

MUS-421

Histry & Lit of the Instrument

MUS-452

Service Playing

In my organ teaching, I seek to develop each student's technical and musical abilities to the fullest, and--in particular--to encourage each student's own unique musical personality to shine forth in their playing. Students in the Furman organ studio perform organ literature from all historical periods, and I seek to inculcate in their playing both stylistic faithfulness and strong musical communication. In addition to broad coverage of the historic organ literature, I also strongly emphasize practical service playing skills--hymn playing, choral and solo accompanying, improvisation, and conducting from the console--to prepare students for success in the area of church music. Each student receives a thorough grounding in organ design and construction, with an emphasis on developing the ability to comfortably perform on organs of many different styles and sizes.

  • Performers Certificate, Eastman School of Music
  • Associated Colleges of the South/Mellon Faculty Renewal Grant for study and performance in France and Switzerland (2011)
Education
D.M.A.
Eastman School of Music
B.M.
Eastman School of Music
M.M.
University of Michigan
Training Under
Russell Saunders (organ) and Lenora McCroskey (harpsichord)
Eastman School of Music
Robert Glasgow (organ)
University of Michigan

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