Dr. John Coble
John Coble is Director of Music and Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Athens, Georgia, where he directs and oversees the church’s music program, including adult, youth, and children’s choirs and handbell choir, and he is administrator of the Wayne F. Middendorf Memorial Concert Series which features both local and nationally known performers. Dr. Coble is also part-time instructor of organ at the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and he is Artist-in-Residence at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. His previous church positions include Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Lutheran churches in Georgia, Indiana, and North Carolina.
He received his Doctor of Music degree in Organ and Church Music from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he served as an Associate Instructor of church music. He also holds a Master of Music degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Augusta College, both in organ performance. His organ teachers include Dr. Marilyn Keiser, Dr. Michael Corzine, and Dr. John G. Schaeffer. He has also studied organ improvisation with Bruce Neswick.
As an organist and pianist, Dr. Coble has appeared as a soloist and with other musicians across the country, including performances in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and New York. In 2008 he served as organist and accompanist for the International Presbyterian Choral Festival tour of Scotland which performed in Stirling, Inverness, Aberdeen, and St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. He performed numerous recitals on the historic Tannenberg organ at the Old Salem Visitors’ Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2012 he performed as a featured soloist with the Mississippi State University Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he performed as part of the Westobou Festival in Augusta, Georgia. He also performs with faculty and students from the University of Georgia.
As a church musician, Dr. Coble has led services for over thirty years, including hymn festivals and performances of major choral works including music of Bach, Handel, Rutter, and Vaughan Williams. He has hosted choral and handbell festivals, and presented joint concerts and services with other churches. He has participated in and led services at regional and national gatherings for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Episcopal Church.
Dr. Coble has performed recitals and presented lectures and workshops for many regional chapters of the American Guild of Organists, including sessions on organ improvisation techniques and resources, choir directing skills for organists, and on the administration of church music programs and concert series. In 2017 he was a presenter at the Fall Organ Conference and IOU Reunion at Indiana University.
In 2009 he founded Horns for Haiti, a project to raise funds and collect instruments, music, and other supplies for the St. Francis Episcopal Church and school on the island of La Gonâve, Haiti. In addition to presenting benefit recitals for Horns for Haiti, he has also performed and conducted concerts benefitting Buckhead Christian Ministries in Atlanta, and for the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Royal School of Church Music, the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians.