Organist and Director of Music (19882002)
Douglas Major came to the staff of Washington National Cathedral in 1974 and left in 2002. He began as assistant organist and choirmaster and, in July 1988, he succeeded Richard W. Dirksen as organist and choirmaster of the Cathedral. He directed the music program of the Cathedral, including conducting the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. The Cathedral Choirs, including the Girls Choir, sing for over 200 choral services per season; their repertoire ranges from twelfth-century Gregorian Chant to the most modern compositions. As a composer, Majors published works include anthems, canticles and psalms for chorus and organ solo music. His solo recordings include seven CDs recorded on the Cathedrals magnificent 185-rank Skinner organ of music by Bach, Reger, Tournemire and Howells. Major also has recorded A Bach Festival with the Empire Brass of Boston for Angel/EMI. He has made solo appearances in many major American cities and has performed with the Empire Brass Quintet.
Major received his bachelor of music in organ from Webster College in St. Louis, Missouri, studying with Dr. Ronald Arnatt, and was associate organist and choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis prior to his appointment in Washington. In May 1995, he received an honorary doctor of music degree from the Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin.