Gail Archer

Professor of Professional Practice

Gail Archer joined the Barnard faculty in 1988.  She is director of the Barnard-Columbia Chorus and Chamber Choir and teaches Introduction to Music, a year-long  survey of  Western Classical Music from Gregorian Chant to living composers. She is also an international concert organist and recording artist; her most recent CD, “Bach the Transcendent Genius” celebrating the 325th anniversary of the composer’s birth, was released in January, 2010 on Meyer-Media LLC  Professor Archer serves as college organist at Vassar College.

Artistic Focus

As director of the Barnard-Columbia Chorus, Professor Archer has led the chorus through the masterworks of the choral literature with orchestra from Monteverdi to Stravinsky.  Most recently, the choir sang the St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach and Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn.  The Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir specializes in a cappella choral literature, from the Renaissance to the present.


Introduction to Music BC1001x and BC 1002y

Awards & Honors: 

Time-Out New York “Best of 2008” in Classical Music and Opera for the complete cycle of the organ works of Olivier Messiaen celebrating the centennial of the composer’s birth.

Professional Affiliations: 

American Guild of Organist

Organ Historical Society

Department of Music, Columbia University

Vassar College


319 Milbank
(212) 854-5096

Office Hours: 

M/W 12:30-2:30, T 11-12


BA  Montclair State University (NJ)

MA University of Hartford

MM  Mannes College of Music

DMA Manhattan School of Music

Related Web Sites: 

Personal Website:

In the News

Collection of music for solo organ features compositions by women

Listen to an interview with the director of the Barnard-Columbia Chorus

The goal of Barnard’s writing fellows program is simple: It’s meant to help every student write better, no matter what her major.