Gail Archer

Professor of Professional Practice




319 Milbank


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 recordings include the fall, 2017, A Russian Journey The Muse’s Voice, Franz Liszt: A Hungarian Rhapsody, Bach: The Transcendent Genius, An American Idyll, A Mystic In the Making (Meyer Media), and The Orpheus of Amsterdam: Sweelinck and his Pupils (CALA Records). She is the founder of Musforum;, the network for women organists to affirm and promote their work. Professor Archer is a member of the faculty of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University.  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, Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky and the Magnificat by Johann Sebastian Bach in December, 2018 and The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn in April, 2019.  The Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir specializes in a cappella choral literature, from the Renaissance to the present.

  • BA  Montclair State University (NJ)
  • MA University of Hartford
  • MM  Mannes College of Music
  • DMA Manhattan School of Music

Introduction to Music BC1001x and BC 1002y

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.

  • American Guild of Organist
  • Organ Historical Society
  • Department of Music, Columbia University
  • Vassar College

In The News

We spoke to the director and chairs of each department, who shared what makes the end-of-year shows and performances by students in art, music, and theatre special.

May 28, 2019

From March 25 to April 12, 2019, an interactive digital exhibit, “Beyond Boundaries: Exploring the World Through Language Learning,” was on display in Barnard Hall’s lobby and sought to bridge the gap between translation and cultural input, engage students and faculty to share how their own language journeys have shaped the way they see the world, broaden the viewer’s worldview to include other perspectives through multiple lenses, and measure users’ ability to communicate and interact within communities at home and around the globe. 

April 19, 2019

Touring dates and program for Gail Archer September - December 2018.

September 21, 2018

Every year, Barnard faculty lead students on trips outside New York City—often outside the United States—to conduct research, perform, and expand teaching and learning opportunities.

July 26, 2018

The Grammy-nominated concert organist discusses her amazing career.

August 14, 2017

Nine European cities in seven weeks. Professor of Professional Practice Gail Archer played the organ in concerts across Europe and Asia this summer—from Germany to Russia.

August 2, 2017