Michael Bedford (b. 1949), a full-time church musician since 1973, currently serves as organist/choirmaster of St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he plays the organ and supervises a full graded choir program including three singing choirs, one handbell choir and a chamber ensemble. He has held similar positions in Texas and Colorado.
In 1972 he earned the BMus and BMusEd degrees from Texas Christian University, and in 1975 he earned the MMus degree from the same institution. On a Fulbright scholarship in 1972-73, he studied organ with Michael Schneider at the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne, Germany. In 1998 he earned the DMA degree in organ performance from the University of North Texas. A long-time member of the American Guild of Organists, he is Past Dean of the Fort Worth, Colorado Springs and Tulsa Chapters. In May of 1991 he earned the Associate and Choirmaster certificates through the American Guild of Organists Professional Certification examinations. He presents organ recitals and hymn festivals on a regular basis.
Dr. Bedford has published choral music for children's, youth and adult choirs, as well as organ collections and handbell pieces. Through Choristers Guild, Coronet, Hinshaw, Harold Flammer, Augsburg, Concordia, Abingdon, AGEHR, Broude, World Library Publications and St. James Music Press he now has over 100 titles in print. He also serves as workshop leader and clinician for children's and youth festivals, handbell choir festivals and organ workshops throughout the United States.
In addition to membership in the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Bedford also belongs to Choristers Guild (of which he is a past board member); the Association of Anglican Musicians; the Royal School of Church Music in America; the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; the Organ Historical Society; the American Choral Directors Association; the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association (of which he is a past board member); and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.
In 1984 his bio was featured in Outstanding Young Men of America, and in 1989 it appeared in the International Who's Who in Music.
His wife Marilyn is a kindergarten teacher in Tulsa. They have two children: Allyson Ruth, and Phillip Michael.
A quote: "It has often been said that children and youth are the future of the Church. This is a true statement, but only if children and youth are the "present" of the Church as well. If they are not taught to serve in leadership capacities in the worship and daily life of today's Church, there will be no future. We need only to examine our own parishes to discover that the young people who continue to attend worship regularly are the same ones who are allowed to participate in leadership capacities. We must continually enable this to happen."