Dr. Devon Howard is the Director of Keyboard & Theory Studies and Music Department Chair at Southwestern Adventist University.Devon was born in Colorado and began piano studies at the age of eight and organ at the age of thirteen. In 1999, he studied for one year with Donald Sutherland at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, before transferring to Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. In 2003, he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Organ Performance under the tutelage of Prof. Judy Glass.
After graduation Devon served as an assistant to the choral department during an interim period, during which time he conducted many ensembles, substitute taught theory, history and general music courses, established a concert choir specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music, and directed a department Christmas musical theatre production. He also apprenticed as an organ builder for the firm Richards, Fowkes & Co. of Ooltewah,TN.
For the 2005-2006 academic year Devon studied organ performance and technique as a Fulbright Scholar with Prof. Aart Bergwerff at Codarts Conservatorium in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The following year he stayed in The Netherlands pursuing independent improvisation study with Sietze de Vries on the historic organs of the Groningen provence. Throughout his time in Europe he served as organist in Reform and Scottish International churches and traveled extensively throughout Europe playing and performing on historic instruments.
In 2012, Devon completed a Doctor of Music Arts degree with Dr. Kimberly Marshall at Arizona State University, during which time he served as a Teaching Assistant for three years. His dissertation title was Organ Improvisation in Context: Historical and Practical Influences on the Craft of Improvisation at the Organ. While in Phoenix, he also serviced and tuned several organs in AZ, was a full-time Director of Worship and Music at a large two-campus Lutheran church in Mesa, maintained an active studio of piano and organ students, and was the continuo organist for the Phoenix Symphony.
Devon has served as a Director of Worship & Arts and organist at several churches, most recently at the Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kettering, Ohio. He also performs regularly throughout the United States, is a passionate advocate for improvisation education and performance.