Music Programs

Brenda Portman

Adjunct Faculty, Organ, Music Program

Brenda Portman is the Resident Organist at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, Executive Director of the church’s renowned Organ Concert Series, and Organ Instructor at Xavier University.  She also teaches scholarship students through the Cincinnati chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (2016) in organ performance from the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music, where she received a full scholarship as first prize winner of the Strader Organ Competition and served as teaching assistant for the organ department.  She also has music degrees from Northwestern University (2003) and Wheaton College (2002).  

Dr. Portman has received numerous prizes in organ competitions, including the Albert Schweitzer, Arthur Poister, Rodgers, and Sursa American Organ Competitions.  In 2014 she was the only American woman to compete in the Canadian International Organ Competition in Montréal.  Her performance there led to a collaboration with acclaimed Canadian composer Rachel Laurin and a recording on the 88-rank Casavant organ of Hyde Park Community UMC in Cincinnati: "Pilgrimages: Organ Music of Rachel Laurin Inspired by Sacred Themes," which was released in 2016 on the Raven label.  Dr. Portman is also a published composer, with organ and choral works published by Lorenz/Sacred Music Press, Augsburg, and others.  She has won awards in several competitions for organ or choral compositions, and she has received commissions from the American Guild of Organists, various churches, and individual performers.