World Premiere for Organ – “Animalia Floridae” by Dr. Pamela Decker

In honor of their 75th Anniversary, the Tampa Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) has commissioned a significant new work for organ by noted composer Pamela Decker which will be premiered on Sunday May 5th at 4 PM in concert by the composer at Sykes Chapel on the University of Tampa Campus.


Founded on December 8th 1947, the Tampa Chapter of the AGO has been fostering a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire their passion for the pipe organ—famously dubbed by Mozart as the “King of Instruments”. Nationally, the American Guild of Organists is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. The Guild serves approximately 275 chapters and 12,000 members throughout the United States and abroad.  Among many current activities benefiting the local community, the Tampa Chapter of the AGO maintains an active scholarship program.  More information about membership and educational and scholarship programs can be found by visiting their website at
Dr. Pamela Decker, organist and composer, is professor of organ and theory at the University of Arizona. She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stanford University and was awarded a Fulbright grant in 1980 to study organ and composition in Luebeck, Germany. She has won prizes in national and international competitions for organ and composition. Dr. Decker has performed extensively as a concert organist throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She has ten CD’s (as performer or composer) in distribution. Twice she has appeared as a recitalist at the National Convention of the AGO. She has performed as part of many other conferences and festivals at national and international levels.


The Work, entitled “Animalia Floridae” (The Animals of Florida) is a collection of three vivid and highly contrasting tone poems.  The work takes approximately 20 minutes to perform in its entirety, with each movement characterizing a different native animal species of Florida; Mvt. 1 “Lament of the Leviathan:  Alligator mississippiensis”, Mvt. 2 “Song of the Sirenian:  Trichechus manatus latirostris” and Mvt. 3 “Catamount Incantation:  Puma concolor coryi”.   These are referred to by the composer using their taxonomic classification and are more commonly known by the names “Allegator”, “Manatee” and “Florida Panther”.  It is a distinctive collection of music which was intended by the Tampa Chapter of the AGO to serve as a sort of cultural ambassador of the Tampa Bay Region and State of Florida whenever it appears on programs in the future both here and abroad.  It will be available for purchase after the premiere through the publisher Wayne Leupold Editions.


Through a collaboration and generous support of the Music Department of the University of Tampa, the premiere performance of the work by the composer will take place on the magnificent new 3-manual, 56-rank Dobson pipe organ (Opus 89) installed there.   The combination of architecture and acoustics make this one of the finest venues in the state to experience the music of the pipe organ. In addition to the premiere of “Animalia Floridae”, the program will feature other works by various other composers.
Admission is Free, and reservations are not required in advance.   Sykes Chapel is located on the campus at the University of Tampa at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606-1490.