Gail Archer

Professor of Professional Practice (Barnard College)
Gail Archer, concert organist, director of the Barnard/Columbia Chorus
Adviser for Barnard students majoring in Music
Director of the Barnard/Columbia Chorus & Chamber Choir
Concert Organist
Office Address: 
319 Milbank (Barnard)
Office Hours: 
M/W 12:30-2:30, T 9:30-11:30, Th 3-5 on Zoom ID: 938-209-6398
(212) 854-5096

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 an international concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor and lecturer who draws attention to composer anniversaries or musical themes with her annual recital series including Max Reger, The Muse's Voice, An American Idyll, Liszt, Bach, Mendelssohn and Messiaen. Ms. Archer was the first American woman to play the complete works of Olivier Messiaen for the centennial of the composer's birth in 2008; Time Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as "Best of 2008" in classical music and opera. Her recordings include her new August, 2020 release, Chernivtsi, recorded at the Armenian Catholic Church, Chernivtsi, Ukraine, featuring contemporary Ukrainian composers,  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). Ms. Archer's 2019 European tour took her to the British Isles, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Malta. Highlights include St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland, the Basilica of Loyola, San Sebastian, Spain, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Cracow, Poland, Holy Cross Church, Lublin, Poland, the Philharmonic of Lviv, Ukraine, and the Lutheran Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Moscow, Russia. 

She is the founder of Musforum, an international network for women organists to promote and affirm their work. Ms. Archer is college organist at Vassar College, director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus and Chamber Singers and a faculty member of Harriman Institute, Columbia University.  She is artistic director of the artist and young artist recital series at historic Central Synagogue, New York City.

Professor Archer serves as college organist at Vassar College.


  • BA, Montclair State College
  • MA, Hartt College of Music
  • MM, Mannes College of Music
  • DMA, Manhattan School of Music

Ginastera's 'Psalm 150': Gail Archer conducts Barnard-Columbia Chorus & Chamber Strings