Sarah Mahler Kraaz Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Sarah Mahler Kraaz

William Harley Barber Distinguished Professor and Professor of Music
Ripon College

Sarah Mahler Kraaz teaches piano and organ as well as courses in music history, women in music with a writing emphasis, and two interdisciplinary courses: music and war, and music and art. Dr. Kraaz has researched and performed on historic organs in Italy, Germany and Scotland and is active as a church musician in the U.S. She has composed works for organ solo and choir and is a regular reviewer for The Diapason, an international journal devoted to the harpsichord, organ, and church music.

Subjects: Music


The abiding interests that have shaped Dr. Kraaz' personal and professional life are music and reading and writing, especially about history and human psychology. Teaching was a natural career choice and teaching has shaped her research and performing. She conducted research in the Women Composers Collection at the University of Michigan to discover music by overlooked women, which led to editing piano music by the 18th-century Czech-English composer Veronika Dussek Cianchettini. Further discoveries prompted the creation of a women in music course that has undergone several iterations, most recently as an intensive writing course for first-year students. Studying early organ music led to researching the instruments for which it was written, a path that resulted in trips to Europe to hear and play historic organs. Seeking new challenges coupled with a long-held dream of living abroad translated into teaching in Florence, Italy, with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in 2012 and 2016. The experience of teaching art and music on site in this beautiful city inspired Dr. Kraaz' classroom teaching back home as well as opening up research opportunities in music iconology.


    B.A. in music education from Olivet College, 1976
    M.M. in music history, University of Colorado, 1979
    D.M.A. in organ performance, University of Kansas, 1985

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Women in music, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music history and performance practices, organ music, piano and organ pedagogy, accompanying, writing about music,  interdisciplinary courses (music and art, music and war)

    Link to an organ recital at Brevard College:

Personal Interests

    Gardening, recreational reading (esp. historical fiction and mysteries), current events reading, family, food, feminism, improving foreign language skills (French, Italian), traveling.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Music and War in the US--Kraaz - 1st Edition book cover


Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography, XXXIX/1-2, p. 87–97

“Music for the Queen of Heaven in Early Fifteenth-Century Italian Painting”

Published: Nov 11, 2014 by Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography, XXXIX/1-2, p. 87–97
Authors: Sarah Mahler Kraaz

Trecento artist Taddeo di Bartolo painted the Virgin Enthroned encircled by angels holding a scroll with musical notation. The article discusses the content of the scroll, "Salve, Regina," one of the four Marian antiphons from the Offices and the use of the image as a sensory aid to religious devotion.