Fred Gramann – A musical life honored.


A native of Washington state, Fred began his early organ studies with Dr. Edward Hansen of Seattle, winning the student organ competition sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of the American Guild of Organists while still in high school. While earning a bachelor’s degree in organ performance at Syracuse University, he won first prize in the 1972 Ft. Wayne National Organ Competition and was awarded the Arthur Poister Prize for outstanding organist in the Syracuse University School of Music for four consecutive years.

From 1972–75 Fred studied organ in Paris, France, with Marie‑Claire Alain, also spending one year working with organist and composer Maurice Durufle. Fred earned a master’s degree in organ performance at the University of Michigan during the 1975–76 school year. He returned to Paris in 1976 as Director of Music at the American Church in Paris, the oldest non‑governmental American institution abroad, recently celebrating his thirtieth year of music ministry.

Mr. Gramann started a handbell program at the American Church in 1981 thanks to a gift of two octaves of handbells. The program has since grown to include three handbell choirs performing on five octaves of Schulmerich handbells, four‑and‑a‑half octaves of Malmark handbells, four octaves of Petit and Fritsen handbells, five octaves of Choirchimes, and a growing set of Whitechapel handbells. Fred has had numerous choral anthems and handbell works published in the US and is Honorary Associate Director of the Raleigh Ringers.