John W. W. Sherer
Organist and Director of Music — Fourth Presbyterian Church
John W. W. Sherer has been hailed by critics as “a terrific musician, a pronounced virtuoso who
plays with assurance, authority and superb energy.” Reviewers have praised him for his “great
creativity and élan” and proclaimed, “As usual, Sherer communicated both the demanding and
subtle qualities of the program through utilizing both his remarkable virtuoso technique and his
sensitive musical sense to serve the requirements of the music.” Dr. Sherer has performed
numerous recitals throughout the United States, Japan and England, including several for
regional and national organist conventions.
Since 1996, Dr. Sherer has been the Organist and Director of Music for The Fourth Presbyterian
Church of Chicago, selected by USA Today as one of the top ten places in America to be
“enthralled by heavenly music.” In 2015, Fourth Church dedicated a new 142 rank Quimby
organ, the largest pipe organ in Chicago. This dynamic church has fifteen choirs and
instrumental groups including The Morning Choir, a twenty-five voice professional ensemble
and Tower Brass, a professional octet. Dr. Sherer manages an active concert series at the church
with over 100 events each year and oversees the partnership with the Music Institute of Chicago
bringing private musical instruction, music therapy and other music classes to the church for
adults and children. He has led several music missions and choir tours in the United States,
England, France, Cuba and Guatemala.
Dr. Sherer was recently selected as one of fifty prominent Chicagoans living with passion and
purpose and was featured in the book “Bright Lights of the Second City.” Fourth Presbyterian
Church was the second church in the United States to be selected for the BBC program, “Songs
of Praise.” This program, broadcast to 40 million people around the world, featured the music of
Fourth Presbyterian Church with Dr. Sherer at the organ. The Morning Choir and Dr. Sherer
were in the Columbia TriStar motion picture “My Best Friend’s Wedding” filmed in part at The
Fourth Presbyterian Church. In addition to his work at the church, Dr. Sherer is University
Organist at North Park University in Chicago where he teaches and plays for several major
events each year and Assistant Director and Organist of Chicago Sinai Congregation.
A native of Xenia, Ohio, Dr. Sherer is married to The Reverend Kara Wagner Sherer, an
Episcopal priest, and has two daughters. He enjoys yoga, tai chi, bicycling, gardening, painting
and anything related to the R.M.S. Titanic. He has studied organ with David Mulbury, Roberta
Gary, Thomas Murray and John Weaver and conducting with John Leman and Walden Moore.
He received two bachelor degrees, organ performance and choral music education, from the
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He earned two master’s degrees at
Yale University, majoring in organ performance and art in religion and received the Doctor of
Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School.
Thursday, October 11