Douglas E. Bush
Bush's career started at Brigham Young University, where he completed his master's degree in Music (1974). Since that time he has concertized extensively in the United States, Mexico, and Europe and has been a featured soloist in several concert series. European tours have included concerts in Austria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland.
Bush has conducted numerous master classes and workshops on organ literature, church music, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and has published both organ and choral music for church use. Scholarly activity has resulted in the publication of several articles in journals, magazines, and books, and he is currently editing an encyclopedia on the organ to be published by Routledge Press in New York City. Musicological research has focused on the use of the organ in the Roman Catholic and Protestant liturgies of the German Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as the music of Samuel Scheidt, Nicolas deGrigny, and Johann Sebastian Bach. Academic awards have included several grants for European research, the Alcuin Fellowship for General Education at BYU (1991), and several teaching awards. He also received BYU's Alumni Professorship award in 2011.
Comments From Students
The following comment was published in BYU Magazine, Spring 2000, in an article titled Professors of the Century.
When I was a sophomore I had the opportunity to take my history of civilization series from Dr. Douglas Bush. This class changed many of my perception of the arts and humanities. (My background is predominantly science-related.) Dr. Bush brought new life to the classics we were reading, and he opened my eyes to the wonders of all types of music. As we delved through the layers of Bach’s fugues, the class took a very personal note. My sister was in the class with me, and she had privately asked Dr. Bush if he would play part of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor for me on my birthday. You can imagine my surprise as he invited me to come sit next to him near the organ console in the Madsen recital hall as he played one of my most favorite pieces of music in front of the whole Music 202 class.
In the previous semester (Music 201) after finishing my final, I needed a stapler to re-staple the pages that I had taken apart. As I walked out of the recital hall where class was held, I saw Dr. Bush walking toward me. He asked if I needed anything. I told him that I was looking for a stapler. He told me not to worry about it; he would take care of it for me. Then he asked me how I was doing, how my classes were going, and he talked to me like I was an old friend. Before I left, he not only shook my hand, but gave me a warm, fatherly hug.
During the summer after I had taken Music 202, Dr. Bush went to Europe to do a little research and to play around on some of the organs there. Once again I was surprised by Dr. Bush. I received a post card from Vienna, where he had given an organ recital. This was, in my opinion, beyond the call of duty of a professor.
About three months later, I had the opportunity of being surprised for a third time by Dr. Bush. My sister and I decided to go to an organ recital held at a local stake center. Before the recital, Dr. Bush was talking with members of the audience. When he got to the pew where we were sitting, he called us both by name and personally thanked my sister and me for coming. I was amazed that he knew my sister and me by name, when we were just two of the 150 people that take his history of civilization classes each semester.
But that’s not all. If I had only the opportunity to meet and know Dr. Bush personally, that would be enough. However, I also learned in his classes. Despite there being 150 other people in the class, I felt as if he were teaching directly to me. He instilled in me a desire to excel and to seek all kinds of knowledge. I think I learned more about good writing skills in his class than in any English class I have had. Through his example, I decided to take an organ class. It was a lot of work, but it helped me to realize that even engineers can make beautiful music.
Dr. Bush impacted my life in a way that few others have. I learned in his class, but I learned more than just the history of civilization. I learned that people count and that, to Dr. Bush, each of his students are important.
—Timothy Mauery, ’98, Potlatch, Idaho