School of Music

Ray Cornils

Artist Faculty in Organ
Ray Cornils

Office Location




Academic Degrees

  • Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, 1977
  • Master of Music in Organ Performance, New England Conservatory of Music, 1979


Ray Cornils is a member of the music faculty at USM where he teaches organ, harpsichord and Advanced Keyboard Skills. He is the Municipal Organist for the City of Portland, a post which he has held since 1990. He also serves First Parish Church in Brunswick as Minister of Music where he leads an extensive choral and handbell program. In addition, he is a member of the music faculties of Bowdoin College at Brunswick and the Portland Conservatory of Music.

Cornils received the Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Master of Music degree in organ performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He has studied organ with Robert Reeves, Fenner Douglas, William Porter, Yuko Hayashi, and Gillian Weir and harpsichord with William Porter, Lenora McCroskey, and Lisa Crawford (continuo).

Before moving to Maine, Cornils was a member of the music faculty of Tufts University in Boston, and the Brookline Music School. He was director of the Braintree Choral Society, as harpsichordist/organist of the award-winning New England Baroque Ensemble and as music director of the United Parish in Brookline.

Cornils has held several positions on the local and national levels of the American Guild of Organists, including Dean of the Portland Chapter and Convention Coordinator of the 2014 National Convention. He has been a member of the Compensation Committee for the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ.

He has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Ecuador and New Zealand. He has been a featured recitalist for conventions of both the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. In addition to his solo work, he performs regularly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.


(updated April 2015)