Colleen Ostercamp, longtime organist at First Baptist Church in Columbia was recently honored as Church Musician of the Year by the Missouri affiliate of the national Federation of Music Clubs. The statewide organization includes five districts made up of senior and student music clubs.
Ostercamp is a charter member of the Show Me Club, a 10-year affiliate based in Columbia.
She attributes her love of music to her parents. Her mom, a music teacher, who at 83 still teaches piano to about 20 students in Sioux Falls, S.D., began helping her mom with her students at 10 years old. Her mom began letting 12-year-old Colleen teach new students in their home when she reached student capacity at her studio.
Ostercamp loved music as a small child, she explained. “As soon as I could stand up on daddy’s lap…whenever I heard music, I would stand up and wave my arms,” she said.
Her mother taught piano to all five of her children until they reached junior high. Ostercamp took lessons from others through high school, and then earned a music education degree from the University of Sioux Falls, an American Baptist school.
She credits her parents not only with helping her develop skills, but also with igniting her passion for music. “Part of our education was knowing music. It was part of our daily routine,” she said.
Because music was so much a part of life, Colleen was able to recognize God at work. “I saw that it was a gift and that’s what I could share best,” she added.
Ostercamp and her husband, Gary, moved to Columbia from Florida after Gary completed chaplaincy training and accepted the chaplain’s post at the University of Missouri’s children’s hospital.
Though she plays the organ for worship at First Baptist, her “main” job is giving lessons at her home studio, where she has two grand pianos in her living room. Gary offers guitar lessons three nights each week, and performs with FBC’s praise band.
Colleen recently celebrated 20 years as First Baptist’s organist, and pointed out that Ed Rollins has been music director for 25 years. “It’s been great to be part of that family,” Ostercamp said.
She estimates she has played for more than 1,000 services and at least 2,000 rehearsals, and that she has performed some 6,000 hymns in those 20 years.