Colin O'Malley on The Cunningham Piano Show Podcast

Welcome to our latest blog post, where we explore the intriguing world of musical talents and the instruments that resonate with their passion. Today, we feature Colin O'Malley, a distinguished Cunningham organ specialist known for his phenomenal musical abilities, including the rare gift of perfect pitch. Join us as we delve into Colin's musical journey, from his early discovery of perfect pitch to his professional achievements and contributions to the world of music.

Discovering Perfect Pitch: A Musical Blessing

Colin O'Malley's musical journey began with an extraordinary discovery at the age of eight. Recognized by his teacher, Colin's perfect pitch—the ability to identify and recreate any note accurately—set him apart from the very beginning. This gift not only facilitated his initial musical explorations but also shaped his future in music, allowing him to excel in improvisation and composition. However, Colin also discusses the challenges that came with this gift, particularly in sight-reading and transposition, highlighting the complexity of having perfect pitch.

The Piano, The Organ, and Beyond

Raised in a home where his grandmother's piano was a cherished instrument, Colin's fascination with music was nurtured from a young age. His transition from piano to organ was sparked by his curiosity and love for the instrument's mysterious and powerful sound, initially experienced in his local church. This interest led him to pursue organ playing more seriously, eventually taking formal lessons and embracing music ministry as a significant part of his life.

Academic Pursuits and Professional Aspirations

Colin's academic journey took him to West Chester University, where he majored in composition, a decision driven by his deep interest in creating music. Despite initial plans to become a music educator, Colin realized his true calling was in composition and performance. This realization led him to change his academic and professional trajectory, focusing on composing and performing music that was uniquely his.

Navigating Challenges and Embracing Opportunities

The story takes an unexpected turn with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which drastically altered Colin's career plans. Initially aspiring to perform on cruise ships, Colin had to pivot and find new avenues for his musical expression. This period of uncertainty and adaptation eventually led him to join Cunningham Piano Company, where he currently specializes in organs, combining his love for music with his professional expertise.

The Role of Cunningham Piano and Organ Specialist

At Cunningham Piano, Colin has found a platform to blend his musical talents with his passion for organs. His role involves not only showcasing the beauty and versatility of organs to a broader audience but also educating and inspiring others about this magnificent instrument. Through his work, Colin contributes to the vibrant musical community, ensuring the art of organ playing continues to thrive.


Colin O'Malley's story is a testament to the power of resilience, passion, and adaptability in the face of challenges. From discovering his perfect pitch to becoming an organ specialist at Cunningham Piano, Colin's journey highlights the diverse paths that musical talents can take. His experiences remind us that the world of music is ever-evolving, rich with opportunities for those willing to explore and embrace their unique gifts.

Join us next time as we continue to explore the fascinating stories of musicians and the instruments that inspire them. Whether you're a seasoned musician or a curious listener, there's always something new to discover in the world of music.