Current Students

 

Badazewski

Davis C. Badaszewski, freshman in the studio of David Higgs, began playing organ at the age of fourteen. He currently is one of three VanDelinder Fellows at Christ Church Episcopal (Rochester, NY). He has held positions as Associate/Apprentice Organist at Christ Church Episcopal (Ridgewood, NJ), Music Intern at Saint Bartholomew’s Church (New York, NY), Organ Scholar at Saint Paul’s Episcopal (Englewood, NJ), Organ Scholar at Saint Gabriel the Archangel (Saddle River, NJ), and Interim Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church (Hackensack, NJ). He was the recipient of the Saddle River Day School 2014 Mark G. EcksteinMusic Scholarship, and in 2015, The Senior Performing Arts Award. As the winner of the Ridgewood Choral’s 2015 Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award, he performed as the featured soloist at their 87th annual spring concert at Westside Presbyterian Church (Ridgewood, NJ). He is the winner of the 2015 Margaret Hsiao Scholarship awarded by the First Presbyterian Church (Rutherford, NJ). He is a member of the American Guild of Organists and sits on the Executive Committee of the North New Jersey Chapter. In August of 2015, he attended the Royal School of Church Music Newport Course as an Organ Scholar. His previous teachers have included William K. Trafka (organ), Mark Trautman (organ), and Erick Storckman (music theory). Davis hopes to pursue advanced degrees in his field and one day become a Music Director of a large metropolitan church.

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Chelsea Barton is currently pursuing a Doctorate with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.  Chelsea holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Performer’s Certificate from Eastman, having studied organ, harpsichord, and improvisation with William Porter.  Following her undergraduate education, she completed a year of study with Michel Bouvard, Yasuko Bouvard, and Jan Willem Jansen at the Conservatoire Rayonnement Regionale in Toulouse, France.  She completed a Masters at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, as a student of Hans-Ola Ericsson and Hank Knox.  In October 2015, Chelsea won third prize in the Bach/Liszt International Organ Competition held in Erfurt, Germany.  In August 2012, Chelsea was awarded second prize in the Arp Schnitger International Organ Competition held in Bremen.  She won second prize in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition and first prize in the West Chester International Organ Competition.  Chelsea also enjoys woodland walks, gardening, and birdwatching.

ORGAN PICTURE Michael Jon Bennett

Michael Jon Bennett, organist and composer, is pursuing a double major BM at The Eastman School of Music studying Organ Performance with Prof. Edoardo Bellotti and Composition with Prof. Oliver Schneller. Prior to this, Michael attended The Juilliard School Pre-College Division for Composition and Piano Performance since 2013. He studied Organ Performance and Organ Improvisation privately with Peter Richard Conte of the Wanamaker Organ, Johann Vexo, Organist of Notre Dame de Paris, and Jean-Baptiste Robin, organist at the Chapelle Royale de Versailles. Michael has performed in France and the United States. In France he has performed in historic venues such as Nancy Cathedral, La Chapelle Royale de Versailles, and Royaumont Abbaye. In the United States, he has performed many concerts at the historic Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, The Curtis Institute of Music, The Baryshnikov Center for the Performing Arts, and The Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts. Michael was a YoungArts Finalist in Organ Performance, 2016. Michael’s compositions, including his newest piece “Spectres” for 9 musicians, have been performed numerous times at The Juilliard School, The Baryshnikov Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute where Michael participated as their ASCAP Compositional Scholar, where the first version of his piece “le rêve prend forme à partir des forces mystérieuses” for ensemble, was performed in summer 2015. In addition to other numerous musical awards, Michael was awarded the “Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award”, and performed organ on NPR’s “From the Top” at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, January 2014. In 2015, Michael received the 2015 Davidson Fellow Scholarship awarded by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. 

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Ivan Bosnar, a native of Croatia, is a graduate student and teaching assistant at the Eastman School of Music. He studies organ performance with Prof. Nathan Laube and improvisation with Prof. Edoardo Bellotti. He took first organ lessons at Vatroslav Lisinski School of Music in Zagreb where he studied with Prof. Jasna Šumak-Picek. Following high school he studied organ at Zagreb Music Academy with Prof. Mario Penzar and at University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz with Prof. Ulrich Walther. He has performed masterclasses for interpretation (Roman Perucki, Libor Dudaš, Christoph Bossert, Pavao Mašić, Pascale Van Coppenolle) and improvisation (Gereon Krahforst, Hans Haselböck, Anđelko Igrec, Ante Knešaurek). Ivan won First Prize at the Croatian Organ Student Competition in 2009. He appeared on several organ festivals, both in Croatia and abroad (Požega Cathedral, Zagreb Cathedral, Loretto, Graz, Pecs). He has collaborated with the Croatian Military Symphony Orchestra and the Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra. As a church musician, he served as an organist at the St. Peter’s Church in Zagreb and at the St. Mary’s church in Zaprešić, Croatia.

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Oliver Brett is a doctoral student of David Higgs. Born in the UK in 1985, he was organ scholar of King’s College, Cambridge between 2004 and 2007, where he received his degree in music. In 2006, he was heard by millions worldwide when he played for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Since then, he has held positions at Westminster Cathedral, Durham Cathedral and most recently, at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, where he spent four years as Assistant Director of Music. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists before leaving high school, passing the diploma with top prizes. He has studied the organ with Sarah Baldock, Thomas Trotter, David Briggs and Dame Gillian Weir. As an accompanist and recitalist, Oliver has performed at many venues across five continents, most notably the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; the Royal Albert Hall, London; the Seoul Arts Centre in South Korea,; the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore; the Baltic States; the Festival of Sacred Music in Ecuador; as well as venues across the USA including Washington National Cathedral and St Thomas’, Fifth Avenue, NYC. As a continuo player, he has performed with ensembles such as the Philharmonia, Bitten Sinfonia, Florilegium, the Academy of Ancient Music and the Armonico Consort. Oliver has recently released his first solo organ CD, recorded on the organ of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

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Meg Cutting is a freshman at the Eastman School of Music, pursuing her Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance in the studio of Nathan Laube. Meg is from Salem-Keizer, Oregon, and began studying piano at the age of six. She previously studied piano under the instruction of Pamela Miller, adding pipe organ at age twelve. She has participated in various festivals from a young age throughout her musical career, and has also attended five summer organ camps, including the Oberlin Summer Academy for High School Organists, and four Advanced Pipe Organ Encounters. Meg is also the recipient of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, after completing the program and graduating from South Salem High School. Meg has been substituting as organist for previous churches throughout the Salem area from age 13. Before coming to Eastman, Meg was the organist at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Woodburn, Oregon, a position she held for two and a half years. In addition to this, she was a part-time organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Salem, where she played for two years.

 

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Jacob Dassa is a freshman pursuing his BM in Organ Performance in the studio of Professor David Higgs. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Jacob began his musical studies at the age of five on the piano. He competed and performed in regional and state-wide festivals throughout his childhood until 2012, when he began studying piano performance at Interlochen Arts Academy under the instruction of Dr. Michael Coonrod. Jacob began studying Organ Performance in the summer of 2013 with Professor Cherry Rhodes from USC Thornton School of Music. He continued his organ studies at Interlochen Arts Academy with Mr. Thomas Bara, performing with his studio in various locations such as Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Jacob enjoys collaborative work including chamber music, basso continuo, and choral accompaniment.

Detzner

Adam Detzner is a masters student in the studio of David Higgs. His studies at Eastman are generously supported by the Annette Cheek Smith Organ Scholarship. Adam came to Eastman after finishing a year as the inaugural recipient of the Association of Anglican Musicians / Anglican Musicians Foundation Sacred Music Internship Grant, working as Organ Scholar at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston. While at Trinity, he worked closely with Director of Music Richard Webster and Associate Director of Music Colin Lynch in all aspects of Trinity’s renowned music program. Adam graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with distinction and departmental honors, earning a B.A. in Music (concentrations in organ and harpsichord performance) with a minor in Modern Languages (French and German). At Stanford, Adam’s primary teachers were Dr. Robert Huw Morgan (organ) and Elaine Thornburgh (harpsichord). Adam regularly accompanied several of Stanford’s choirs and was an active participant in the Music Department’s chamber music program. Other organ teachers include Donald Sutherland, Dr. Kyle Babin, and Christian Lane. Adam performed as a “Rising Star” at the 2012 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists, in Nashville, having won the RCYO/Quimby Competition for the former Region IX (West Coast). He currently serves as Music Minister at the Church of the Ascension (Episcopal) in Rochester. Adam is particularly fascinated by historical performance practice, with a specific interest in the music of J. S. Bach. 

Jacob Fuhrman is a DMA candidate in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with Edoardo Bellotti. He has studied piano from age five and organ from age ten, playing for his first church services at First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 2002. His Bachelor of Music degree is from Wheaton College (IL), where he studied organ and harpsichord with Dr. Edward Zimmerman. He earned the Master of Music degree from Eastman in 2014, studying organ with Edoardo Bellotti and Michel Bouvard and improvisation with William Porter. Additional coachings and masterclasses have been with David Higgs, Christa Rakich, William Bolcom, and Hans Davidsson (organ); Edoardo Bellotti (harpsichord); and Joel Speerstra (clavichord). At Eastman, he has taught undergraduate aural skills courses and organ lessons, worked as a continuo accompanist in the early music department, and currently serves as Professor Bellotti’s assistant. He is Organist and Director of Liturgical Music at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Penfield, NY.
DSC_4993_DxOa copy Thomas Gaynor, 23, began his musical studies at the age of ten with piano lessons, moving on to the organ at thirteen. In 2004 he took up an organ scholarship at St. Paul’s cathedral in his hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, a position he held for seven years; more recently he was awarded the title of Honorary Sub-Organist. He completed his undergraduate studies in organ performance at the New Zealand School of Music under the tutelage of Douglas Mews. Currently he resides Rochester, NY where he is in the first semester of the DMA program, continuing on from his master’s studies with professor David Higgs. Recently Thomas has been awarded first place in the Ft. Wayne National Organ Competition and second place in the Miami International Organ Competition. Last year he won second place in the Arthur Poister Organ Competition and was a finalist in the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition. Thomas has participated in masterclasses and workshops with a number of organists, including Michel Bouvard, Cameron Carpenter, James David Christie, 
Ken Cowan, Olivier Latry, Jean-Baptiste Robin, Jaques Van Oortmerssen, Stephen Tharp and Harald Vogel. Thomas is a grateful recipient of an Arts Excellence Award from the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, the Kiwi music scholarship, a Freemasons University Scholarship and the Maxwell Fernie Trust Scholarship.
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Alex Gilson grew up in Southeast Texas with his parents and two siblings. He studied piano and organ with the late Hugh Thompson and Cello with Thomas Schroeder in Beaumont, Texas. During his high school education at Orangefield High School, he worked at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church as organist. After the passing of Hugh Thompson, he studied with Dr. Crista Miller in Houston. For his senior year of high school, Alex studied at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with Dr. Timothy Olsen. For his undergraduate studies, Alex attended the University of North Texas studying organ with Dr. Jesse Eschbach. While at UNT he worked as Organ Scholar at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas under the direction of Scott Dettra and Graham Schulz. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance and one in Jazz Studies from UNT. He is currently enrolled at the Eastman School of Music as a graduate student in Professor Edoardo Bellotti’s studio.

A native of Troy, N.Y., Brian Glikes is a doctoral student of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. Brian has received first prizes at the Sursa, Poister, and West Chester organ competitions, second prizes at the Schweitzer and Rodland competitions, and Eastman’s Barnes Award for Excellence in Pipe Organ. He has presented recitals at Methuen Memorial Music Hall and Syracuse University, and has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble. His previous teachers include Douglas Marshall and John Russell. As a church musician, Brian currently serves as Director of Music at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Fairport, N.Y.

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Daniel Gonzalez is a masters student studying organ with Professor Nathan Laube and improvisation with Professor Edoardo Bellotti. Originally from Baltimore, Daniel graduated from Stanford University in 2016 earning a B.A. with Honors in Music. While at Stanford, Daniel studied organ with Dr. Robert Huw Morgan, choral conducting with Professor Stephen Sano, harpsichord with Elaine Thornburgh, and voice with Gregory Wait. He also sang with the Saint Ann Choir at Saint Thomas Church under the direction of Professor William Mahrt, was the choral apprentice at Saint Ann Chapel in Palo Alto, and held a teaching assistant position with Stanford Summer Arts Institute. While at Stanford, Daniel performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale in a concert of rediscovered Neapolitan Baroque music, the Congregational Oratorio Society, University Singers, Baroque Soloists, the Friends of Music, directed a community choir which sung Evensong in Memorial Church, and also performed research in cancer genetics that earned him multiple undergraduate fellowships. Daniel’s studies are generously supported by the Ann Anway and Annette Smith Cheek Organ Scholarships, the American Guild of Organists Pogorzelski-Yankee Memorial Fellowship, the National Pastoral Musicians La Beca Juan Scholarship, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Nat at FMBC organ

Nathaniel Gumbs is a native of the Bronx, NY and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, studying with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He received the Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Yale University and Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. His former teachers include Martin Jean and Steven Cooksey. As a young artist, Gumbs has performed recitals throughout the United States and has played on many historic instruments in Paris and Rome with Shenandoah Conservatory and Berlin, Munich, and Leipzig with Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His playing has been described by music critics as “mature, lyrical, accurate and energetic.” Nathaniel was recently mentioned in the New York Times for playing with “deft and feeling” on his duo recording with bass-baritone, Dashon Burton. Earlier this spring, he was featured on the American Public Radio broadcasting, Pipedreams Live. Nathaniel is also a recipient of the Service Playing and Colleague Certificates from the American Guild of Organists. He is currently the Director of Music and Arts and Church Organist at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC.

365 Nicholas Halbert is an Organ Performance major in the studio of Nathan Laube; he is also an Musical Arts (MUA) major studying the relationship between 19th century German philosophy and conducting, advised by Reinhild Steingröver. Nicholas began his studies as a Boy Chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego, where he studied organ under Canon Martin Green. From 2011 to 2013 Nicholas was the Organ Scholar at the Cathedral, accompanying both the Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs in weekly Evensong and assisting at Mass. He has returned to the Cathedral as Assistant Organist over the summer of 2014. Nicholas is also a tenor and is a regular in excellent ensembles in both Rochester and San Diego.
image1 Benjamin Henderson is from Middletown, CT and is in pursuit of his Bachelors (BM) in Organ Performance in The studio of Nathan Laube. He has been Assistant Youth Organist (Organ Scholar) at First Church of Christ in Wethersfield for three years, having studied organ with David Spicer for four years. He has been an accompanist for Middletown Public School’s Choirs and many other organizations, including the Wethersfield Teen Theater, the Greater Middletown Chorale, and the Greater Meriden Chorale. In the Spring of 2015, Ben was an organ soloist with the New Haven Symphony at the Bushnell in Hartford.  For two summers he was a recipient of the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Scholarship, which allowed him to study with Alan Morrison, Peter Conte and Matthew Glandorf at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.  During his time in Philadelphia, Ben had the opportunity to play the largest fully functioning pipe organ in the world – the Wanamaker Organ in the Grand Court of Macy’s Department Store. Ben has also had the opportunity to work with Isabelle Demers in a masterclass. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Roberta Bitgood scholarship for young organists. Ben has sung tenor in many choirs, including the MIddletown High School Chamber Choir and the Greater Middletown Chorale (auditioned adult choir) where he is section leader. He made All-State Mixed Choir three times in his high school career and All-National Honors Ensemble in Tennessee where he performed at The Grand Ole Opry. Ben enjoys performing in theater productions as well. Some of his favorite roles include Colin Craven in The Secret Garden, Sir Evelyn Oakley in Anything Goes, Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie and Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls.
  Jeremy Jelinek studies in the studio of Prof. David Higgs in pursuit of the Bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance. From 2014 to 2016, he was Roy E. Vandelinder, Jr. Fellow and member of the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church, downtown Rochester. There, in 2015, he was the first recipient of the “Hook and Hastings Prize” in recognition for “extraordinary improvisation and composition skills and work with the Youth Ensemble.” In 2016, he was awarded the distinguished Roy E. Vandelinder Jr. Prize. Jeremy has composed for the choirs of both Christ Church and Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh. In Jeremy’s sophomore year of high school he received certification as “Colleague” of the American Guild of Organists (CAGO). In 2013, he was the recipient of the First Prize in the Carol Teti Memorial Organ Competition. In 2015, he received First Prize in the RCYO Quimby Mid-Atlantic Region Competition. He performed in two “Rising Star” recitals for the 2016 Houston, Texas National Convention of the AGO. Jeremy’s joy lies in Sacred Music; he was a private student of Dr. Ann Labounsky in high school. At that time, Jeremy was Organ Scholar, then Associate Organist and Choirmaster of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and organist of Most Holy Name of Jesus Church and the historic St. Anthony’s Chapel. At the Chapel, he oversaw a pipe organ rebuilding project. During summer 2016, he was Interim Organist and Music Director of Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh, as their Music Director was on sabbatical. He is inspired by his several trips to Europe for both study and travel. Jeremy is an accepted international exchange student of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and studies organ under Profs. Olivier Latry and Michel Bouvard for the entire academic year 2016-2017. 
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Originally from London, Alex Jones has recently accepted a scholarship place to study for a Masters in Organ Performance & Literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York under David Higgs and Edoardo Bellotti. In 2009, he gained a scholarship place to study at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, UK and was junior organ scholar at Manchester Cathedral. Whilst in Manchester, he performed in the Cathedral’s concert series and made several appearances at the Bridgewater Hall and Royal Northern College of Music as a soloist and alongside the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra. He recently graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire, UK where he was awarded the Anne & Don Smith Memorial Organ Scholarship to Birmingham Symphony Hall and became an “Artist in Residence”. During this tenure, he collaborated alongside a wide variety of artists and has been responsible for curating the hall’s spectacular Klais organ. In 2014, he was awarded the organ department Recital Prize for the Most Outstanding Performance and was also awarded a grant from the Birmingham Organists Association Leonard Gibbons’ Fund to aid with the completion of a new transcription for organ of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” More recent activities have included a week-long concert tour of Holland featuring performances at the Grote Kerk in Zwolle and the Eindhoven Muzeiksaal. He has also performed in major UK venues including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall, Westminster Central Hall and St. John Smith Square, London and in other cathedrals around the UK. He was a guest speaker to appear at Southbank Centre’s “Pulling out the Stops” festival celebrating the re-inauguration of the Royal Festival Hall organ. Alex’s wish is to assert himself as a sought-after educator and performer on the concert stage.

Jacob Kasak of Orangevale, California is pursuing a B.M. in organ performance the studio of Professor Nathan Laube.  He began his musical career as a boy chorister at St. Stephen the First Martyr Catholic Church, his home parish.  After seven years of piano lessons, Jacob earned a scholarship for twenty free organ lessons from the Sacramento AGO Chapter.  He began his organ studies under Mr. Rexphil Rallanka at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento during October of 2010.  Jacob soon began improvising during Low Mass and later became the substitute organist at St. Stephen’s.  He attended the 2011 POE in Portland Oregon and the Oberlin Summer Program for High School Organists in the summer of 2012.  During his senior year of high school, Jacob took on the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Organ Scholar position.  From fall of 2013 till spring of 2015, he worked as an assistant organist at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Rochester.  Jacob has been a choral section leader with the Latin Mass community currently at St. Thomas the Apostle in Irondequoit since the fall of 2013.  When he is at home, Jacob serves as organist at St. Stephen’s in Sacramento and coaches the other young organists there.  Jacob also music directs various additional Masses around Sacramento for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.  In the summer of 2016, he taught a class for a chant camp at St. Stephen’s.  He also took a trip to Rome during which he played the prelude and postlude for the Sunday High Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Chase21a Chase Loomer is a junior at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he studies organ performance with David Higgs. A native of Charlotte, NC, Chase was awarded first prize in the AGO/Quimby Southeast Regional Competition for Young Organists and has been a prizewinner at several other competitions throughout the southeast, including the Columbia and Winston-Salem AGO competitions. Chase was also the winner of the Sarasota-Manatee AGO Chapter Competition. In high school, he was a five time Stigall Scholarship recipient. Chase has served as the interim organist at Centre Presbyterian Church in Mooresville, NC and as a VanDelinder Fellow at Christ Church in Rochester, NY, where he was awarded the inaugural Casparini Prize for excellence in organ performance. Currently, he is the Assistant Organist at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Greece, NY. Chase was recently featured in the Rising Star series at the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston, and he attended the 2016 OHS convention as an E. Power Biggs Fellow. His previous organ teachers include Dr. Patrick Scott and Dr. Katie Ann McCarty, and he studied piano with Dr. Dylan Savage and the late Dr. Ruskin Cooper. Chase also has an interest in jazz piano and was a member of one of the Eastman jazz ensembles. As a singer, Chase was selected for NC Governor’s School in 2012 and currently sings in the Eastman Repertory Singers and Christ Church Schola Cantorum.
Thatcher Lyman holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, OH, the University of York, England, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he is pursuing a DMA degree in Organ Performance with David Higgs.  His past organ teachers include Hans Davidsson, James David Christie, and Haskell Thomson.  In 2009, Thatcher received Eastman’s Gerald Barnes Award for Excellence in Pipe Organ.  He was a finalist for the 2010 John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship and received third prize in the 2012 AGO NYACOP.  He is Director of Music at The Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word and Assistant Director of the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church, both in downtown Rochester, NY.
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Malcolm Matthews, having already completed a Bachelor of Music Degree with Performer’s Certificate, graduated with a Master’s Degree in both Organ and Harpsichord Performance from the Eastman School of Music in 2014.  Continuing his studies, he again enters the organ studio of Professor David Higgs at Eastman to pursue a DMA and Artist’s Certificate.  His previous teachers include Dr. John Brock and Dr. William Porter, and Matthews has performed in masterclasses and participated in summer programs lead by such organists as Jacques van Oortmerssen, Harald Vogel, Hans Davidsson, Ken Cowan, Joan Lippincott, and Edoardo Bellotti.  

Matthews currently resides in Rochester, New York and serves as Director of Music for St. Mary’s Church in downtown Rochester.  There he directs a 25-member choir and oversees the music program utilizing the 1955 Austin organ located in the rear loft and a two-manual 1896 Hook and Hastings instrument in the front of the parish.  In addition, he is Instructor of Harpsichord in the Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards department at Eastman.  

When not working as a soloist on both the harpsichord and organ, Matthews frequently accompanies students and ensembles at Eastman; collaborating with a variety of instruments from brass and winds to strings, his repertoire includes works from 1600 to the present.  In popular demand, he also consistently works as a continuo player on the harpsichord for solo instrumentalists and ensembles such as the Canandaigua Chamber Ensemble and Eastman’s Collegium Musicum directed by Paul O’Dette.  

Matthews’ accomplishments include: First Place, 2013 Westfield International Organ Competition and Second Place, 2012 National Young Artist’s Competition in Organ Performance; Semi-finalist, 2016 International Bach Competition; First place, 2005 South-Eastern Region IV Young Organists Competition; and Semi-finalist, 2009 Concours international d’orgue de Lyon. He has performed organ recitals in Bremen, Germany; Seattle, Washington; Eugene, Oregon; Tempe, Arizona; Greenville, South Carolina; Sarasota and Delray Beach, Florida; Chattanooga, Knoxville, Kingsport, and Nashville, Tennessee; Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and Chicago, Illinois.

Amanda Mole is originally from Holden, Massachusetts and is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate studying with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. In 2011, Amanda graduated from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the School of Music with a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music. During her time at Yale, Amanda studied with Martin Jean and was the only candidate in her class to receive the Church Music Studies Certificate for additional theological studies. Prior to Yale, she obtained a Bachelor of Music degree with honors at Eastman while studying with William Porter, and, prior to Eastman, she studied with Larry Schipull and Patricia Snyder. Amanda has participated in masterclasses with several accomplished organists, including Jon Laukvik, Ludger Lohmann, Alan Morrison, Jacques van Oortmerssen, Stephen Tharp, Thomas Trotter, and Harald Vogel, among others. 

Amanda is the first-place and audience prize winner of the 2016 Miami International Organ Competition, and the first-place winner of the 2014 Arthur Poister Organ Competition, the 2014 John Rodland Memorial Organ Competition, and the 2014 Peter B. Knock Award. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Bach-Liszt International Organ Competition and a semifinalist in the 2014 Dublin International Organ Competition. Amanda has been featured several times on the radio show Pipedreams LIVE!, and she was chosen by The Diapason magazine as one of the Top 20 Under 30 in 2016, a feature which selects the most successful young artists in the field. Amanda is a six-time winner of the American Baptist Scholarship and an eight-time winner of the National Religious Music Week Scholarship. Last year, she was a featured performer at the New Haven Regional AGO Convention and she looks forward to joining the roster of concert artists at the 2016 OHS Convention in Philadelphia. Amanda serves as the Director of Music at St. Michael’s Church in Rochester, NY, and at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Webster, NY.

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John Nothaft, from Vienna, Virginia, is a masters student in the studio of David Higgs. A graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Hutton Honors College, he studied in the studio of Dr. Janette Fishell. Former organ teachers include Mr. Colin Andrews, and Dr. Paul Skevington through the Potomac Organ Institute scholarship. John has studied sacred music with Mr. Bruce Neswick, Dr. Marilyn Keiser, Dr. Douglas Reed, and Mr. Robert Nicholls. He studied piano with Ms. Marcia Chaplin and was awarded the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs Scholarship. He has participated in master classes with David Higgs, Jeremy Filsell, and Ben Hutto. John attended the McGill Summer Organ Academy, Oundle Organ Festival, and Westminster Choir College Organ Institute. As an Oundle recital winner, he performed recitals at Truro Cathedral and Chester Cathedral in the UK. He has performed at National City Christian in Washington, D.C, St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Louisville, KY, St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, WA, St. Luke Catholic in Mclean, VA, Third Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO, and on Pipedreams Live for Michael Barone on Fisk Op.91 at Indiana University. He is a member of the AGO and NPM. John is also an avid tennis player and coach, and enjoys vocal accompaniment and reading.

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Julian Petrallia is an undergraduate student at the Eastman School of Music where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance with Professor Nathan J. Laube. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, his family moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts when he was five years old. From a very young age he developed a passion for all things related to music. Julian began his musical studies at the age of eight with the classical flute. During his flute-playing career, he performed with numerous ensembles including the Cape Cod Conservatory Flute Choir, Cape Cod Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Chatham Town Band. In addition to playing regularly with these ensembles, he has also been awarded seats in several competition bands such as the Southeast Junior Concert Band and the Cape and Islands Concert Band. Julian began his organ studies at the age of 15 with Julianna Winchell. Soon after, he began working at the First Congregational Church of Chatham where he currently holds the position of associate organist. In addition to working at the First Church of Chatham, Julian also serves as the director of music and organist at the Church of the Epiphany in Rochester, New York. As a recitalist, Julian gives solo recitals throughout Cape Cod and frequently appears in programs as a guest musician. In May of 2014, Julian was awarded the third prize in the prestigious L. Cameron Johnson Organ Competition. Prior to studying at Eastman, Julian studied organ with Haskell Thomson, the former chair of the organ department at Oberlin Conservatory, and choral conducting with Joe Marchio, the conductor of the Chatham Chorale. Part of his personality is his immense love of nature, which leads him to pursue outdoor activities such as biking, fly fishing, and free diving during his free time.

10982922_1108028525878459_5130677070539147068_n An Oklahoma native, Owen Phillip Reid is pursuing his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance in the studio of Nathan Laube. Additionally, he studies harpsichord and improvisation with Edoardo Bellotti as well as secondary piano. Previous organ studies were with Vicki Schaeffer in Oklahoma. Currently, he serves as Assistant Organist at Sacred Heart Cathedral (RC) in Rochester. In addition to his performance degree, Owen is also a Musical-Arts Major (MUA) within which he is researching performance-practice trends within the English choral tradition between the 19th-21st centuries. A tenor and counter-tenor, Owen continues his vocal and conducting study at Eastman while singing in the Eastman Chorale and the Christ Church Schola Cantorum. Owen’s interests include musicals, piano, tennis, cooking, fine wine, beer and scotch, politics and Wegmans.
DSC_8603_DxO-a2a Derek Remeš is a DMA candidate in the studio of David Higgs and a MA Theory Pedagogy student. He earned a MM in 2014 with David Higgs, and a BM in Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating summa cum laude. He earned Berklee’s highest honors in piano performance and composition, and won contests to premiere an original piano concerto, as well to compose his class’s commencement march. He represented Berklee on a Spanish tour, performing his own compositions. He twice attended the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, studying composition and chamber music. Mr. Remeš began studying organ in 2011 with Dr. Catherine Rodland, and was the 2011-2012 organ scholar at St. Louis King of France Church in St. Paul, MN. He is a recipient of the 2013 Peter B. Knock Memorial Music Fund, second prize winner in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition (2013), and winner of the David Spicer Hymn Playing Award. He currently serves as Organist and Choir Director at St. Thomas More Church in Rochester, New York. For more information, visit www.derekremes.com.
headshot_2013 Caroline Robinson is pursuing her Masters degree in Organ Performance and Literature in the studio of David Higgs. Originally from Greenville, SC, Caroline received her Bachelor of Music at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Alan Morrison. Upon being awarded a grant from the J. William Fulbright fellowship fund, Caroline spent the 2013-14 school year in Toulouse, France, where she studied at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Règional under Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen (organ), as well as Yasuko Bouvard (harpsichord). Caroline is the First Prize winner of the 11th Annual Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival (2008) and in the Tenth Annual West Chester University Organ Competition (2010).  As a young performer, Caroline has had the opportunity to perform at several important venues, including the famed Wanamaker organ at Macy’s (Philadelphia), Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), St. Thomas Fifth Avenue (NYC), Harvard Memorial Church (Cambridge, MA), and the Kauffman Center (Kansas City). She was recently named one of “20 Under 30” in the profession by the Diapason magazine. She currently works as Assistant Organist to Director of Music Peter DuBois at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. She also serves as the Executive Assistant for Outreach within Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI).
Robson Karl Robson is a doctoral student of David Higgs. He serves as the assistant organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rochester, New York. In 2012, he graduated magna cum laude with departmental distinction in Church Music and Organ Performance from St. Olaf College, where he was a student of Dr. Catherine Rodland. In 2014, he earned an MM from Eastman. Karl is a recipient of the 2015 Peter B. Knock Award, as well as Eastman’s James B. Cochran Endowed Organ Prize (2016) and Gerald Barnes Award for Excellence in Pipe Organ (2015).  He was a semi-finalist in the 2015 St. Alban’s International Organ Competition. He began his organ career at age 11, and previously studied with Lee Afdahl of First Presbyterian Church, Rochester and Dr. Dean Billmeyer of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. At St. Olaf, Karl served as a weekly organist for daily chapel services, worked as a Music Theory and Aural Skills teaching assistant, and sang in the St. Olaf Choir. He was honored to accompany the choir as organist on its 2011 domestic tour. At Eastman, he works as an Aural Skills teaching assistant, and teaches secondary organ.
Angela Salcedo is the Organ Lecturer at the University of Connecticut as well as the Director of Music Ministries at First Church of Christ, Congregational, Glastonbury. As a frequent recitalist on organ and harpsichord, Ms. Salcedo currently performs with The Mostly Baroque Players, a Connecticut early music ensemble and with the newly formed ensemble, Amici Baroque Players.  Her extensive performance career has included recitals at AGO Conventions and Pipe Organ Encounters, as well as the premier organist for the 2001 Scranton Bach Festival in Pennsylvania and recitalist on the highly acclaimed Summer Evening Organ Concerts at the Old West Church, Boston.  Her international studies at the Bach’s Organ World Tour of Germany (2010), Academy of Italian Organ Music, Pistoia, Italy (1988) and French Organ Music Seminar, France (1999) have included concerts on various instruments throughout the Tuscany area of Italy as well as Paris, Bordeaux and Toulouse, France. Ms. Salcedo was a first prize winner of the Strader Organ Competition, Cincinnati (1982) and was one of twenty-five organists chosen throughout the country to compete in the 1993 and 1995 National Young Players Competition.  Always an active member of the AGO, Ms. Salcedo was instrumental in organizing the first National Organ Competition for High School Students, The L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Organ Competition.  Ms. Salcedo earned degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (MM) and The University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (BM).    Her teachers include James David Christie, Russel Saunders, Yuko Hayashi, Bill Porter, Roberta Gary, Guy Bovet and James Harrington.
Ivan Sarajishvili, a doctoral candidate at Eastman, was born in Tbilisi, Georgia (August 5, 1972) to a family deeply rooted in Georgian musical tradition. He started playing piano at the age of seven. After acquiring a university degree in International Law in 1994 (State University, Tbilisi), he was admitted to the Sacred Music Department of the State Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway. He also received an EU scholarship for historical performance studies at Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, graduated with bachelor in Sacred Music in 2000, Master in Sacred Music in 2002 (Oslo) and was awarded Post Master Soloist Diploma in 2004 (Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen). His interest in early music and historical performance has been permanent. Ivan has been featured as a performer several times on BBC 3. He is currently the Music Director and Cathedral Organist at Stavanger Cathedral, Norway. Having sat on the program board of Norwegian Organ Festival since 2007, he also acts as Artistic director of the Summer Festival at Stavanger Cathedral.
Schoettler

Brian Schoettler is a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music where he studies organ with David Higgs. Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance, Church Music, and Instrumental Music Education from Carthage College and his Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Composition from Westminster Choir College. Brian has studied organ with Alan Morrison, Ken Cowan, Richard Hoskins, and Michael Burkhardt, improvisation with Edoardo Bellotti and Peter Richard Conte, and composition with Benjamin C.S. Boyle and Narcis Bonet. An avid composer, Brian has participated in summer composition programs at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and the European American Musical Alliance’s Composition Program at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

While in Rochester, Brian coordinated both the Going for Baroque and the Third Thursday concert series featuring Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ and served as Music Minister at Church of the Ascension (Episcopal). Brian now serves at Minister of Music/Organist at First United Methodist Church in Evanston, Illinois where he leads their music program and plays their two recently refurbished Austin organs (IV/76, II/13).  Recent awards include the 2015 Don Marler Church Music Scholarship and the winning entry of the Notre Dame Children’s Choir’s 2016 Hymn Competition.

Shao Jiaqi Shao is pursuing her BM in Organ Performance in the studio of Professor David Higgs. She was born in 1997 in Shanghai, China, and began studying piano at the age of four. Jiaqi received third prizes in the children’s groups of the “Hailun” National Piano Keyboard Competition (2005) and the “Marshal” Shanghai Teenager Piano Competition (2007) in China, second prize in the 16th Annual Music Open Competition in the United States (2008), and first prize in the YangPu District Art Festival Piano Competition in Shanghai, China (2009). She studied in the Music Middle School (affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music) from 2009-2015. At school, she earned the People’s scholarship, and she also participated in concerts on many occasions. Jiaqi has studied organ since 2011, and was the winner of the teenage group in the Second International Electronic Organ Competition in Beijing, China in 2011. She has participated in masterclasses with Jacques van Oortmerssen and Olivier Latry. She enjoys improvising, composing and studying pedagogy. Jiaqi was a part-time kindergarten piano teacher, and currently works as a VanDelinder Fellow at Christ Church Episcopal (Rochester, NY) and a part-time composer for net singers.
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Jacob Taylor is a doctoral candidate in the studio of David Higgs.  In addition to his organ studies, Jacob has taught music theory and aural skills at Eastman and at Indiana University Bloomington.  Currently, he is the Utech Fellow in Sacred Music at Eastman.  He also serves as the Music Director and Organist at First Baptist Church of Penfield, where he directs the chancel choir and bell choir.  Other degrees are from Indiana University Bloomington and Wheaton College, IL.  His past organ teachers include Dr. Christopher Young, Dr. Bruce Neswick (improvisation), Dr. Edward Zimmerman, and Randolph Currie.  In 2014, he was a winner of the Pogorzelski-Yankee Memorial Scholarship awarded by the American Guild of Organists.

 Whittier Cory Whittier is a Master of Music candidate in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with Edoardo Bellotti. Born and raised in Idaho Falls, ID, he began his musical studies at the age of 7 with piano, and moved to the organ at 14. He was a prize winner in the American Guild of Organists’ Region VIII young artists competition in 2007. He is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho where he studied organ performance with Dr. Daniel Kerr. While at BYU-Idaho, he accompanied many choirs and soloists and was the recipient of the Nona Hunter Memorial Scholarship. He is a frequent guest organist at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he performs on the daily organ recital series. From 2011-2014, Cory served as the organist for the First Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls, and currently is the Director of Music Ministries and Organist at Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church in Brighton, New York. Cory, his wife Hayley, and their two children reside in Brighton, New York
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Madeleine Woodworth is an undergraduate at the Eastman School of Music, studying organ with Nathan J. Laube. She began piano studies at age 6 and organ at age 13, and, in May of 2014, she graduated as a music major from the Chicago Academy for the Arts. She has attended six Pipe Encounters, including the POE Advanced in Rochester, NY, and in Ann Arbor, MI.  While at Eastman, Madeleine serves as one of three Roy E. VanDelinder, Jr., Fellows at Christ Church, Episcopal, in Rochester and sings in the Christ Church Schola Cantorum and the Eastman Chorale. Madeleine serves as treasurer for the Eastman Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota and has been active in student government and the Eastman Orientation Crew.

Madeleine has given recitals for AGO chapters in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Gargoyle Brass Ensemble and in the “Bach and Beyond” series at the Marmion Abbey in Joliet, IL. Performances in the Chicago area include a solo recital at St. John Cantius Church and a performance in the Organ Historical Society’s 2012 National Convention. In May 2016, Madeleine took first place in the Annual International Organ Competition in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She won first place in the 2015 Great Lakes Regional Competition for Young Organists in Indianapolis and was featured as a “Rising Star” in the American Guild of Organists’ National Convention in Houston in June 2016.

Alden Wright

Alden Wright is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in the studio of Nathan Laube.  He is a native of Salisbury, North Carolina, where he studied organ with Dr. Phillip Burgess from 2012 to 2016 and piano with Diane Freeman from 2008-2012.  Alden was awarded first place in the 2014 Columbia, SC AGO Young Organist Competition and the 2016 University of North Carolina School of the Arts Organ Competition, as well as second in the Washington, DC AGO Franciscan Monastery Scholarship Competition in 2015.  Alden has performed in many student and solo recitals throughout the country, as well as many masterclasses and summer organ programs.  He was awarded the Robert and Ann Stigall Scholarship, sponsored by the Charlotte Chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 2013-2015, as well as the Pogorzelski-Yankee Memorial Scholarship for undergraduate studies.  Previously, Alden served as music director and organist at Milford Hills United Methodist Church in Salisbury from 2015-2016.

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Stacey Xiaoyu Yang is a Master’s Degree candidate in the studio of Professor David Higgs and was a Vanderlinder Fellow for Liturgical music in Christ Church, Rochester, NY in 2015-2016. Born in Dalian, China, she moved to Australia in 2001. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science and a Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Sydney and was appointed as both University Organ and Carillon Scholars. In Australia, Stacey studied the organ with Kurt Ison and Jennifer Chou. She holds an LTCL in organ performance and LMusA in piano performance. In July 2016, She was selected to participate in Royaumont Foundation Summer school in France on a traveling scholarship granted by AGO Rochester Chapter. In addition to performances at many of Sydney’s major recital venues such as St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Christchurch St. Laurence and the Sydney Opera House, Stacey has presented solo recitals at both St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne and Christchurch Cathedral, Newcastle. In Europe, she gave her debut recital at the Marktkirche, Wiesbaden, Germany and has also performed at Sint Martinus Kerk, Overijse and Tongeren Basilica, Belgium. She presented her Asian debut in June 2016 in Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Moreover, as a carillonist, she has presented recitals at the University of Sydney, Australian National Carillon in Canberra, the Leuven Catholic University Library Tower, the Marktkirche Wiesbaden and Universities of Florida, Michigan and Rochester.

 Wendy Headshot

Wendy Yuen is a doctoral student in the studio of Professor David Higgs. She also coordinates the Going for Baroque, Meet Me at the MAG Demo Concert and the Third Thursday Concert Series featuring the Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester.    

Trained as a musician and a lawyer, Wendy enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, collaborative artist, educator and arts administrator. 

Being an active organ soloist and collaborative artist, she also gives organ lecture recitals and organ training workshops in Hong Kong, China and South East Asia. Wendy is passionate to train and coach organ students. She taught organ students at the Education University of Hong Kong, Alliance Bible Seminary.  

Wendy is one of the founders and chief executive office of Alpha and Omega (“A&O”). Founded in 2009, A&O is a small yet dynamic company. It specialises in the publication of church choral music. With a view to bringing good quality music to the public in Hong Kong, Wendy started the Bach Cantata Lecture Recital series in August 2013 and the Hong Kong Bach Sacred Music Festival in 2016. 

Wendy has worked as an in-house legal counsel at HNH International Limited, which manufactures and distributes the famous award-winning label Naxos CDs and Media Asia Limited, which specializes in film production, concerts organization, artist management, DVD manufacturing and distribution. These legal and commercial work experiences greatly help her to run A&O. 

Under the tuition of Tam Tin-Shi, Wendy was awarded the ATCL and LTCL in Organ Performance. Upon her graduation from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she obtained a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at the University of London where she furthered her organ study under David Sanger. She later passed the Common Professional Examination from The Manchester Metropolitan University. Being awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws from the University of Hong Kong, she was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong. She also has a Master of Christian Studies at the Alliance Bible Seminary.

Raised in Las Vegas, NV, Zachary Zwahlen is the second of seven children. He began his musical journey climbing on pianos at the age of 3, although he did not begin lessons until the age of 5. During his teens Zachary became very involved in musical events – performing and accompanying musical selections for church services, accompanying high school and church choirs, and playing piano in pit orchestras for musical theater productions. He also tried his hand at a number of woodwinds, playing saxophone, flute, and oboe in various community and school ensembles. Zachary was homeschooled during middle and high school, graduating at the age of 15. He then attended the Community College of Southern Nevada, earning an Associate’s degree in piano, following which he earned his Bachelor’s degree in piano and organ performance from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. He served a two-year Spanish-speaking proselyting mission in New York City, after which he returned to BYU and completed his Master’s degree in organ performance with Dr. Doug Bush. He is currently a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music, studying organ with David Higgs.