2023-2024 Jacobs School of Music Organ Majors and Doctoral Minors
An accomplished musician and educator, Emily Ballentine Erb is currently studying
organ performance and sacred music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Emily was
Co-Director of Music at Advent Lutheran Church in Manhattan and Director of Music Ministries
at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conshohocken, PA. After earning her Master of Arts in Music Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Emily taught music at several private and independent schools, including starting the Geneva School of Manhattan’s choral program and directing the handbell program at The
Baldwin School. Before her time in the graduate studio of Janette Fishell at the Jacobs School of Music, Emily studied under Eric Ruple and Gabriel Dobner as a piano performance major at James Madison University and was an active collaborative pianist in the woodwind and voice studios. Her previous organ teachers include Thomas Marshall, Christine Clewell, and Michael Krentz. She has participated in master classes with John-Paul Sevilla and Damin Spritzer. She has been active as music and vocal director for several music theatre organizations, and has accompanied Tony-winner Rupert Holmes in performance.
Matthew Benkert is an organist and church musician from the rural farm town of Hemlock, Michigan. He received both his B.M. and M.M. in Organ Performance from Central Michigan University, where he studied with Dr. Steven Egler. As a church musician, he has served Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal denominations, including historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint, Michigan. As a performer, he has given recitals throughout Michigan and participated in masterclasses and coaching with Todd Wilson and Douglas Reed. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Music degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as a student of Dr. Christopher Young. In August 2022, he was appointed Director of Music/Organist at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Indiana. While not creating music, he enjoys cycling, gaming, and caring for animals.
Elijah Harrison Buerk is a freshman composition major with an organ performance instrumental focus at the Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music where he also studies carillon. He is extremely grateful for the wonderful opportunity to expand his knowledge at this institution, and thanks his parents, as well as all of his professors, teachers, and donors who made it all possible. He has big plans for his music, to incorporate an eclectic style, as he has passions for just about any kind of music.
Molly Buttars is an organist originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University – Idaho, where she was a student of Dr. Daniel Kerr. She was a recipient of a 2015 Oundle for Organists Recital Award. After her undergraduate studies, she held a presence throughout the church music scene in Anchorage, Alaska for six years. She primarily served as Music Director and Organist at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. An active violist, Molly played in the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra for three seasons. Molly is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. She studies with Dr. Janette Fishell. She hopes to find beauty and purpose where the viola and organ collide, and to saturate that into her studies and future career. Molly enjoys yoga, cycling, and long walks with her husband and their golden retriever.
Jihye Choi is pursuing a DM at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Dr. Janette Fishell. Jihye received her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Cincinnati (College-Conservatory of Music), where she studied with Dr. Michael Unger. She won First Prize at the Strader Organ Competition in both 2015 and 2017, which awarded her a full-tuition scholarship to obtain her master’s degree. Ms. Choi received a Bachelor of Arts in Church Music from the Seoul Theological University where she was a recipient of a four-year scholarship as a top student of the church music department and graduated summa cum laude in 2010.Ms. Choi has won many awards in organ competitions. Prizes include First Prize in Duo at the YoungSan Organ competition in South Korea (2014), third prize at the Sydney Organ Competition (2016) in Australia, second prize at the Arthur Poister Organ Scholarship Competition (2016), and first prize at the Fort Wayne National Organ Competition (2018), and second prize in the Sursa Organ Competition (2019). Most recently she was selected one of the semifinalists at the NYACOP 2020. She also has performed as an active concert organist in South Korea, the United States, and Europe. For the past several years, she has held many positions as a church musician and university accompanist. Currently, she serves as the Organist and Assistant Music Director at First Christian and an Associate Instructor at the Jacobs School of Music, teaching secondary piano. In addition to music, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and learning new languages.
Jaime Carini is an Ostrom Fellow at Indiana University Bloomington, where she pursues dual doctorates in the Jacobs School of Music: the D.M. in organ performance and literature and the Ph.D. in musicology. She was selected to receive the 2015 E. Power Biggs Fellowship from the Organ Historical Society and was a member of the 2016 E. Power Biggs Fellowship selection committee. Jaime’s other notable accomplishments include participating in a public recital performance for PipeDreams Live! At Indiana University, which aired nationwide on American Public Media in October 2016, adjudicating the 2015 Cherine Troxel Organ Scholarship competition, and serving as Sub-Dean and Program Chair of the Tulsa chapter of the American Guild of Organists. An ardent collaborator, Ms. Carini performed the U.S. premiere of selections from Naji Hakim’s The Apostles for organ duo and is a member of the Élan Ensemble, based in Washington, DC.
Diana Chou is a doctoral student in the studio of Christopher Young, under whom she previously earned her Master of Music in organ at Indiana University (2017). Originally from Iowa, she received a Master of Musical Arts degree in organ from the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music (2019) as a student of Martin Jean; while at Yale, she performed as a member of Yale Schola Cantorum, singing under the direction of David Hill. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Amherst College (2015), where she graduated summa cum laude and double-majored in mathematics and music, studying the organ with Larry Schipull of Mount Holyoke College. A recipient of the Yale School of Music’s Charles Ives Organ Prize, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s Hugh Porter Prize and Robert Baker Scholarship, and Amherst College’s Edward Poole Lay and C. Scott Porter Memorial Fellowships, Diana serves as the Music Intern at Trinity Episcopal Church, Bloomington and as an Associate Instructor for the IU organ department, teaching secondary organ lessons to non-majors. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, reading, watching period dramas, cooking, and drinking tea.
Dalong Ding is a doctoral student at the Jacobs School of Music Indiana University, studying with Dr. Janette Fishell. He currently serves as the organist and music director at University Lutheran Church in Bloomington, IN. At Indiana University, Dalong has performed in the “Pipedreams Live” organ concert broadcast hosted by Michael Barone in 2017. He has taught undergraduate piano performance as an Associate Instructor and has received the Artistic Excellence Award from Jacobs School of Music since 2014. Originally from Shanghai, China, Dalong earned his Bachelor’s degree in Piano performance from Shanghai Conservatory, a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music in Piano Performance and a Master degree from IU Jacobs School of Music in Organ Performance. His major organ teachers before Professor Fishell have been Dr. Katherine Meloan and Mr. McNeil Robinson.
Wade FitzGerald is pursuing his Master of Music in Organ Performance with Dr. Janette Fishell at IU’s Jacobs School of Music, where he is also serving as the associate instructor of carillon. A native of Tampa, Florida, FitzGerald began taking piano lessons at age five. He enrolled at the University of Florida in 2015 and began studying the carillon with Dr. Laura Ellis the following year. During college, he worked as a pianist at St. Patrick Catholic Church as well as an accompanist for the Gainesville Youth Chorus. FitzGerald was inducted into the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America in 2019 and graduated from UF shortly thereafter with bachelor’s degrees in music and biology. In 2020, FitzGerald served for five months as Blanchard Carillon Fellow at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida, where he studied with award-winning carillonneur and composer Geert D’hollander. In 2021, FitzGerald moved to Narberth, Pennsylvania, and began playing the carillon for services at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. It was there that FitzGerald began taking organ lessons with Jeffrey Brillhart. Outside of his studies, FitzGerald enjoys hiking, nature photography, reading (particularly cosmic horror), and catching snakes.
Originally from South Korea, Nara Lee is a first-year DM student at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he studies organ with Dr. Janette Fishell. Nara received his Bachelor of Arts in Organ and Church Music at the Seoul Theological University. He earned his Master of Music degree in Organ and Sacred music in 2018 from IU. Nara held several positions in churches including an organist at the First United Church, Bloomington, IN, an organ scholar at the St. George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville, TN and a music director at the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Ardmore, OK. Nara have placed in the organ competitions. He won the third prize at the First Asia Organ Competition which was held at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan in 2017. He was a finalist in the Sursa Organ Competition at the Ball State University, IN in 2016. Besides studying organ, Nara enjoys composing music. He won many composition competitions in South Korea. Since 2014, Nara is a choral music composer at Miwansung publishing company and his choral works are published regularly and sung by many churches. Nara’s musical interests include organ music of the North German baroque, French romantic, Improvisation and Anglican church music. In his free time, Nara enjoys making coffee, traveling, and making videos.
Lois Leong is currently a student at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, pursuing her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music. She graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 2022, with Mr. Gary Tong as her instructor in the organ. She served as an organist at the Methodist International Church Hong Kong and the Kwun Tong Baptist Church. She started her piano training in 2005, under the guidance of Ms. Kitty Chan and Ms. Cynthia Chan. She started her first organ lesson with Dr. Simon Chan in 2014. Lois is also an active Handbell ringer. In 2021, she co-founded Bellaholics and became the chairperson and conductor of the ensemble. The ensemble has presented their first Christmas Concert in December 2021. The team has also participated in the International Handbell Symposium in 2022 as the representative of Hong Kong.
Chase Loomer is a second-year year Doctorate of Music candidate at Indiana University, where he will study organ with Christopher Young. He completed his Bachelor of Music in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student of David Higgs, and his Master of Music at Yale University, where he was a student of Martin Jean and also studied improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. A native of Charlotte, NC, Chase’s accomplishments include: First prize, 2018 Taylor Organ Competition; first prize, 2015 AGO/Quimby Southeast Regional Competition for Young Organists; and first prize, 2015 Sarasota-Manatee AGO Chapter Competition. In 2019, he was a semifinalist in the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition and also received the Robert Baker Scholarship from the Yale ISM, awarded annually to a first year organ student. He was recently awarded the Julia R. Sherman Memorial Prize from the Yale School of Music, given annually to a graduating organ student. Chase is currently the organist of the Yale University Church and also served as one of the organists at Marquand Chapel at the Yale Divinity School. He was featured in the Rising Star series at the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston and attended the 2016 OHS Convention as an E. Power Biggs Fellow. Chase has presented concerts throughout the country and has been featured on the radio broadcast, Pipedreams Live! on several occasions. In addition to organ, Chase is an avid jazz pianist and singer. Outside of music, he enjoys weightlifting, sports, and biking.
At the age of thirteen, Matt Luca had begun his journey with the organ, otherwise known as the King of Instruments. Within the year, he applied for his first local chapter AGO scholarship with a program that included Franck’s Pastorale, Op. 19, and in the second year auditioned with Bach’s Prelude & Fugue in G, BWV 541, and Hindemith’s Sonata No. 2. At 16, he was accepted into the pre-college division at Juilliard, where he spent two years as a pupil of Dr. Matthew Lewis. In 2018, he was named Holy Cross Organ Scholar, Class of 2022, studying under Dr. Ezequiel Menéndez. Matthew will attend the Jacobs School of Music in pursuit of a M.M. in Organ Performance and Sacred Music, under the direction of Professor Christopher Young.
Collin Miller is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana and is a second-year master’s student in Organ Performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he is a student of Dr. Janette Fishell. He began playing the piano at the age of five, receiving initial training from Rosa Lynne Miller and then studying with Dr. Susanna Garcia. His freshman year of high school, Collin began taking organ lessons with Tom Neil, subsequently holding church positions at Northwood Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Lafayette. He currently serves as Organ Scholar at Christ Church (Episcopal)Cathedral Indianapolis. In 2017 he was the winner of the Southwest RCYO competition and in 2019 was featured as one of the Diapason magazine’s “20 under 30.” His RCYO winner’s recital at the 2018 AGO Biennial National Convention was highlighted as one of the Rising Star Concert’s standout performances. He completed his BM in Organ Performance from the Jacobs School of Music, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Barbara and David Jacobs Fellowship. An avid performer of neglected repertoire, he was the first American organist to perform any of the organ solo music of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji. Outside of music, his primary interest is film, particularly the New Wave movements of France and Japan.
Abolade Olatunji is a Performer Diploma student in organ performance studying under the chair. Of the organ department; Dr. Janette Fishell, he has been looking forward to learn under the outstanding tutelage of Dr. Janette Fishell prior before coming to IU. Abolade joined the church choir at age 8 and has been an organist/Choirmaster at different Anglican and Baptist churches in Nigeria. In 2018, he officially joined the prestigious Cathedral Church of Christ Marina Lagos, as an assistant organist, which is the first Anglican Cathedral in Nigeria also with the best functioning Oberlinger 4 manual Pipe organ. Hailing from Ogun state, born in 1991 to a large polygamous family, he was passionately touched with a burning desire and strong interest to learn the act of organ playing after visiting some big churches in Lagos as a young boy. He has no family background in music, at first he was self taught, but years later, being extremely ambitious, he earned a Distinction in Grade 8 Organ Practical of the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exam, also earned a Distinction and Merit in Piano Grade 8 and Organ Grade 8 of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) exams. He has attended Organ Masterclasses with Prof. Margaret Phillips FRCO, Mr. Simon Johnson, Mr. James Parsons FRCO to name a few. Abolade is musically ambitious, always working assiduously to learn and improve his organ playing techniques and general musicianship. He was also tutoring the young ones in piano, organ and musical theory and presenting them for local and international music exams in Nigeria before joining IU in fall 2021. Abolade is a recipient of the exceptional and prestigious Barbara and David Jacobs Fellowship award thereby making his long-cherished dream of studying abroad at a reputable university most especially Indiana University a reality. Interestingly he is the only and first musician from his family. From another angle Abolade is a graduate of Communication Technology with Honors from National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), he loves classical music, reading, traveling and is a big fan of football.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Heather Orvek has been playing the organ since she was a teenager. She began her studies with Judy Glass in 2008 on the Anton Heiller Memorial Organ, and continued under her tutelage to complete a BS in organ performance from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN in May of 2016. Heather went on to study with Dr. Kimberly Marshall at Arizona State University and graduated with an MM in organ performance in December 2017. Since leaving Arizona State University, she married David Orvek, moved three times between three states, adopted new pets, and more, but the constant in her life has been giving concerts and working as an organist in various churches along the way. Currently, Heather serves as the organist at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IN. Her previous churches include Riverside United Methodist Church (Columbus, OH), First Lutheran Church (Chattanooga, TN), St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church (Sun City, AZ), and Ooltewah United Methodist Church (Ooltewah, TN). In August 2020, she began her studies with Dr. Christopher Young for the Doctorate in Organ Performance and Literature at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. When she is not on the organ bench, Heather enjoys reading, knitting, baking, painting, taking care of her many plants, and spending time with her two pet bunnies.
A native of the rural Midwest, Simon Pick grew up in Remsen, Iowa, where he began his studies in organ at the age of fourteen with Sr. Arnold Staudt, OSF. He graduated with honors from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, majoring in Music and Theology. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Sr. Joachim Holthaus Outstanding Musician Award. Simon graduated with a master’s degree in Sacred Music at the University of Notre Dame where he studied organ with Dr. Craig Cramer and Dr. Douglas Reed and conducting with Dr. Nancy Menk. After a year of private study with Dr. Kimberly Marshall, Pick is now studying under the tutelage of Dr. Christopher Young at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Pick has given solo and collaborative recitals throughout the Midwest and Southwest and has performed with collegiate and graduate ensembles in addition to serving for three years as the artistic director and continuo player for Benedictine Baroque, an ensemble he co-founded in 2012. He has performed with the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, Yavapai Festival Chorus, Valley Presbyterian Festival Choir and Orchestra, and served as assistant director for the chamber choral ensemble Canticum Novum. Pick has held various church positions starting his career as organist and choir director at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, Iowa and later serving as an organ scholar at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves as organist at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Adrienne Shipley is currently working on a doctorate in music in harpsichord, with minors in organ and music history, at the Jacob’s School of Music. She teaches piano lessons full time and is the organist, music director, and choir director at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Harpsichord and Piano Performance at the JSOM with a full scholarship and graduated with a Music Honors Notation as well as a General Honors Notation. She also completed her Master of Music degree in Harpsichord and Jazz Piano at the JSOM. She was granted a full scholarship with an Associate Instructor position for the duration of both her MM and DM degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her three children.
Hailing from the former mill town of Steubenville, Ohio, William Spinnenweber is pursuing his Master of Music in Organ Performance with Christopher Young. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Music from Franciscan University in May 2020, having performed his senior recital just before Covid-19 sent him and everyone else home for the spring. At Franciscan, he studied organ with Nicholas Will and Dr. Neil Stahurski, and Gregorian chant with Fr. Stephan Concordia, OSB. He did further study in Gregorian chant with Drs. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka and Bill Mahrt at Saint Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, and had private lessons in music composition with award-winning composer Luke Mayernik. As an undergraduate, William became deeply interested in the history of liturgical development and how different Christian traditions utilize psalmody in their worship, and he hopes to continue growing this knowledge while expanding his musical talents and endeavors at IU. Among his many non-musical interests, two are reading (fiction and history especially) and artisan bread baking, which he’s been doing for nearly 10 years.
Yumiko Tatsuta holds the Performer Diploma (with full marks, graduating 4.0) from the Jacobs School of Music, where she is currently pursuing a D.M degree, studying with Dr. Janette Fishell. She holds an Artistic Excellence Award from IU, was awarded the prestigious representative Japanese upcoming Artist Award (sponsored by Japanese Government, Agency for Cultural Affairs), and was named exchange artist in the U.S. and Japan friendship program in 2017-2018. She earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees in Organ Performance from the Tokyo University of the Arts, where she received Ataka award and Acanthus Music award, as one of the top students at the Tokyo University of the Arts. Ms. Tatsuta also studied with Prof. Helmut Deutsch at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, Germany as the recipient of a DAAD scholarship sponsored by German Government. Ms. Tatsuta has been invited to perform by recital halls, academic associations, and church organizations through Japan, Europe and the United States. In April 2016, her graduate research on the work of Max Reger was published by The Japan Association of Organists. In the summer of 2017, she served as a faculty and recitalist in the Sacred Music Intensive program at the IU Jacobs School of Music. In October of the same year, she was the featured artist of the month in “Musforum,” an online magazine for the women organists.
Owen Tellinghuisen, a sophomore from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in organ performance in the studio of Professor Janette Fishell. He began piano lessons at the age of four and organ lessons at the age of ten. As a pianist, he has received multiple awards through the Grand Rapids Musicians’ League and Piano Teachers’ Forum. He is a three-time state and regional Junior Composers winner and received the Wilson Piano Composition Award from the National Federation of Music Clubs in 2019 for his piano solo, “Sylvan Nightfall.” An active member of the Grand Rapids chapter of the American Guild of Organists, he has participated in numerous programs, recitals, and masterclasses, and played regularly for various congregations in the Grand Rapids area throughout his high school years. In 2017, he won the Annamae Rotman Young Organist Competition. In May 2020, he received the Michael R. Edwards Graduating Senior Performance Award as an organist by the National Federation of Music Clubs. He is interested in improvisation and composition for both piano and organ. In addition to his musical pursuits, Owen enjoys photography and videography and is an avid collector of diecast automobiles.
Shayla Van Hal is pursuing a DM in Organ Literature and Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Chris Young. A native of New Sharon, Iowa, Ms. Van Hal began piano study at a young age and began organ studies with her cousin, Kris De Wild, in high school. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, for her undergraduate studies in organ under Dr. Gregory Peterson. She graduated summa cum laude and was named Luther’s 2015-2016 Presser Scholar. After her undergraduate studies, she attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, receiving two MM degrees in church music/organ and music theory under Drs. James Higdon, Michael Bauer, and Scott Murphy. Combining her interests in organ, theory, and ethnomusicology, her thesis focused on thwarted theoretical patterns in the organ music of Alan Hovhaness. Her studies have given her various opportunities to compete and travel, ranging from the Fort Wayne Organ Competition to the Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia. Shayla and her husband, Adam, moved to Bloomington in 2020.Shayla enjoys watching documentaries and Dr. Who with her husband, spending time around cats, working on genealogy, traveling internationally when she can, and reading about various topics–international culture, politics, religion, philosophy, and geography are some of her favorite subjects.
James Walton is an organist and countertenor from Portland, Oregon. James is a junior at the Indiana University Jacobs School Music where he is pursuing a degree in Organ Performance, studying with Christopher Young. He is currently the organ scholar at First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Previously, he studied with Emily Lau of The Broken Consort, and sang at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, studying organ with Bruce Neswick during his time there. Before that, he worked as an electrician. James has sung extensively as the alto soloist in productions with the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, and in February directed and led a production of a BWV 61, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, from the keyboard. Solo performances include singing with IU’s early music ensemble Concentus, for Telemann’s “Die Donner-ode” and Bach’s Cantata, BWV 130, “Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir”, as well as on a concert of Schütz and Buxtehude, among others. Last fall, he was the countertenor soloist for a performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Bloomington Chamber Singers. As a continuo player, he has accompanied various ensembles, from organ and harpsichord, most recently with a performance of Heinrich Schütz ‘Musikaliches Exequien’, and an upcoming performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Le quattro stagioni”.
Travis Whaley is a doctoral student in musicology pursuing a minor in organ performance with Chris Young. Travis holds Bachelors’ Degrees in Piano Performance, Composition and German from Virginia Tech, where he studied with Tracy Cowden, Kent Holliday and Richard Masters. He also holds an Honors Baccalaureate Diploma from Virginia Tech, for which he wrote an undergraduate thesis, “Beethovens Kompositionsvorgang in der Waldsteinsonate, op. 53” (“Beethoven’s Compositional Process in the Waldstein Sonata”). Following his undergraduate studies, he attended the Jacobs School of Music and obtained a Master of Arts in Musicology and a Master of Music in Organ Performance, also in the studio of Christopher Young. He currently serves as Director of Music and Organist at North Christian Church in Columbus, IN. In July 2014, Travis competed as a pianist in the 44th International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany. He has conducted research at the Beethoven Haus in Bonn, Germany, most recently in September 2017 as part of the “Beethoven Studienkolleg,” a research-intensive focused on Beethoven’s sketchbooks. Originally from Cary, North Carolina, Travis served congregations in North Carolina and Virginia before moving to Indiana.
Emily Woock is a student in the Ph.D. program for music education with a minor in organ performance. She holds a bachelor of arts in church music and education from Concordia University Chicago, a Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame, and Master of Music Education degree from Anderson University. Prior to beginning her studies at Indiana University, she served as director of parish music in a Chicago suburb for nine years, and additionally taught general music in the parish school. Emily enjoys leading presentations on teaching music literacy through hymnody, as well as mentoring young teachers. She is privileged to have recently served as organist for Kapelle, the touring choir at her alma mater. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling to Europe to play historic organs, visiting friends around the country, and daily FaceTime calls to read chapter books aloud to her favorite three-year-old bookworm.
Other Current Students
A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Katie Burk currently serves as Organ Scholar at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. She is pursuing the DM in organ with minors in choral conducting and music theory at IU, where she studied with Christopher Young. She also earned the MM in organ at IU and completed undergraduate work at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, having graduated summa cum laude with BM degrees in organ performance and vocal music education. A recent recipient of IU’s Wennerstrom Fellowship (an award honoring excellence in music theory pedagogy) and a member of The Diapason’s Twenty under Thirty Class of 2019, Katie is an active recitalist and choral clinician. She has given organ recitals in venues throughout the Midwest and in New York City, and she has served on the choral music faculty both at the RSCMA King’s College Summer Training Course and at the PAM Conference on Worship and Music at Montreat. Her choral compositions have been performed at such venues as the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, St. Mark’s, Locust Street in Philadelphia, and at several RSCMA courses; her anthem “Listen, sweet Dove” was published by Selah in 2020.
Evan Cogswell is a doctoral student at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he studies organ with Christopher Young. Evan is currently the organist for Speedway Christian Church in Indianapolis and the Dean of the Bloomington chapter of the AGO. During his first two years at Jacobs he held the department Associate Instructorship in Organ. Prior to attending IU, Evan received his Masters of Music from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music under the tutelage of Martin Jean. While at Yale, Evan gave several lectures on the organ music of Olivier Messiaen, a favorite topic of his. Evan also worked at Yale as an organ scholar for Marquand Chapel, and he taught several graduate theory classes as a music theory TA. Evan did his undergraduate work at the Hartt School, from which he graduated summa cum laude with a dual degree in composition and organ performance. At Hartt Evan commissioned and premiered several new chamber works for the organ and other instruments. Evan was the second-place young professional finalist in the 2017 Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Competition. In addition to organ playing, Evan enjoys tropical fish keeping and film watching.
A native of Alton, Illinois, Lucas Fletcher is a candidate for the doctoral degree, having studied organ at Indiana University with Dr. Christopher Young. He recently served as Assistant Organist at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis and as organist at Beck Chapel at the Indiana Memorial Union on campus. Lucas began piano studies at the age of eight, before taking up both the cello and trumpet. His interest in the pipe organ developed during high school, leading to a performance of Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings with his high school orchestra. Subsequently, Lucas has become the fourth generation of organists in his family. As an undergraduate student, Lucas studied organ with Dr. Susan Klotzbach at Illinois Wesleyan University. He also completed his master’s degree in organ at Indiana University. In his spare time, Lucas enjoys studying various aspects of architecture, history, and cuisine.
Josiah Hamill is an organist, violinist, and pianist who is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Music in Organ Performance at the Jacobs School of Music, where he studies with Chris Young. He has received numerous recognitions and awards in both organ and violin. As an organist, Josiah was runner-up in the American Guild of Organists Regional Competition for Young Organists and a finalist in the Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing. He recently placed first in the Sursa American Organ Competition at Ball State University. As a violinist, Mr. Hamill is a past winner of the T. Gordon Parks Collegiate Concerto Competition, soloing with the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a participant in the 2017 Heifetz Festival and its coveted Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar. His extensive string background significantly influences his unique and fresh approach to the magnificence of the organ and its repertoire. A recipient of Yale University’s Robert Baker Award, he received his Master of Music and Certificate of Church Music Studies from Yale School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music, studying under Martin Jean. He received his Bachelor of Music with dual concentrations in organ and violin, graduating summa cum laude with distinctions, from Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, where he studied under Joseph Galema (organ) and Linda Wang (violin). He was Lamont’s recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Student in Performance and the Presser Undergraduate Scholar awards, and he is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. In his free time, Josiah also enjoys swing dancing, traveling, and playing sports.
Chere Ko is currently a doctoral candidate at the Jacobs School where she studied with Dr. Janette Fishell (organ) and Professor Elisabeth Wright (harpsichord) during her doctoral coursework. A Hong Kong native, Chere was educated at St. Leonards-Mayfield School (U.K.).She went on to study music (voice and organ) at the University of Manchester, the Royal Northern College of Music, and in private studies with Ann Elise Smoot. She was awarded a scholarship by Flentrop Orgelbouw, which enabled a short residency at Flentrop. Chere was the recipient of the Artistic Excellence Award (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University), Summer Choral Scholarship (JSoM, IU), and the John R. Rodland Memorial Organ Competition (Third Prize, 2014). She has given recitals at notable venues such as St. Mark’s Cathedral (Seattle), St. George’s (Hanover Square, London), Central Synagogue (New York City), St. James Episcopal Church (Historical Keyboard Society North America Conference 2017), Good Shepherd Catholic Church (Golden Valley, MN), St. John’s Episcopal Church (Lattingtown, NY). She participated in the following live broadcasts: Pipedreams Live! Indiana University II and Trinity Wall Street, NYC (daily service). Aside from her academic studies, Chere is an active soprano, church musician and harpsichordist. She previously served as Organist at First Presbyterian Church (Columbus, IN), Centenary United Methodist Church (Lebanon, IN), and as Associate Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Garden City, New York).Known for her fondness for cats, coffee/tea, dessert, and cycling. Chere is currently based in NYC.
Jinhee Kim is a candidate for the Doctorate of Music in Organ Performance and Literature at Indiana University. Kim received her MM degree also at Indiana University, where she studied with Dr. Christopher Young. Kim previously received her Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Prof. James David Christie and Olivier Latry, and played in the Danenberg Honor’s Recital at Oberlin. Before coming to the U.S., Kim graduated summa cum laude from Yonsei University, where she studied with Dr. Tong-Soon Kwak, and appeared on the Rising Stars Concert Series at the Torch Center for World Missions in Seoul, Korea. Kim was the First Prize winner of the 2010 San Marino National Organ Competition. Kim was also cited as a finalist in the 2013 Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition and 2017 Asia Organ Competition in Taiwan. She was a semi-finalist in the 9th Tariverdiev International Organ Competition in Russia (the First Prize winner in the American round) in 2015 and the 2016 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. Kim taught Secondary and Elective Organ as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University in 2016-2017.
Joseph Peeples is a candidate for the Doctor of Music in Organ Performance; during his time at the Jacobs School of Music he studied with Professors Fishell and Young, and held a department Graduate Assistantship. Appointed Salt Lake City’s Temple Square organist in 2019, he regularly performs on the Music & the Spoken Word broadcast. Prior to this appointment, he was organist and instructor at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, and was also an organist at First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, where he accompanied the chancel choir. Before matriculating into IU he received his master’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University and is on the faculty of the annual BYU Organ Workshop. When not at work he enjoys time with his two sons and wife Ellen.
Mike Powell is a music student, church musician, and composer of sacred music. He is currently pursuing the Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, having previously completed the Master of Music degree in organ performance and sacred music in 2014 (also from IU), and his Bachelor of Music in 2010 from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Mike is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists and the organist at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Indiana. He currently resides in Bloomington with his wife Susan and their three children, Jacob, Meredith, and Joshua.
Susan Powell Powell graduated magna cum laude from St. Olaf College in 2010, with a Bachelor of Music in Church Music. She received Departmental Distinction for her senior independent research project on orchestral transcriptions for organ. She was the 2008 winner of the Ruth Krehbiel Jacobs scholarship for music students entering church ministry and the 2009 winner of the M. Louise Miller organ scholarship competition. At St. Olaf, she studied organ with Dr. John Ferguson and composition with Dr. Timothy Mahr, as well as voice, piano, instrumental methods, and conducting. She is currently at the Jacobs School of Music as an Associate Instructor of Music Theory and a Performer Diploma student in the organ studio of Dr. Christopher Young. During the past ten years she has published compositions for children’s choir, worked as a free-lance musician, directed the launch of a non-profit chapter, and cherished time as a stay-at-home mom. She currently serves as the Precentor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Indianapolis. She lives in Bloomington with her husband Mike—a fellow IU organist—and their three children, Jacob, Meredith, and Joshua. Susan is passionate about collaboration, performance, Christian worship, and writing artistically robust music accessible to amateur and developing musicians. In her imaginary spare time she likes to run, read, and write.
Yong Zhang is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Organ Performance with Janette Fishell. Yong holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from SUNY Fredonia, studying with Phillis East. Yong gave four recitals during her undergraduate years, including one lecture-recital featuring Chinese music for piano. By winning an annual concerto competition and performing with the school orchestra, she obtained her Performer’s Certificate when she was a junior. Yong first came to Jacobs for her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance with Karen Shaw. Because she had a great experience studying organ with Brain Bogey for two years in Fredonia, Yong continued her secondary organ lessons with Janette Fishell. After a further exploration of this charming instrument, Yong decided to start her second Master’s Degree in Organ Performance after she finished all her piano courses. Recently, Yong started a project featuring short videos in Chinese, introducing the construction, composers, music, and interesting facts of the pipe organ. A newcomer to organ competitions, she won third prize in the 2019 Sursa Organ Competition.
From the suburbs of Chicago, Grace Adduci graduated with a Bachelor in Music Education in Instrumental Band in the studio of Vincent Carr. She began piano at age 5, followed by trumpet at age 8, and took up organ at age 12. Grace is currently an organist at both St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and St. Petronille Catholic Church: the former being her at-school job at Indiana and the latter her hometown position since her sophomore year in high school. She has also served as a pianist for the St. Paul Catholic Center of Indiana University. For the summer of 2019, Grace was hired as the Interim Director of Music at St. Petronille. At Indiana University, Grace is the recipient of the William and Marcia Fox Undergraduate Scholarship, Marilyn Keiser Organ Scholarship, Premier Young Artist Award Scholarship, Music Faculty Award Scholarship, and Jacobs Access Grant. In the spring semester of 2020, Grace completed her student teaching at the band program of MSD Martinsville High School in Indiana. Upon graduation, Grace will be certified to teach music to grades K-12, and hopes to become a band director while also serving as an organist for a church. Outside of playing organ, Grace has been involved in various athletic bands, such as the Indiana University Marching Hundred, Crabb Band (for soccer games), and Big Red Basketball Band.
Laura Bottei is pursuing her Master of Music degree at Indiana University, studying with Christopher Young. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Laura began studying piano at the age of 5. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago, summa cum laude, with degrees in music and psychology. Laura has had the joy of serving two years as the organ scholar at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and two summers on Squirrel Island in Maine. She is currently the organist at First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana. Outside of organ and church music, Laura enjoys psychology, feminism, musical theatre, fitness, gymnastics, dogs, and vegan food.
David Boeckh is a master’s student at Indiana University where he studies organ with Dr. Christopher Young with a minor in choral conducting. Originally from Seattle, David began playing the organ while his family was on sabbatical in Berlin, Germany. He continued his organ lessons with Mel Butler at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle and in 2013 was accepted into the UW Academy, an early entrance program at the University of Washington, where he studied with Carole Terry. David completed his undergraduate degree at Oberlin Conservatory as a student of James David Christie. David has participated in numerous summer organ academies and competitions in the US and Europe, including the North German Organ Academy in Bremen, Germany and the Haarlem International Organ Festival. He is the winner of the 2015 West Chester Organ Competition. A passionate church musician, David has served Episcopal congregations in Washington, Ohio, and Oregon, and in 2018 he was the Wilson Family Sacred Music Intern at the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. Before coming to IU, David worked for two years as the organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. He is currently the Organist-Choirmaster at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. David is the Graduate Assistant for the IU Organ Department and serves as the sub-dean for the Bloomington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Brendan Conner is a third-year doctoral student studying with Dr. Christopher Young. He also received his Master’s degree from IU in Spring of 2018. Brendan currently serves as Senior Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis. Prior to attending IU, Brendan graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Music, studying organ and harpsichord with George Emblom and Davitt Moroney. In Summer of 2017, he accompanied daily services for the choir of St. Mark’s Berkeley during a week-long residency at Bristol Cathedral. He was recently selected as a semi-finalist in the 2020 NYACOP. Outside of organ music, he enjoys hiking, road trips, and reading about linguistics.
Kira Garvie is currently pursuing a PD in Organ Performance studying with Dr. Christopher Young. Kira also completed an MM degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music at Indiana University, studying organ with Dr. Janette Fishell and harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University, completing her undergraduate study with Peter Sykes. In addition to subbing at various churches throughout Boston, she was an Organ Intern at First Church Cambridge, working with Peter Sykes. In 2017, she was a scholarship recipient at the McGill Summer Organ Academy in Montreal, as well as an E. Power Biggs Fellow at the Organ Historical Society convention in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Kira also sang with the Marsh Chapel Choir at Boston University under the direction of Scott Allen Jarrett. With them, she participated in the premiere recording of James Kallembach’s Most Sacred Body of Jesus, as well as recording with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in Jordan Hall. Throughout her time at Boston University Kira performed regularly with the Boston University Baroque Chamber Ensembles. She is Director of Music/Organist at First Presbyterian Church, Martinsville, Indiana. Outside of music, she enjoys cycling, hiking, and watching historical documentaries.
Believing the magic and the joy that music can bring into peoples’ lives, Valentina Qishan Huang is a passionate performer on and off-campus. Recently, she has been featured in Cherry Blossom Festival Organ Concert series and the AGO Macon chapter recital in 2020. She was one of the recipients of E. Power Biggs scholarships in 2019 when the seed of pursuing the organ was planted unconsciously. Striving to express her voice through music, Valentina was a master student in piano performance right before she dived into the organ world. She has enjoyed playing on both instruments a lot and can’t wait to see more sparkles that the organ will bring to her.
Mallory H. V. Haney completed the BM in Organ Performance at the Jacobs School of Music in July, 2020, where she was a student of Dr. Janette Fishell. Before she came to Indiana to begin her studies with Professor Fishell, she lived in Chile most of her life and studied piano in the Conservatory of the Catholic University of Valparaiso (Chile) with Samuel Quezada. At age 12 she began to play organ for a Lutheran Church. When she was 15 years old, she began regular organ lessons with Carlos Valdebenito, where her love for the pipe organ began. In the summer of 2019 she played a brief recital tour in Chile, including a recital at “La iglesia de los Sagrados Corazones de Valparaiso,” where she performed on an historic Cavaillé-Coll organ. Other recitals include one in “Catedral Anglicana de St Paul,” where she was part of the “Musica en las Alturas” Festiva, and one in the colonial historical church “Iglesia de San Francisco,” Santiago. While at IU she held a position as organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington, IN, working with Dr. Marilyn Keiser.
Noah Klein BM 2021. Noah studied organ with Dr. Janette Fishell as a Premier Young Artist Scholar. Noah grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, and began piano lessons when he was six. He started studying organ in middle school and began his first church job when he was fifteen. Since then, he has played at many churches around his town and throughout Minnesota. After graduating high school, Noah spent a year in South Korea as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program, where he stayed with a host family and attended a Korean school. Noah is the Music Intern at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. He was first place winner in the 2019 Great Lakes Regional Competition for Young Organists, and was a recitalist for the 2020 AGO Biennial National Convention, slated to be held in Atlanta but moved to an online format due to Covid-19. In the future, he hopes to develop a career both as a performer and a church musician. Other interests of his are weightlifting and learning new yo-yo tricks.
Erik Matson graduated in 2021 with an MM in Organ and Sacred Music at Indiana University, studying with Christopher Young. Erik grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, studying piano from a young age. After developing an interest in the organ, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Church Music from Valparaiso University, with a minor in Mathematics. While at Valparaiso, he studied organ with Stephen Schnurr, harpsichord with Joseph Bognar, and voice with Ralph Klapis and David Govertsen. Through the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso, he served as Co-Director of the University Handbell Choir (the “Resurrection Ringers”), as Matins Organist, and as Morning Prayer Music Coordinator. In the past, he has served as organist at Lutheran churches around Valparaiso and in the Chicago area, and has served as accompanist for Encore Chorales Illinois, a choir organization for those aged 55 and older to find joy in music and in singing together. Currently, he is Organist/Accompanist at First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana. Erik’s particular musical interests include organ music of the 20th Century and of the Renaissance, vocal music of the Medieval Period, music theory and analysis, and sacred music composition. When not engrossed in music, Erik enjoys reading, biking, cooking, and getting outside to appreciate nature.
Mattilda Middleton studied with Prof. Janette Fishell at IU, earning a master’s and doctorate in organ performance. While a student at the Jacobs School she was active as a competitor and recitalist; in 2012 she was semi-finalist, and the sole US competitor, in the Interpretation Rounds of the Chartres International Organ Competition. While a student Mattilda was the Organ Scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church and was Assistant Organist and Interim Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis. She has conducted choirs and chamber orchestras, performed on piano, organ, and harpsichord, studied, taught, and appeared as soloist with university and civic symphony orchestras in the U.S., Europe, and Middle East. Her recordings have aired on radio stations in Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Kentucky, and on the nationally-syndicated With Heart and Voice. Dr. Middleton is the Organist and Choir Director at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Kentucky, where she oversees an active choral program, and is the author of Choral Accompaniment at the Organ, a website and pedagogical method for organists based on her doctoral project.
Philip Pampreen BM 2021. Philip studied organ with Dr. Christopher Young while pursuing a dual degree in organ and mathematics with a concentration in statistics; he was a recipient of the Barbara and David Jacobs Scholarship. Growing up in New Hampshire, Philip was homeschooled from seventh grade through high school to focus on music. In 2016 he performed at Methuen Memorial Music Hall for the opening of their concert season. After being designated a Rising Star by the New Hampshire AGO in May of 2018, he was invited back to Methuen to give a solo recital the following month. In the summers of 2017 and 2018 Philip coordinated, directed, and performed in the annual benefit concert for the Options pregnancy resource center. In 2015 he was a finalist in the Fall Piano Competition, and placed third in the Granite State Piano Competition two years in a row.Philip served as the sacred music director, organist, and choir director of Dover Baptist Church in Dover NH for 3 years, and worked as a substitute organist throughout New Hampshire. He also was the rehearsal and concert accompanist and substitute Choir Director of the Granite State Choral Society for one year, including their 2017 performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana. In his free time, he enjoys chess, data visualization, and computer programming with Python.
Elena Paradies, a native of Lithuania, got her DM degree in organ performance at the Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Dr. Janette Fishell. Pior to that she recieved her MA in piano from the Lithuanian Music Academy in Vilnius under Prof. Muza Rubackyte and her MA in organ at the State Conservatory in Nyzniy Novgorod, Russia, under Prof. Galina Kozlova. After that, she worked at Klaipeda University, Lithuania, as an Associate Professor and at Eduadas Balsys Gymnasium of Arts. During her teaching she combined pedagogical work with intensive concert performances as a soloist and choir accompanist in different venues in Lithuania, Denmark, Italy, Russia, Germany, and the U.S. Currently she serves as the organist and music director at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in San Jose, California and teaches piano at her own Paradies Piano Studio.
Jonathan Rudy, a native of Batavia, IL, is proud to follow a sacred music vocation. He has recently performed in locations across the United States, including an appearance at the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston. Rudy appears frequently in performance competitions, winning First and Audience Prizes in the 2014 American Guild of Organists Biennial National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, held at Harvard Memorial Church in Boston. He has also been a finalist in the National Organ Playing Competition in Fort Wayne, IN, and received Second Prize in the Regional Competition for Young Organists in 2011. Jonathan recently completed his Doctorate in Organ and Sacred Music at Indiana University, studying organ with Janette Fishell and improvisation/sacred music with Bruce Neswick. His prior degrees are from I.U. and Valparaiso University (studying with Lorraine Brugh and Karel Paukert), and pre-college study with Karl Bruhn and his mother, Melinda J. Rudy. He is Cantor and Director of Music at Grace Lutheran Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he lives with his beautiful wife, Katie and daughter Miriam.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Rees Taylor Roberts is currently earning his Master of Music at Indiana University, where he studies organ with Janette Fishell. He received a Bachelor of Music from Arizona State University, where he studied organ with Kimberly Marshall. Roberts has additionally studied organ with Craig Chotard and Jonathan Moyer, harpsichord with Webb Wiggins, piano with Baruch Meir and Julie Cheek, and has coached with Marie-Louise Langlais, Marilyn Keiser, Nathan Laube, and Wilma Jensen.Prior to his studies in Arizona, Roberts served as the Organist & Choirmaster of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas, where he oversaw a vibrant music program that included a semi-professional choir, a handbell choir, and a monthly concert series. He has been active in RSCM programs as an organ scholar, has interned as an organ scholar at Saint Paul’s K Street and the Church of the Advent, and is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the American Guild of Organists.
Nolan Snyder is a senior at the Jacobs School of Music where he studies with Professor Janette Fishell. He is also a member of Singing Hoosiers and very active as a church musician.
Nicholas Stigall, is a junior majoring in organ performance at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he is a recipient of the Barbara and David Jacobs Scholarship and studies with Dr. Janette Fishell. A native of Knoxville, TN, he began organ lessons with Dr. Edie Johnson at the age of fifteen. Nicholas has been the recipient of many awards in both piano and organ performance competitions. These include first prize, the Bach prize and the Hymn prize at the Greater Columbia, SC American Guild of Organists Organ Performance Competition in March 2018, as well as first prize in the High School Organ Festival and Competition held in Winston Salem, NC at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in January 2019. He also won the first prize in the 2019 Southeast RCYO in Myrtle Beach, SC and performed as a rising star at the AGO National Convention in Atlanta in 2020. As a pianist, he was the first prize winner in solo piano at the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Competition in June 2017 and June 2018. Additionally, he was awarded scholarships through the Brock Organ Education Fund through the Knoxville AGO for school years 2017 and 2018. Nicholas is currently the undergraduate organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church, Bloomington, IN under Dr. Marilyn Keiser. He also held the organ scholar position under Dr. Edie Johnson at Church Street United Methodist Church, Knoxville, TN throughout high school. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys yoga and indulging in caffeinated beverages.
Geneva Stonecipher completed the MM in organ performance at the Jacob’s School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Janette Fishell in the spring of 2020. Mrs. Stonecipher earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Music for organ at the University of Georgia studying piano with Dr. Martha Thomas and organ with Dr. David Burton-Brown. Mrs. Stonecipher has participated in events such as the inaugural Rebecca Penny’s Festival in 2013, the InterHarmony Music Festival in Italy in 2014, the Sacred Music Intensive Workshop in 2017 and the Montreat Music Festival in 2017. Some of her accomplishments include winning the Dean Piano Award Competition for the Georgia Federation of Music Clubs in 2013, the 2016 Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Auditions, the Encouragement Incentive Award of the 2016 Pro-Mozart Society Scholarship Auditions and the 2016 Hodgson School of Music Concerto Competition. Through the AGO Atlanta Chapter Organ Scholarship Auditions, Mrs. Stonecipher has received numerous scholarships including the first Bunn Scholarship in 2015. Mrs. Stonecipher served as the church music intern at First Presbyterian Church in Athens, GA under the leadership of Dr. John Coble from Fall 2016- Spring 2017 and Music Director and Organist at Commerce Presbyterian Church, 2017-2018.
Matthew Wachtman is an active organist and collaborative musician from Defiance, Ohio. He currently serves as Organist at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Beginning at age 12, he served as Organist and Music Director at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Defiance. Matthew is currently earning the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance/Sacred Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he studies with Dr. Christopher Young. He received the Bachelor of Music degree in Keyboard Performance at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Nicole Keller. He has performed in masterclasses with Chelsea Chen, Dr. Timothy Olsen, and Todd Wilson and has been invited to play concerts in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. Matthew earned first prize in the 2019 AGO/Quimby Young Organist Competition held in Cleveland, and was also the winner of the undergraduate prize in the 2020 Immanuel Lutheran Church Organ Scholar Competition in Evanston, IL.
Trent Whisenant, a native of Chatsworth, Georgia, is a M.M. in Organ and Sacred Music student studying with Dr. Janette Fishell. Trent graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN in the spring of 2020 with a double degree in politics and music. Prior to coming to Bloomington, Trent served as Director of Music and Organist at First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, GA, a position which gave him oversight of growing adult, children’s, and handbell choirs as well as a successful Choral Scholar program for high school and college vocal students. He has substituted widely across denominations and worked at United Methodist churches in Chatsworth, GA as the principal organist. Trent has studied organ with Dr. Geoffrey Ward, Scott Atchison, Justin Maxey, and Angela Arthur. Outside of church music, Trent enjoys reading, traveling, and finding new ways to become engaged in whatever community he finds himself.
Varfolomei (“Bart”) Upart, a native of the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, completed the Bachelor of Science in an Outside Field program at Jacobs School of Music, studying Organ Performance and Spanish. He was a student Dr. Janette Fishell, with whom he collaborated as a narrator in her 2018 performance of Petr Eben’s Faust for organ. Throughout his studies, he sang Bass in numerous performances with the University Chorale, NOTUS, and Conductor’s Chorus. In November of 2017, he was the narrator for the performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion. This year, he will be working as an Organ Restorer with JL Weiler Inc. and as a music intern at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago. In 2021, he will be joining the Dominican Order as a novice, eventually entering seminary.
Lynnli Wang is a second-year MM student, studying with Dr. Janette Fishell. She began her organ studies with Neil Weston in Washington, DC in 2017 at St. Stephen Martyr. During her time in DC, she also studied with Andrew Vu Basilica at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Lynnli came to the organ by way of the carillon, which she learned while attending Yale College for her BA in literature. She passed her Carillonneur exam in 2014 and currently serves as an officer for the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America (GCNA), while actively performing across the US. Starting in fall 2020, Lynnli will be teaching carillon to interested students as an AI and performing weekly concerts on campus. When not in front of an organ console or up in a belltower, she is most likely researching new recipes to try or playing board games with friends and family.