The Year of the Young Organist
During the Year of the Young Organist, July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022, the AGO has been pleased to offer to any individual under the age of 30, free membership as part of this program. We encourage young organists to consider becoming a member, to experience programs and events that will support both personal and professional development. Membership benefits can be found here.
Year of the Young Organist past webinars, workshops and special events can be viewed here.
Join us June 13–16 as 89 young organists play the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The videos will premiere on the American Guild of Organists YouTube page.
Councillor for Young Organists (AGOYO)
Jillian Gardner, MM, AD
Jillian Gardner is an award-winning performing organist with an international touring schedule. She is also the AGO National Councillor for Young Organists as well as the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, AL. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Baylor University, she has performed concerts in venues including Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, St. Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco, St. Thomas 5th Avenue, New York City, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and has been a featured artist for OHS and AGO Conventions. She looks forward to two tours of the U.K. this year. Connect with Jillian.
Committee for Young Organists
The Committee for Young Organists is an AGO board comprised of six young organists to benefit those across the United States and foreign chapters. Through online resources, social media, and some in-person events, a community of young organists who are members of the AGO are connecting in this mostly virtual community to establish networking opportunities and generate innovative web-based programming.
Emily Caitlin Dowling completed her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at Mercer University as a student of Dr. Jack Mitchener in 2015 and a Bachelor in Piano Performance from Mercer in 2013, as a student of Elizabeth Pridgen. In 2013 and 2015 she won the Macon AGO Quimby Regional Young Organists Competition. Caitlin served as Assistant Organist/Assistant Music Director from 2013–2015 at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. She moved to Atlanta in 2017 to be the Principal Organist/Music Associate at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA. She is an active performer and appeared in recital in Nashville AGO’s “3 Under 30 Concert,” the Cherry Blossom Recital Series in Macon, Ga., The Cathedral of St Philip, West End United Methodist Church and in Germany, Czech Republic and Austria with the Vanderbilt Community Chorus. Caitlin is Director of Music & Liturgy at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, a large parish 25 minutes north of New York City, and lives in Manhattan on the Upper East Side with her wife Hannah.
Grant Holcomb is a Lexington, KY native and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organ Performance at the University of Kentucky, studying with Dr. Schuyler Robinson. During the summer of 2019, Grant served as the Organ and Sacred Music intern at Montreat Conference Center in Western North Carolina, studying organ and choral conducting with Eric Wall. As a collaborative musician, Grant regularly works with a variety of singers and instrumentalists. He recently completed a tour of trumpet and organ recitals across the state of Kentucky with trumpeter, Abby Temple, and has served as an accompanist for the Presbyterian Association of Musician’s Worship and Music Conference at Montreat. Grant serves on the Executive Committee of the Lexington, KY Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Lindsey Johnson is an organist from Fort Worth, Texas. She began piano studies at age 4 with Elsa Cañizares and continued with Dorla Price-Aparicio, Zuleca Savignon, Elena Bulgakova-Abel and Dr. Lerie Dellosa. While studying with Dr. Dellosa, Lindsey became interested in the organ, eventually pursuing a Bachelors’s degree in Organ Performance at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, TX, with Dr. Devon Howard. In addition to her organ studies, she was a cellist in the Southwestern Symphony Orchestra, sang in the auditioned University Singers traveling choir, and served as department student accompanist for a variety of instrumentalists, vocalists, and ensembles. She has traveled and performed with the University Singers throughout the United States and abroad, including France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Portugal. Most recently, Lindsey has been accepted to the Master’s program in Organ Performance at Arizona State University, in the studio of Dr. Kimberly Marshall.
Ethan Neal is a native of Georgetown, Ohio, and is an active performer at the organ and beyond. Ethan is studying Voice, Choral Music Education, and Organ at the University of Kentucky under the tutelage of Dr. Everett McCorvey, Drs. Lori Hetzel & Elizabeth Wilson, and Dr. Schuyler Robinson. Ethan also serves as the Director of Music at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity and on faculty at Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY. When not working as an organist, Ethan performs regularly as a collaborative pianist and vocalist, recently with the Santa Fe and Kentucky Operas, OperaLex, and the American Spiritual Ensemble. A recipient of the “Charlie H. Mitchell” McCracken Award, Ethan performs throughout central Kentucky and beyond.
Jordan Prescott was heralded by The Baltimore Sun as a “rising organ star,” and has established himself as one of the leading organists of his generation. He holds the Bachelor of Music in Organ from East Carolina University and the Master of Music in Organ from Peabody Conservatory. A recipient of the coveted Dean’s Fellowship, Jordan is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ at Peabody. An active recitalist throughout the United States, he was named one of Diapason’s ’20 Under 30’ in 2019. Jordan sits on the executive board of the Baltimore Chapter. Connect with Jordan
Samantha Scheff serves as Assistant Organist at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. An active performer, recent recital appearances include Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land and National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., Christ Episcopal Church in New Brunswick, NJ, and the Hall of Philosophy in Mount Gretna, PA. Samantha was awarded 2nd place in both the 2019 Brooklyn AGO Competition and the 2019 West Chester University International Organ Competition. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied with Dr. Theodore Guerrant and a Master’s degree from Rutgers University where she studied with Renée Anne Louprette.