AGO Young Organists

A Membership Category for AGO Members Under the Age of 30

The AGO has a board comprised of 6 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.

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Jillian Gardner is an award-winning performing organist with an international touring schedule. She is also the National Convener for the AGO 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, NYC, 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.

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Emily Caitlin Dowling
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.

Zach Hastings, a native of Iowa, is the Director of Worship and Music at St. Stephen Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Urbandale, IA, where he conducts the Chancel Choir and serves as organist. He is a graduate of Iowa State University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. His principal teachers include Dr. Miriam Zach, Ruth Harris, Ahreum Han Congdon, and Dr. Tin-Shi Tam. Hastings is currently serving as a Member-at-Large on the Central Iowa AGO Chapter while also pursuing Pre-Medical studies at Iowa State University, with aspirations to attend medical school after completing a Master’s in Music.

Jordan Prescott Heralded by The Baltimore Sun as a “rising organ star,” Jordan Prescott” 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.

Olga Wong has performed in North America, Europe, and Asia as an organist, pianist, and collaborative chamber musician. She has been featured on the Lent Recital Series at First Lutheran Church in Houston, First Friday Recital Series at the Co-Cathedral of Sacred Heart in Houston, and the Grand-Orgue Series at Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas. Ms. Wong has also performed at the Église St-Séverin in Paris, and as a collaborative pianist in Italy at the 2016 InterHarmony International Music Festival. She has also performed as part of the Guest Recital Series at the Lousiana Tech University, and a musical production “Bloody bloody, Andrew Jackson” at the Stephen F. Austin State University. Ms. Wong has recently served as the Organ Scholar at the Co-Cathedral of Sacred Heart in Houston and graduated with a Masters Degree in Organ Performance from the University of Houston, where she studied with Daryl Robinson. Ms. Wong also holds a Masters Degree in Piano Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Bachelor Degree with First Honours from Hong Kong Baptist University. Recent awards include the 2019 Briggs Scholars Program (Organ Historical Society), scholarships of 2018 American Guild of Organists National Convention in Kansas City, the 2017 French Organ Seminar in Paris and Rome, and the 2016 Texas Music Teachers Association Young Artist Piano Competition. Ms. Wong has also appeared as a Chapter Presenter at the 2016 Music Teachers National Association, on the topic of “Performance Anxiety: From Practice Room to the Stage.”

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