Year of the Young Organist Recruitment Contest Winners
- Hong Kong (small size chapter) achieved a net growth of 20 new young organists members.
- Denver Rocky Mountain (medium size chapter) achieved a net growth of 22 new young organist members.
- Los Angeles (large size chapter) achieved a net growth of 17 new young organist members.
The AGO wishes to congratulate and thank you for all of your hard work in recruiting and engaging the new young organists in your chapters.
Young Organists: Remember to renew your membership!
AGOYO Online Workshops and Webinars
All AGOYO online events may be found here.
The Year of the Young Organists presents the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach played by members of the American Guild of Organists under the age of 30. This premiered in June of 2022.
Councillor for Young Organists (AGOYO)
Emily Dawn Amos is a young organist whose passion for music has taken her across the nation and beyond. She started studying organ at the age of eight, and at nine years old was the youngest ever admitted into a Pipe Organ Encounter (POE). Since then, she has attended a total of twenty summer intensives. Emily was an assistant organist in both Alexandria, La., and Traverse City, Mich., and most recently was the organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Pa. Emily is also an assistant at the Wanamaker Grand Court at Macy’s. She has participated in masterclasses with professors such as James David Christie, Daniel Roth, Alan Morrison, and Johann Vexo. Emily participated in and won the 2015 and 2016 Young Artists Competition on NPR (Red River Radio). She also won third place, audience prize, and the hymn prize at the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival and second place at the AGO Quimby Regional Competition (Grand Rapids Chapter). Emily studied with Scott Dettra as her primary organ teacher from 2015–2017, attended the Interlochen Arts Academy from 2017–2019, and is currently attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studies with Alan Morrison. At Curtis, Emily holds the Stephanie Yen-Mun Liem Azar Fellowship.
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.
Laura Bottei is pursuing her MM in Organ Performance at Indiana University, studying with Chris Young. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Laura began studying piano at the age of 5, and 14 years later fell in love with the organ. Prior to graduate studies at IU, she graduated from Loyola University Chicago with degrees in music and psychology. At Loyola, she studied organ with Steven Betancourt, voice with Sarah Ponder, and piano with Anthony Molinaro. Laura had the joy of serving two years as the organ scholar at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and spent two summers as the resident organist on Squirrel Island in Maine. She currently serves as the organist of First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ind. Her additional professional interests include psychology, music education, mental health, and mindfulness. Outside of organ and church music, Laura enjoys fitness, gymnastics, dogs, and vegan food.
Clayton Farmer serves as the Assistant Director of Music and Organist at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, MI, where he accompanies the choirs and assists in all playing duties. He is also an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he is working towards a dual-degree in organ performance and sacred music along with computer science. He regularly works as a professional piano accompanist, and his musical background also includes experience as a conductor and music educator. In 2021, Clayton was the second-place winner of the AGO Great Lakes Regional Competition for Young Organists. Clayton is a passionate fan of classical music of all types, and is committed to inspiring the next generation of organists, musicians, and audiences.
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.
Michelle Kardos is an organist, pianist, and music therapist. She is currently the Assistant Organist at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Alongside this, she is the Program Assistant for the Thornton Community Engagement Program and a grader for the University of Southern California. Through the involvement of her local chapter, Michelle has been a member of the American Guild of Organists since 2014. From 2018-2021, she served as the Secretary for the Seton Hill University Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She is currently serving as a member of the AGO Task Force for Gender Equity. Michelle has received both her Service Playing and Colleague Certification from the AGO. She is also a member of SWO, AMTA, and MTNA. She obtained her Master of Music in Sacred Music at Duquesne University. While at Duquesne, she was accepted into the National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda. At graduation, she was presented with the Jean Langlais Award, awarded to a graduating organ student with the highest academic standing in Sacred Music. She obtained her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy along with the Sacred Music Certificate, Pastoral Ministry Certificate, and psychology minor at Seton Hill University. There she studied organ with Mr. Edgar Highberger and piano with Mr. Edward Kuhn. During her studies, Michelle was named the Presser Scholar, based upon her merit and achievement in the music program, and was accepted into the International Psychology Honor Society, Psi Chi. Michelle is currently attending the University of Southern California to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance studying under Professor Cherry Rhodes.
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.
Jason Steiner is a music minister currently serving Christ Congregation in Princeton, New Jersey. He was previously the inaugural Music Resident at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio, where he apprenticed under the Reverend John Neely and worked with the church’s two-hundred participant music program. He holds a B.A. in Music from Westminster Choir College, where he studied primarily with Jim Goldsworthy and Alan Morrison; he completed part of his coursework at Princeton University, studying queer theory, Asian religions, and the intersection of those fields. He is a passionate music educator and maintains a private piano studio. In his free time, Jason loves reading, trail running, and seeking out his favorite bird, the American Coot.