Jacobs Organ Academy

Jacobs Organ Academy


Janette Fishell Janette Fishell
Professor of Music (Organ); Chair, Organ Department
Bruce Neswick Christopher Young
Professor of Music (Organ)
keiser Robert Nicholls
Adjunct Lecturer in Music (Organ)
Fischer Patrick Fischer
Organ Construction and Academy Instrumental Curator
Amy Hamburg-Mead

Janette Fishell
Janette Fishell is Professor of Organ and Chair of the Organ Department at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where she teaches applied organ and leads an active department numbering five faculty and approximately fifty organ majors in residence. Holding degrees in organ performance from Indiana University and Northwestern University, she is a recitalist and teacher of international standing. Her students have distinguished themselves in academia, concerts and in competitions in the US and Europe, placing as semi-finalists, finalists and prizewinners at the Poister Competition, Schweitzer Competition, AGO Regional Competition for Young Organists, Austria’s Franz Schmidt Competition, Concours de Chartres and the International Marchal Competition in Biarritz. Her former students successfully serve in churches and on university faculties throughout the US and Asia.  A regular performer in many of the world’s greatest concert venues, published author of numerous articles and a book on service playing published by Abingdon Press, a composer whose choral and organ music is published by Morning Star Music, St. James Press and Wayne Leupold Editions, and recording artist, she is widely recognized as a leading authority on the organ music of Czech composer Petr Eben and has recently completed a multi-year performance project in which she performed the complete organ works of J.S. Bach.

Serving as a church organist from the age of eleven, Dr. Fishell credits Dr. Wilma Jensen, her teacher at Indiana University School of Music, mentor, and colleague in several churches, with inspiring her development as a church musician. From 1989 to 2008 she headed the Organ Performance and Sacred Music degree programs at East Carolina University where she founded the East Carolina Religious Arts Festival, an annual conference dedicated to the creation and sustenance of excellence in the sacred arts. As Director of Music/ Principal Organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, NC for nineteen years she oversaw the development of a vibrant choral program made possible by a talented group of committed musicians. Under her leadership the St. Paul’s Choir produced a critically acclaimed compact disc, “Love Bade Me Welcome,” and undertook two successful tours of England, singing week-long residencies at the cathedrals of Gloucester and Canterbury, with other performances at Christ Church, Oxford and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. She remains Director of Music Emerita at St. Paul’s.  Upon her move to the Jacobs School of Music she served as Interim Organist at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, Indianapolis, and is now Artist-in-Residence at that institution.   In May, 2014 she will receive the Paul Creston Award from New York City’s St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church, an award presented annually to “a distinguished artist who embodies the Creston Creed, excellence in the arts, and is a significant figure in church music and the performing arts.”

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Christopher Young
A native of New England, Jacobs School of Music Professor Christopher Young is the winner of the 1988 National Young Artists Competition (NYACOP) of the American Guild of Organists and the 1988 Arthur Poister Competition (Syracuse University). He was also recognized by Musical America as one of their outstanding Young Artists of 1989. His concert career began under the auspices of a special young artist program provided by Karen McFarlane Artists, and continued under the Young Organists Cooperative, of which he was a co-director until 1993.

Dr. Young has been a featured artist at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He has been heard as a featured performer on American Public Media's "Pipedreams" and has appeared in concert with the Rochester (MN) Chamber Chorale, the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony and with his wife, violinist Brenda Brenner. His compact disc, "To Thee All Angels Cry Aloud," was released on the Pro Organo label.

In addition to concertizing, Young presents master classes, workshops, and lectures. He has given classes and performances at several church music clinics, including the Montreat Conference on Music and Worship, the St. Olaf Conference on Music and Theology, and the national convention of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He has presented at several AGO National Pedagogy Conferences, as well national and regional conventions of the AGO.

Several presentations have focused on electronic media, including a virtual tour of North German Organs, interactive analyses of organ music, and the theoretical underpinnings to the organ music of Olivier Messiaen. Dr. Young serves as organist of First Presbyterian Church, Bloomington.

Dr. Young began organ lessons under the tutelage of Marion Anderson while a freshman at Bates College in Lewiston, ME, where, in 1982 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with High Honors in Music. A graduate of The Eastman School of Music, he earned the MM and DMA degrees and the prestigious Performer's Certificate under David Craighead and Russell Saunders.

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Robert Nicholls
Robert Nicholls, M.A. (cantab), FAGO, is adjunct lecturer in organ at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition, he is director of music and organist at First Presbyterian Church in Evansville, Ind.

He began his musical training as a chorister at Westminster Abbey in London, England. As an undergraduate, he sang in the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, and after graduating, in the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge. His compositions have been performed and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

He is a strong supporter of the Royal School of Church Music in America. He was the first-place winner in the National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2012 and has served as sub-dean and dean of the Evansville Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

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Patrick Fischer
Patrick J. Fischer is academic specialist and organ curator at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

An accomplished organist and church musician, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organ and Church Music degree, summa cum laude, from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. He won the American Guild of Organists Twin Cities Undergraduate Organ Competition in 1995. His teachers include David Fienen and Gregory Peterson.

Fischer's career in organ building began with Charles Hendrickson and Co. in 1997. He was an organ builder and reed voicer with C. B. Fisk, Inc., from 1999 to 2006, where he participated in the installation and voicing of Fisk’s magnum opus at Lausanne Cathedral in Lausanne, Switzerland, the first American organ in a European cathedral. His passion for the Germanic tradition in organ building led him to work with Richards, Fowkes & Co. of Ooltewah, Tenn., in 2006. The firm's celebrated project at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square in London, England, is the first American organ in a London church.

Fischer’s work as a reed voicer can be heard throughout the United States in churches, colleges, and universities. He has been a presenter for the American Guild of Organists Pipe Organ Encounters and for the American Institute of Organ Builders.

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