Pipe Organ Encounter 2016

Our 2016 Pipe Organ Encounter program was a great success. Thank you to everyone involved. To view photos from our event, click here.


Online Pipe Organ Encounter Application

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Atlanta AGO 2016 POE Brochure

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Please contact Nicole Marane at nicmarane (at) gmail.com.


POE Faculty

Bryan Anderson, organist

Bryan Anderson

Bryan Anderson is an organist, pianist, and harpsichordist native to Georgia. He studied piano with Jeannine Morrison and organ with Sarah Martin, and for the last five years attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he earned degrees in organ (studying with Alan Morrison) and harpsichord (with Leon Schelhase). A rising concert artist, Bryan has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Verizon Hall in Philadelphia, Woolsey Hall at Yale, Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Princeton University Chapel and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. He has been featured in performance at conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. His most recent positions have been as organist at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, as well serving as an assistant organist of the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ for several years. After graduating from Curtis in May 2015, Bryan took up the post of Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England for 2015-16. In addition to work at the organ, Bryan has enjoyed extensive collaboration as a chamber musician, performing many times as a continuo artist and ensemble pianist.

Scott Hamilton Atchison, organist

Scott Hamilton Atchison

Scott Hamilton Atchison currently serves as Director of Music and Organist at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where he administers a program including nine choirs. Under his leadership, the choirs have performed in some of the most venerable cathedrals and halls around the world. Mr. Atchison served as principal organist for the Atlanta Boy Choir for 18 years, accompanying them on many international tours. He currently serves on the artistic staff of the Georgia Boy Choir. In 2002, Mr. Atchison began the design and installation of the 106-stop Mander Organ in the church’s new sanctuary. In November of that year, he was the featured soloist in the premiere of Concerto for Organ, Orchestra and Chorus by renowned composer Stephen Paulus with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Robert Spano. The music program at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church includes a full-scale concert series which draws music lovers from across the city. The series includes at least two major choral works each season with members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is also in demand as an organ recitalist and choral clinician across the country. Mr. Atchison received his training in organ performance and choral conducting from Furman University as well as Georgia State University where his teachers included Lindsay Smith and Robert L. Simpson. Professional memberships include the American Guild of Organists, American Choral Directors Association, and the Royal School of Church Music.

Herbert Buffington, organist

Herbert Buffington

Herbert Buffington is Organist and Assistant Choirmaster at Peachtree Christian Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Immediately prior to this, he was the Organist and Choirmaster of Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Herbert maintains an active recital schedule and has served on faculties of church music conferences and American Guild of Organists (AGO) “Pipe Organ Encounters” and as recitalist and improvisation/service playing clinician for many AGO chapters. He was awarded both Second Prize and Audience Prize in the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation. Some of his work has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and American Public Media’s “Pipedreams.” An Atlanta native, Herbert began musical training as a chorister in the Cathedral of St. Philip Choir of Men and Boys, and was Cathedral Sub-Organist for several years before entering undergraduate school. Academic degrees are from Duke University (A.B.) and from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at The Johns Hopkins University (M.Mus.). European study was at the Vienna International Music Center and the Hochshule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. Organ teachers include Fenner Douglass, Robert Parkins, Peter Planyavsky, Donald Sutherland, and Ronald Rice. Improvisation study has been with Bruce Neswick, David Dahl, and Gerre Hancock.

Randy Elkins, organist

Randy Elkins

Randy Elkins, a chapel organist for the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Director of Music and Organist at Virginia–Highland Church, is a freelance musician living life to the fullest. Past positions include organist and associate music director in mega churches in Texas and Georgia and positions as varied as assistant cathedral organist, school district boy choir director, elementary, middle and high school music teacher, graded choir program director, conference organ clinician, author, composer and cater waiter. He has dreamed up and executed innovative choral programs on his own and with teams, and played many recitals in churches and cathedrals in the United States and England. Randy’s organ students are organists in cathedrals, mega churches and neighborhood churches. Some studied while teenagers and others came back to organ lessons as adults. Randy’s teaching style uses differentiated instruction and requires the student to think and take responsibility for their interpretation at whatever stage of music learning they find themselves. Randy’s latest capers are taking theatre organ lessons and teaching using Skype. Check out his largest project to date, the restoration of the Aeolian-Skinner organ from Trinity Wall Street.

Faith Freese, organist

Dr. Faythe Freese

Dr. Faythe Freese, Professor of Organ at the University of Alabama, has performed throughout the United States, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and Singapore. Dr. Freese is the first American woman to have recorded at L’Eglise de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris on the landmark instrument where Guilmant, Messiaen and Hakim were titular organists. She was a lecturer at the 2014 American Guild of Organists National Convention in Boston, MNA and recitalist at the 2010 American Guild of Organists National Convention in Washington, D.C., various Regional AGO Conventions and many Pipe Organ Encounters. Dr. Freese’s performances and recordings have been hailed as “powerful …masterful… impressive … brilliant.” As a Fulbright scholar, she studied the works of Jean Langlais with the composer and the works of Max Reger with Heinz Wunderlich. She studied with Marilyn Keiser, Robert Rayfield, William Eifrig and Phillip Gehring and coached with Dame Gillian Weir, Simon Preston, and Daniel Roth. Her website is www.faythefreese.com and she is on the roster of Concert Artist Cooperative, BethZucchino@aol.com.

Sarah Hawbecker, organist

Sarah Hawbecker

Sarah Hawbecker has served as Organist and Director of Children’s Music at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta since 1996, and is also a project consultant for Orgues Létourneau Limitée of St-Hyacinthe, Québec. A native of Illinois, she studied organ and church music with John Ferguson at St. Olaf College, earning the Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude with Departmental Distinction. She earned the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Russell Saunders. Ms. Hawbecker is a prize winner of numerous competitions, including both the 1998 and 1996 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, and first prize in the 1988 Undergraduate Organ Competition, Ottumwa, Iowa. Her performances have been broadcast on American Public Media’s radio program Pipedreams®. She is on the roster of Concert Artist Cooperative, and is a frequent workshop presenter and performer. She has served as adjudicator for local, regional, and national organ competitions, and has published articles in The American Organist, CrossAccent, and The Chorister. A lifetime member of the American Guild of Organists, she served three terms on its national council, and she currently serves on the Board of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians as a regional president.

Dr. Robin Hensley, organist

Dr. Robin Hensley

Dr. Robin Hensley is active in the Atlanta area as an organ recitalist, accompanist, teacher, church organist, and advocate for young musicians. A North Carolina native, Robin earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Georgia, the Master of Music degree from Converse College and the Bachelor of Music degree from Salem College, all in organ performance. Dr. Hensley has performed throughout North and South Carolina and Georgia sharing a wide variety of music with audiences and congregations of all ages. She particularly enjoys presenting educational lecture- recitals, and offering children’s concerts that introduce young people to the organ. Robin’s teaching experience spans a thirty-seven year career and includes all ages, from preschool through adults. Dr. Hensley currently shares her talents as Elementary Music Specialist for Greater Atlanta Christian School, teaching general music to students in K3 through 5th grade; directing Promises, the elementary chorus; and teaching private piano and organ lessons.

Dr. Jens Korndörfer, organist

Dr. Jens Korndörfer

Dr. Jens Korndörfer is Director of Worship, the Arts, and Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and instructor for organ and harpsichord at Agnes Scott College. In the past decade, he has given more than 200 concerts at major venues around the world, including Westminster Abbey in London, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Moscow Cathedral, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong, et.al. He graduated with top-honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (Organ Diploma, class of O.Latry and M.Bouvard), the Oberlin Conservatory (Artist Diploma, J.D.Christie), the Musikhochschule in Bayreuth (Church Music Diploma), and McGill University in Montreal (Doctor of Music). In the 2005, he was appointed organist in residence at the Concert Hall Kitara in Sapporo, Japan. During one year, he gave approximately 50 recitals in Sapporo and throughout Japan, was in frequent demand as a teacher (organ studio, master classes, etc.), and recorded his first solo-CD. Korndörfer has won numerous prizes and awards, and has published articles in international music journals. He has taught as assistant of Prof. Christie, given workshops, lectures and master classes on three continents, served on the jury of the AGO’s Quimby Competition. He is represented by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc. www.jenskorndoerfer.com

Dr. Nicole Marane, organist

Dr. Nicole Marane

From Australia, Dr. Nicole Marane is the Associate Director of Music and Associate Organist at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also the Director for CONO, the Committee on the New Organist, which oversees the American Guild of Organists “Pipe Organ Encounters”, the AGO’s most successful outreach program. In 2010 Nicole graduated with her Doctorate of Musical Arts (Performance and Literature – Organ) from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), where she was a student of renowned organist, Professor David Higgs. She served as the Eastman Organ Department’s General Administrative Assistant and David Higgs’ Teaching Assistant for three years and was a recipient of a Graduate Teaching Assistant Prize for excellence in teaching. Nicole completed her Master of Music Degree at Eastman in 2003 and held graduate assistantships in both the Harpsichord and Sacred Music programs. In 2004, Nicole earned first prize in two major competitions: the Miami International Organ Competition and the John Rodland Memorial Scholarship Competition for church musicians. In 2008 Nicole competed as a semi-finalist in the National Young Artists Competition of Organ Performance. An accomplished performer, Nicole has performed and presented solo organ recitals throughout the world in prestigious venues.

Justin Maxey, organist

Justin Maxey

Justin Maxey, a native of Winder, Georgia, is the Artist-in-Residence & Associate Director of Music at The Community Church of Vero Beach, Florida. He is the Associate Artistic Director & Accompanist for the Atlantic Children & Youth choirs and Nautilus (both resident ensembles at the Community Church) as well as the Executive Director of the Community Churches’ concert series. Justin serves as the teacher of advanced piano and organ at the Primo Music Academy based out of the First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach. He is also a dramatic bass/baritone, a seasoned solo pianist, and a highly sought after collaborative accompanist on both the piano and organ. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Shorter College, a Masters in Organ Performance & Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and recently began a fully-funded Artist’s Diploma at Mercer University. During his undergraduate studies, Justin was the accompanist for the world-renowned Shorter College Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Martha Shaw. This prestigious appointment led to opportunities such as two European tours and being featured on a nationally released CD, Beautiful River. His skill as an organist has allowed him to play in some of the most famous cathedrals in the world, including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, St. Alban’s, Ely Cathedral, Christ Church (Dublin, Ireland), and St. Paul’s (London). Justin was awarded first place in both the Atlanta Chapter (2009) and Rochester NY Chapter (2011) Quimby Competitions of the American Guild of Organists. He received first place in the Atlanta Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon performance competition (2010) and the David Spicer Hymn Playing award at the Schweitzer Organ Competition in September 2011.

Sue Mitchell-Wallace, organist

Sue Mitchell-Wallace

Sue Mitchell-Wallace is an award-winning Fellow of the American Guild of Organists and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. She taught at Broward College, Florida Atlantic University and Birmingham Southern Conservatory of Music. She is a past-dean of the Fort Lauderdale AGO chapter and current dean of the Atlanta AGO chapter. She served on the Professional Certification Committee for AGO and is an active adjudicator; she was Councillor for Education for the national AGO, overseeing the expansion of the Pipe Organ Encounters program, Educational Resources and the archival DVD’s of Catharine, Crozier, Frederick Swann, Gerre Hancock and Marie-Claire Alain. She has also served on the national boards of the Hymn Society of America, Leadership Program for Musicians and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. She is an active recitalist, commissioned composer and workshop leader for national conferences for a broad spectrum of denominations. She has concertized from California to Holland, Wales to Texas, including two recitals at Westminster Abbey, Queens College, Oxford UK, US Naval Academy and Washington National Cathedral. She is a Melodious Accord composition fellow, studying with Alice Parker. Her articles have appeared in Reformed Worship, Call to Worship, The American Organist, The Hymn, and the journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians. She is currently organist-choirmaster at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Roswell, Georgia.

Alan Morrison, organist

Alan Morrison

Alan Morrison enjoys a versatile career as recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, teacher, adjudicator and recording artist. He is recognized as one of North America’s premier concert organists and has performed in virtually all major concert halls and cathedrals throughout the USA. He has also performed in Canada, South America, Russia, Italy, Germany and England where he was the only American featured in the 2015 Celebrity Recital Series at St. Paul’s Cathedral (London). He has been featured at four National Conventions of The American Guild of Organists as well as numerous regional conventions. Mr. Morrison is Chairman of the Organ Department at the world renowned conservatory, The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (PA), Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University (N.J.), College Organist at Ursinus College (Penn.), and Artist in Residence at Spivey Hall (Ga.). A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and Juilliard, he holds degrees in both organ and piano accompanying. His teachers include John Weaver, Cherry Rhodes, Sarah Martin (organ), Robert Harvey, Vladimir Sokoloff and Susan Starr (piano). He has been represented professionally by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc. since 1996. www.alanmorrison.com

Arie Motschman, organ

Arie Motschman

Arie Motschman holds degrees in Organ Performance from Salem College (BM) in Winston-Salem, N.C. (where she studied with John Mueller) and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (MM). She was awarded a Fulbright Grant for post-graduate study with Gerd Zacher at the Folkwang Musik Hochschule in Essen, Germany. Arie is active as a regional recitalist and clinician in the fields of organ and handbells and is in frequent demand as an accompanist. Arie has been accompanying musicians at Kennesaw State University since 2010. She has been an opera coach and accompanist for the past three KSU opera productions and harpsichordist for numerous concerts and recitals. Arie also collaborates with KSU music students for solo and studio recitals, competitions, and auditions. She is Organist at Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, Ga.

Patrick A. Scott, organist

Patrick A. Scott

Patrick A. Scott is Assistant Organist-Choirmaster at the Cathedral of Saint Philip in Atlanta. A native of Picayune, Mississippi, he holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from Birmingham-Southern College where he studied with Dr. James Cook. As a student of the world-renowned organists, Drs. Judith and Gerre Hancock, Patrick earned the Master of Music in Organ Performance and Sacred Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance, both from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Scott is quickly becoming one of the nation’s prominent young organists having been awarded the first prize as well as the audience prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation held at the 2014 AGO National Convention. While at the convention, he was also awarded second prize in the Schoenstein Hymn Playing Competition. An active recitalist and accompanist, Dr. Scott has appeared in concert and with choirs throughout the United States, as well as in France, Scotland, England, and Ireland. He has also presented masterclasses, recitals, workshops, and hymn festivals for chapters and conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. Last fall, Dr. Scott released a new CD under the Raven label.

Timothy Wissler, organist

Timothy Wissler

Timothy Wissler is organist of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. At the Cathedral he accompanies the Cathedral Choirs, plays for parish and episcopal liturgies and conducts the Cathedral Girl and Boy Choirs. He is also the organist for The Temple in Atlanta. He has served as a member of the music faculties of Georgia State University and Mercer University Atlanta. A Pennsylvania native, Timothy Wissler earned the Bachelor of Arts degree at Lebanon Valley College and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in organ performance at the University of Michigan. He has performed in the United States, Germany, France and Italy. In addition he has served as adjudicator for local and international organ playing competitions. Dr. Wissler is a past Dean of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, served on the Steering Committee for its Atlanta National Convention, and was Program Chair for the 2007 Atlanta Regional Convention. He has taught on the faculty for AGO Pipe Organ Encounters for high school organists and served on the National AGO committee for the Regional Competition for the Young Organist from 2004 to 2010. He currently serves as co-chair of the Taylor Organ Competition committee, a national competition for undergraduate organists begun by the Atlanta AGO. In 1994 with other Atlanta church and cathedral organists he organized the Atlanta Summer Organ Festival which is celebrating 21 seasons and served on the Organ Selection Committee for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s future concert hall. He has been a leader in the founding of the annual Atlanta Archdiocesan Youth Choir Festival and Summer Choir Camp. In his free time he enjoys practicing yoga and cycling.