Internationally Known Organist to Present Benefit Concert

Posted on 2/22/2019 8:49:52 AM

Internationally known organist Katelyn Emerson will be the guest performer for a March 3 concert benefitting the Carol Teti Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Katelyn Emerson Emerson’s solo recital will feature the world premiere of Frederick Hohman’s “The Organ Icons” (2018). Hohman’s winning composition was written for the Pogorzelski Yankee Organ, the pipe organ that IUP leases from the American Guild of Organists. 

The program begins at 3:00 p.m. with a pre-concert talk with Emerson and Hohman, moderated by Associate Professor of Music John Levey in Cogswell Hall’s DiCicco Rehearsal Hall, room 121. The concert will follow at 4:00 p.m.

Admission is free. Donations for the organ scholarship fund are gratefully accepted.

Since its establishment in 1993 to honor the late IUP faculty member Carol Teti, the Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee has worked to overcome a shortage of organists at local, regional, and national levels. More than $74,000 has been awarded in that time to 52 students in the university’s organ program.

Along with Hohman’s “The Organ Icons,” the program will include a Vivaldi concerto transcribed by Johann Sebastian Bach, and works written by de Grigny, Jongen, Langlais, Mozart, Sweelinck, and Charles-Marie Widor. 

Emerson, an organist, lecturer, and pedagogue, is hailed as “one of the world's most promising organists” and is internationally renowned for performances throughout North America, Europe, and Asia that are “thrilling from beginning to end” and that showcase repertoire from the 14th to 21st centuries with “impressive technical facility and musicianship,” according to reviews by Cleveland Classical.

Upcoming and past recital venues include Walt Disney Hall (Los Angeles), Hallgrímskirkja (Reykjavík, Iceland), Kurhaus Wiesbaden (Germany), the Riverside Church and Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (New York City), the Basilica of Santa Maria de Montserrat (Spain), Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Paris), Musashino Civic Cultural Hall (Japan), Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Hall (Russia), Cathédrale St-Quentin (Hasselt, Belgium), the Hauptkirche St. Petri (Hamburg, Germany), Merrill Auditorium (Portland, Maine), Bradford Cathedral (England), the Cathédrale Poitiers (France), St. Petri Kyrka (Göteborg, Sweden), and Severance Hall (Cleveland).

Emerson has won competitions on three continents. After winning first prize in the American Guild of Organists’ 2016 National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance (Houston), the Guild’s premier performance competition, she performed at the 2018 National Convention of the AGO in Kansas City, Missouri, after giving more than 70 solo and collaborative concerts throughout the United States and Europe.  

She received the Second Jean Boyer Award in the 2014 Fifth International Organ Competition Pierre de Manchicourt (Béthune and Saint-Omer, France), the second prize of the 2015 Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition (Syracuse, New York), and the third prize of the VIII Musashino International Organ Competition (Tokyo). Emerson was awarded the title of Laureate and Third Place, as well as recital prizes in the VIII Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition (Kaliningrad, Russia).  

Winner of the 2011 Region V AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (Lexington), she has also received numerous scholarships for her musical and academic work, including the 2013 M. Louise Miller Scholarship and the 2015 McClelland Community Music Foundation Scholarship.  

Emerson’s first recording, Evocations, was released on the Pro Organo label in May 2017, and her second, Inspirations, on that same label in September 2018.  Her interviews and performances can be heard on such radio programs as Radio Russia, NPR’s Pipedreams, and Radio Présence, Toulouse, France.

Beginning October 2018, through the aid of a German Academic Exchange Scholarship (DAAD), she is pursuing a master’s degree in organ at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, studying with Ludger Lohmann. 

The recipient of a J. William Fulbright Study/Research Grant, Emerson studied organ “en perfectionnement” at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Toulouse, France, for the 2015–16 academic year with Michel Bouvard, Jan Willem Jansen, and Yasuko Uyama-Bouvard.  

In May 2015, she graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory (Ohio) with double bachelor’s degrees in organ performance and French as well as with minors in music history and historical performance (fortepiano). 

Emerson was associate organist and choirmaster at the Church of the Advent (Boston) from 2016 to 2018, where she worked with the historic Aeolian-Skinner organ, the professional choir of the Church of the Advent, and the volunteer Parish Choir. From 2010 to 2015, she was music director of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Amherst, Ohio.

She has been on the faculty of the McGill Student Organ Academy (Montréal, Canada), numerous AGO-sponsored Pipe Organ Encounters throughout the United States, and the Oberlin Summer Organ Academy (Ohio). She regularly presents masterclasses on organ interpretation and sacred music for AGO-sponsored events. She is associate editor of the online editorial journal Vox Humana and has served on the executive committee of the Boston Chapter of the AGO. She continues to serve the Guild as an officer of the Northeast Division of the AGO Young Organists and is also a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians, the American Musicological Society, and the Organ Historical Society.