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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Rising Stars

January 21, 2002

These eight performers were winners of the American Guild of Organist’s Regional Competition for Young Organists in 2000. Hear the big names of tomorrow on Pipedreams Program No. document 0204, Rising Stars.


  Todd Fickley
  Todd Fickley

Todd Fickley
Todd Fickley began piano study at the age of nine and, since then, has studied organ, violin, and composition. His teachers have included Bruce Myers, Diann Clark, Bruce Neswick, and Patrick Kavanaugh. Todd has served churches and has performed in the Washington, D.C., area. He spent a year in Moscow, where he worked as a school teacher. Prior to receiving a scholarship from the Potomac Organ Institute, he won a first and second place in the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs composition contest, as well as first place in the National Piano Guild Auditions for seven years. He is organist and children’s choir director at document Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church in Annandale and accompanist of the Asaph Chorus. Mr. Fickley teaches piano and organ, and performs with the Washington Bach Consort in its Bach to School series.


  Michael D. Costello
  Michael D. Costello

Michael D. Costello
Michael D. Costello is a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is currently a Sacred Music major at Lenoir-Rhyne College. He is an organ student of Professor Florence Jowers and is also a student of the Rev. Dr. Paul D. Weber, coordinator of the college’s Sacred Music program. Michael serves as the director of music and worship at Saint Stephens Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, in Hickory, North Carolina. At Saint Stephens, Michael directs the parish, junior, and adult handbell choirs, where he plays the 35-rank Gabriel Kney organ. A composer and recitalist, Michael has composed hymn texts and tunes, as well as concertati on other tunes for the parish. Michael lived in State College, Pennsylvania, for four years and served as the organist and youth choir director at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Grove Mills. Past instruction has included studies with the late Robert W. Nelson, Barbara Fisher, and Ruth Jensen. Michael has received instruction through the Lutheran Music Program from Martin Jean, William Kuhlman, and Paul Bouman. The winner of the Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship for 1999 and of the Region IV competition of the AGO, Michael has also participated in workshops led by Dan Lacklair, Paul Manz, Craig Cramer, Joan Lippincott, and Paul Jenkins.


  Svetlana Fiakhretdinova
  Svetlana
Fiakhretdinova

Svetlana Fiakhretdinova
Svetlana Fiakhretdinova was born in Moscow, Russia. At the age of 14 she was accepted to the Moscow Conservatory for studies in music theory and composition. At the age of 16 she came to the United States and began organ studies with McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music, where she received the Bachelor of Music degree. She continues her studies at the Curtis Institute where she studies with John Weaver in the Artist Diploma program. Svetlana was the winner of the 1999 Region II Competition for Young Artists. She is organist at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.


  Cara Dye
  Cara Dye

Cara Dye
Cara Dye was the winner of the 1997 and 1999 Regional Competitions for Young Organists for Region VIII of the AGO. At the 1998 AGO National Convention in Denver, Cara performed in the Rising Stars Recital. She has studied organ with Paul Barte of Ohio University and with Mormon Tabernacle Organist Richard Elliott. While maintaining an active interest in the organ, Cara is currently a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at Idaho State University.


  Grace Renaud
  Grace Renaud

Grace Renaud
Grace Renaud studied under Sandra Soderlund for the last three years at Mills College, Oakland, California, where she received her bechelor’s degree. Grace is the organist at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, San Francisco. She also plays piano at Saint Ignatius Church. She sings in a gospel choir at the Metropolitan Community Church. Grace studied piano with Jeanette Wilkin, who encouraged her to attend the 1995 Pipe Organ Encounter. She immediately fell in love with the organ and began six months of study under Charles Rus before transferring to Mills. Grace was the winner of the 1999 Region IX Competition for Young Organists.


  Frederick Teardo
  Frederick Teardo

Frederick Teardo
Frederick Teardo attends the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in performance under the tutelage of David Higgs. He began keyboard study with his father at the age of 13 and, thereafter, studied piano and organ privately with Stephen Roberts for five years. He has also studied figured bass privately with Britt Wheeler. In addition too many other awards and prizes, Frederick won first prize in the 1999 Region I Competition for Young Organists.


  Jeeyen Son
  Jeeyen Son

Jeeyen Son
Jeeyen Son was born in Seoul, South Korea, and came to America with her family when she was 13. Having studied piano since the age of five, she continued her study in Dallas with Hwa Lee. As a high school student, she began her organ study with Yoon Jegal and Hye-Jean Choi, graduate students at the University of North Texas and then continued with Lenora McCroskey. Jeeyen won the 28th Annual William C. Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio in the spring of 1999. She serves Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church, Dallas, as organist.


  Tom Trenney
  Tom Trenney

Tom Trenney
Tom Trenney has studied and received degrees in organ performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. His principal teachers have included David Higgs and Todd Wilson. Tom earned both the Service Playing and Colleague Certificates from the AGO before he was 16 years old-becoming one of the youngest ever to do so. Tom has won first prize at several competitions including the 1997 Redlands Organ Festival, the 1998 Ohio Federation of Music Clubs’Agnes Fowler Organ Competition, the 1999 John Rodland Memorial Church Music Scholarship, the 1999 Peter B. Knock Organ Scholarship, and the 1999 AGO Region V Competition for Young Artists. Tom is director of music ministries at document Bethany Presbyterian in Rochester, N.Y.

 

Photographs courtesy of AGO National Headquarters Photo Archives.