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Janette Fishell and Todd Wilson to join Jacobs School Organ Department

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music announced today (March 27) that it has appointed not one but two internationally prominent performer-teachers to its ranks. Organists Janette Fishell and Todd Wilson will begin their tenure as professors of music in the fall of 2008.

Fishell, Janette
Janette Fishell
Print-Quality Photo

This major news comes on the heels of the recent announcement of the transformation of the Seward Organ in Auer Concert Hall by C. B. Fisk organ builders of Gloucester, Mass., to be completed in the fall of 2010, and the anticipated retirement of two distinguished faculty organists, Chancellor's Professor of Music Marilyn Keiser and Professor of Music Larry Smith.

Both Fishell and Wilson are international performers of the highest regard and are in constant demand as soloists, clinicians, adjudicators, teachers and recording artists.

"Janette Fishell and Todd Wilson are giants in our field," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the IU Jacobs School of Music. "The opportunity to have them join Chris Young in our newly configured organ department is a very exciting development. They bring multiple talents to Indiana that will shape our curriculum and performance objectives well into the future, building upon the rich heritage that Marilyn Keiser, Larry Smith and their predecessors have provided us."

"The retirement of two great faculty members in the organ department will be difficult," said Christopher Young, professor of organ at the Jacobs School. "However, their successors, Janette Fishell and Todd Wilson, will enable our program to continue to thrive well into the future. In addition to their international performance credentials, their decades of experience as church musicians provides for peerless knowledge and skill in the teaching of church music. And, of course, they are tremendous pedagogues who can preach what they practice!"

Young said that "Janette Fishell is an IU alumna, whose dedication to the organ is matched by her tremendous energy and creativity as a player, teacher and administrator. Todd Wilson is one of this country's finest and most sought-after performing organists and has been, at the same time, a leading church musician in America, bringing 30 years of experience to both activities. I'm thrilled to have both joining the faculty and couldn't be happier for future students at IU. And those students will discover that these two individuals are really great people who share a commitment to see their students succeed, and who have the motivation, personality and skill to make it possible."

Fishell described it as "thrilling" to return to an institution that "in large measure, made me the musician I am today."

"In addition to my time at IU (BM 1981, MM 1982), my hometown is Rushville, Ind., so this is a homecoming in every sense of the word," she said. "More recently, in my work as a professor of organ at the East Carolina University School of Music, I have admired the dedication, artistry and collegiality of the organ faculty at the Jacobs School, so much so that I have encouraged my most talented students from the East Carolina University School of Music to audition for the graduate program there. In an age often marked by societal pressures and demographic shifts that have left many organ programs struggling to survive, the Jacobs School of Music has made an obvious commitment to the future stability and continued excellence of its organ department. I am confident that the combined energy, expertise, vision and optimism of the Jacobs School faculty, students and administration, and the continued support of friends and alumni, will make possible an exciting new chapter in the life of one of this country's most celebrated programs."

In anticipation of his arrival, Wilson is "thrilled and honored to join such superb faculty colleagues as we begin a new era for the IU organ department. Building on the strong tradition of organ study in Bloomington, the potential for the upcoming years is truly remarkable and most exciting. To say that I look forward enormously to being a part of it would be an understatement! The Jacobs School administration's substantive commitment to the future of organ study at IU sends a most encouraging message to all who love and care about the future of 'The King of Instruments.'"

ABOUT JANETTE FISHELL

Fishell is currently Distinguished Professor of Music at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., where she heads the Organ Performance and Sacred Music degree programs and is chair of Keyboard Studies. She holds degrees in organ performance from the IU Jacobs School of Music and Northwestern University. Her teachers include Wilma Jensen, Wolfgang Rübsam, Richard Enright, Anita Werling, Robert Byrd and Clyde Holloway, with further coaching on Baroque and German Romantic repertoire with Ludger Lohmann. Named Young Organist of the Year by Keyboard Arts Inc. while still an undergraduate, Fishell is a recitalist and teacher of international standing. She has performed in many of the world's greatest concert venues, including Suntory Hall, Tokyo; King's College, Cambridge; Berlin's Schauspielhaus; the Liszt Academy, Budapest; and the Prague Spring Festival, and has been a featured recitalist and lecturer at five national conventions and five regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Her solo recitals for the 2006 national convention of the AGO in Chicago were critically acclaimed as "flawless" and a convention highlight.

Fishell is founder and artistic director of the East Carolina Religious Arts Festival, now in its 12th year, and is director of music/principal organist at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Greenville, N.C., where she oversees a full schedule of choral services.

Most recent and upcoming engagements include multiple concert tours of Asia and Europe, including recitals at the cathedrals of Lausanne, Switzerland; York Minster; Bordeaux, and Dijon, France; Smetana Hall, Prague; Esplanade Theater, Singapore; Dewan Philharmonic Petronis Concert Hall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and on the C.B. Fisk, Opus 110 at Minato Mirai Concert Hall, Yokohama, Japan. In the United States, she plays a full schedule of recitals under the management of Karen McFarlane Artists.

Her students have distinguished themselves in academia and the performance stage, including first place honors in the AGO Competition for Young Organists, the MTNA National Collegiate Organ Competition and at the Oundle International Summer School for Young Organists. Her former students successfully serve in churches and on university faculties throughout the U.S. and Asia.

The author of numerous articles and a book on service playing published by Abingdon Press, she is widely recognized as a leading authority on the organ music of Czech composer Petr Eben.

Her numerous compact disc recordings include performances of the music of Marcel Dupré, Petr Eben and J. S. Bach, as well as duet literature performed with her husband, British organist Colin Andrews. Pas de Dieu: Music Sublime and Spirited, a recording of French Romantic repertoire and the world premiere of Frank Ferko's Livre d'Orgue, was released by Loft Recordings in July 2006, the premiere recording on C. B. Fisk, Opus 126.

She has been featured in live radio broadcasts worldwide, including live recital broadcasts for the BBC from St. Marylebone Church, London; NHK, Tokyo; and Czech Radio. A frequent adjudicator, she has been tutor and artist three times at the Oundle International School for Young Organists and was a judge for the recorded round of the 2000 National Competition for Young Artists sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. She served as chair of the NYACOP committee from 2004 to 2006.

ABOUT TODD WILSON

Todd Wilson is director of music and organist at The Church of the Covenant (Presbyterian) in Cleveland, Ohio, where he heads a program of choirs, as well as a concert series. A respected teacher, he is currently head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and teaches at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He serves as organ curator of the recently restored E. M. Skinner organ at Severance Hall, home of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Wilson received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied organ with Wayne Fisher. Further coaching in organ repertoire was with Russell Saunders at The Eastman School of Music. He has won numerous competitions, including the Grand Prix de Chartres (France) and the Ft. Wayne Competition. An active member of the American Guild of Organists, Wilson holds the Fellow and Choirmaster certificates and was a featured performer for the Centennial National Convention of the Guild in New York City in July 1996.

Wilson has been heard in concert in many major cities throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, including concerts at Symphony Hall (Birmingham, U.K.), Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Cleveland's Severance Hall, Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center and Uihlein Hall in Milwaukee. In June of 2003, he dedicated the organ in the new 21,000-seat Mormon Conference Center in Salt Lake City; in October 2004, he performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra on the first orchestra subscription series concert featuring the new organ at Disney Hall in Los Angeles; and in January 2005, he performed his debut recital in Tokyo, Japan. He has appeared as a solo recitalist for Austrian Radio in Vienna and in concert with the Slovakian Radio Symphony. Past orchestral appearances include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, members of the Atlanta Symphony, the Naples (Fla.) Philharmonic, the Calgary Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, the Canton Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony, the Ft. Worth Symphony and the Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Wilson's latest CD, on the JAV label, features a live recital of American music from the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Another recent release, Live from Severance Hall, is a concert of music for trumpet and organ with Michael Sachs, Principal Trumpet of The Cleveland Orchestra. Other CDs on the JAV label are Music for Cello and Organ, George Thalben-Ball and Friends, and Frank Bridge and Friends. He plays a variety of Christmas music on A Joyous Celebration, the inaugural recording (2001) of the recently restored E.M. Skinner organ in Cleveland's Severance Hall, which is available from The Cleveland Orchestra. Wilson's CDs for Delos International include Maurice Duruflé Organ Music (Complete), In a Quiet Cathedral, a two-disc collection of meditative organ music, and Double Forte, a recording of duo organ works with David Higgs. He is heard playing and directing on a CD of American choral and organ music from Cleveland's Church of the Covenant. Earlier recordings include a Disques du Solstice recording of Tournemire organ works on the organ of Chartres Cathedral, and a Gothic Recordings CD of works by Duruflé, Guillou and Robinson at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City.

A sought-after adjudicator, Wilson has been a jury member for numerous national and international playing competitions. An active interest in improvisation has led to his popular improvised accompaniments to classic silent films.