Test Patterns

Eastman Bunch with Invited Guest

March 24, 2024

Annually invites students from the Eastman School of Music Organ Department to become familiar with the theatre organ and perform for our members. With guidance from Professor William Porter, each is given practice time to develop their skills and present to the Society.

The second part of the event has historically been when RTOS invites the winner of the American Theatre Organ Society’s Young Organist Competition to present their capabilities in a concert environment.

Below are the student organists performing on the program.

First Half – Eastman School of Music Organists

Adam Chlebek is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied organ with Jonathan Moyer; there he also focused on choral singing and conducting. In the past, he has sung in the Oberlin Musical Union, under the direction of Gregory Ristow, and Collegium Musicum, under the direction of Steven Plank; and has studied choral conducting with Jodi Kerchner and Ben Johns. He is currently a member of the Christ Church Schola Cantorum in Rochester, under the direction of Stephen Kennedy.

Adam is an avid jazz pianist; he has participated in Oberlin’s Performance and Improvisation Ensemble, where he has performed with Jamey Haddad, Jay Ashby, and Becca Stevens. He is also the keyboardist for The Surrealists, a psych-rock band based in Evanston, IL

Adam currently serves as the Director of Music at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Rochester, New York.

Charles Francis is a British-born organist who is earning increasing recognition as a young performer. Recently Charles moved to the USA to begin studies in the studio of Professor Nathan Laube at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. In addition, Charles is Assistant Organist at Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester, as well as Organist for the acclaimed Christ Church Schola Cantorum. Charles completed his undergraduate studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (UK) where he studied with Daniel Moult, Nicholas Wearne, and received frequent coaching with Professor Martin Schmeding. His playing has been broadcast on both British and American radio.

Charles Francis

Charles’ playing has earned him various accolades including First Prizes in both the IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition (Edinburgh, 2022) and The Dame

Gillian Weir Messiaen Competition (Birmingham, 2019). In November 2022, he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians recognizing his outstanding achievements as an undergraduate student. Charles has performed widely across the UK with recent recital venues including Westminster Abbey, both St Paul’s Cathedral and St John’s Smith Square in London, St John’s College, Cambridge, and a recent solo performance as part of the St Alban’s International Organ Festival. He is excited to be participating in the Eastman Bunch, and to make his theatre organ debut!

James Jeffery is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Organ Performance in the studio of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. He is currently employed as a VanDelinder Fellow at Christ Church, Rochester. He previously studied with Daniel Brownell at First UCC Milford, CT. He has held the position of Director of Music at Calvary St. George Episcopal Church in Bridgeport, CT. Most recently, he was a Choral Scholar in the Bass section at Christ Church. He has experience as a pianist, drummer, clarinetist and composer, writing in a variety of genres.

James Jeffery
Katherine Jolliff

Katherine Jolliff is a young organist from Indianapolis, Indiana. She began piano studies at the age of 5 and started learning the organ in her freshman year of high school from Marco Petricic at the University of Indianapolis. After completing her first two years of high school, she finished her studies at Interlochen Arts Academy. She majored in both piano performance and organ performance and graduated with honors and the Fine Arts Award in Organ Performance. Katherine is currently attending Eastman School of Music as an organ performance major studying under David Higgs. In addition to being declared a winner at the Regional Competition for Young Organists competition, she has also won first prize in the East Carolina University Young Artists Competition in organ performance (including the Bach Interpretation Prize and the Hymn Playing Award) as well as first place in the 2021 M. Louise Miller and Paul E Knox Scholarship Competition. Most recently, she won first place in the Immanuel Lutheran Organ Scholar Competition and the Taylor Organ Competition

Daniel Minnick is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of David Higgs, having previously studied with Nathan Laube. A native of north Queensland, Australia, Daniel holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance. Upon completion of his master’s degree in organ at Eastman in May of 2019, Daniel was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, a national music honors society recognizing outstanding achievement in both musical performance and academics. Daniel has participated in numerous competitions at the national level. In 2020 he was named as one of three finalists in both the Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition and the First Presbyterian Church National Organ Competition (Fort Wayne, IN). Daniel was awarded 1st prize at the 2022 Sursa American Organ Competition, and at the 2022 Seattle Convention of the AGO,

Daniel Minnick

Daniel took 3rd prize and audience prize in the National Young Artist’s Competition in Organ Performance. His most recent concert appearances have included Vanderbilt Presbyterian (of Naples, FL), Furman University, the New York State Fairgrounds (Syracuse, NY), and the Lockport Theater Organ Society (Lockport, NY). In addition to his classical organ studies, Daniel also enjoys the study of theater organ, composition, improvisation, and working as a piano technician. He has completed the required examinations of the Piano Technician’s Guild to attain the status of Registered Piano Technician (RPT) within the PTG. Daniel currently serves as a teaching assistant for the theory and aural skills undergraduate curriculum at Eastman, having completed the requirements for Eastman’s Certificate of Advanced Achievement in Theory Pedagogy.

(This is Daniel’s 5th performance with the Eastman Bunch.)

Aaron Tan

Canadian organist Aaron Tan is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Eastman School of Music and also serves as Organist and Director of Music at St. Alban’s Catholic Church (Ordinariate) and The Episcopal Church of St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene, both in Rochester, NY. Recently he has been appointed as an Instructor of Piano at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY, as well as a Secondary Organ Instructor at Eastman School of Music. He is the only person to have received first-prize in three of the most major North American organ competitions: the Canadian RCCO National Organ Competition, the AGO National Young Artists Competition in Organ Playing (NYACOP), and the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC).

He received his MM and MMA from Yale University. In 2019, Aaron released his first commercial recording, “Impressions”. His second album, “Aux étoiles”, was released in October 2023, and features rarely heard post-Romantic works by Karg-Elert, Whitlock, Laurin, and Duparc, among others.

As a scientist, Aaron holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Michigan and worked there as a postdoctoral researcher after earning his degree, studying polymer thin films.

More information about Aaron’s musical interests and activities can be found at www.aarontan.org.

Faculty Coordinator – William Porter

William Porter, widely known as a performer in the United States and in Europe, has also achieved international recognition for his skill in improvisation in a wide variety of styles, ancient and modern. He has performed at major international festivals and academies, including the North German Organ Academy, the Italian Academy of Music for the Organ, the Smarano Organ and Clavichord Academy, Organfestival Holland, the Göteborg International Organ Academy, the Dollart Festival, the Lausanne Improvisation Festival, the Festival Toulouse les Orgues, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the McGill International Organ Academy, Eastman’s Improvfest, and the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists.

William Porter

Professor of Organ, Harpsichord, and Improvisation at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, from 2002 until his retirement in 2013, he has also been a member of the music faculty at McGill University in Montreal, where he lived from 2004 until fall of 2015. From 1985 to 2002 he taught organ, music history, and music theory at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and from 2001 until 2005 he taught improvisation at Yale University. Porter holds degrees from Oberlin College, where he also taught organ and harpsichord from 1974 to 1986, and from Yale University.

He has recorded on historic instruments, old and new, for the Gasparo, Proprius, BMG, and Loft labels. Now residing in Rochester, New York, he has returned to the Eastman School of Music as Adjunct Professor of Organ.

This will be his 12th appearance with the “Bunch.” Bill is also an Honorary Member of RTOS.

Second Half – Ian Fraser

Ian Fraser

Ian Fraser’s fascination with organs started at the age of two when he heard a band organ on a local carousel in his hometown of Staten Island, NY. His interests soon expanded into the world of mechanical music with player pianos, orchestrions, etc. When he was 16, after seeing a silent film at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY in 2017, he got the chance to sit at the console and play the theatre organ for the first time. From there, he has followed his passion to become a theatre organist. Leveraging his ability to play by ear, Ian taught himself in just a few short years to play the theatre organ. This has been influenced by studying his favorite genres and organists.

Now residing in Plainfield, NJ, Ian is the house organist at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island playing pre-shows for their Classic Movie and Arts-In- Education series. He has also performed at the Bardavon Opera House, the

Loew’s Jersey Theatre, the Trenton War Memorial, the Brook Arts Center, the Union County Performing Arts Center, The Sunnybrook Ballroom, and Babson College among others.

Ian was 2023 first-place winner of the American Theatre Organ Society’s Young Theatre Organist Competition.

He is a silent film accompanist and has recently developed a new live show format featuring silent shorts, historical presentation and a mini-concert.

Ian also maintains an interest in the restoration of pipe organs and mechanical musical instruments.

He is the Vice President of AMICA’s Lady Liberty Chapter (Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association). He is also a member of COAA (Carousel Organ Association of America), NCA (National Carousel Association), GSTOS (Garden State Theatre Organ Society) and ATOS (American Theatre Organ Society).

Eastman Bunch Poster