Summer@Eastman 2015: The Organ Institute

  Christ Church Organ

The Craighead-Saunders Organ at Christ Church, Rochester, New York.

Caroline Robinson, a South Carolina native, is a first-year master’s student at Eastman. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Curtis Institute of Music, she traveled to Toulouse, France, where she studied organ performance on a Fulbright scholarship. We discussed her decision to study in Rochester, the exciting developments of organ music in the city, and the new addition to Summer@Eastman 2015: The organ institute for high school students.

The organ tradition transcends legendary artists, international borders, and centuries’ worth of music. However, most residents and students in the city of Rochester are unaware that the Flower City is home to many historic, invaluable pipe organs, as well as one of the most respected organ studies programs in the country. 

Rochester’s abundant supply of organs is a main contributing factor for Caroline’s excitement. Christ Church, for example, is only one block away from campus, and houses two historically-reconstructed instruments that represent different eras of organ-building. This allows organists to study and perform with an even greater understanding of the context of their repertoire.

Another important reason for Caroline’s decision to study at Eastman is her teacher, David Higgs, a well-known organist, performer, and teacher. Caroline considers Higgs to be a role model. She thinks that he is not only an incredibly effective performer, but also a teacher whose advice is reinforced by innumerable sources, adding a layer of legitimacy to his unique methodology. 

Caroline is enthusiastic about  Eastman’s upcoming summer program for High School organists, taking place on August 3-7, 2015. Students will experience a variety of Rochester’s organs, study alongside one of Eastman’s esteemed faculty members, and give a performance – a truly complete and exciting opportunity for young people who are considering a career in Organ Performance.

– José Pedro Zenteno