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About Jillian Gardner

Jillian Gardner is an award-winning performing organist with an international touring schedule that spans the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. She is the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, AL, where she serves as primary organist and oversees ensembles for adults and children. In the Fall of 2022 she joined the faculty at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as an adjunct instructor of organ and has also finished a 7-year term as the Councillor for Young Organists on the American Guild of Organists National Board. In the last year of this position, she ushered a program that brought over 1,200 new young organists into the Guild.

Gardner, a native of Rome, NY, is a two-time first-prize winner of the chapter-level Regional Competition for Young Organists competition. In 2017, she took second prize in the Québec organ competition in Québec, Canada; she has also been a finalist in the Arthur Poister Competition in Syracuse. In recognition of her achievements, The Diapason magazine selected Gardner as one of the nation's 2015 inaugural “Top 20 under 30” organists. She has also been featured several times on the national radio show Pipedreams.

Gardner has worn her signature pink organ shoes in concert in venues across the United States from New York City to San Francisco as well as several venues in Canada and the United Kingdom. She has been honored to be a featured artist for  Organ Historical Society Conventions, American Guild of Organists Conventions, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Upcoming engagements include Central Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky and her third concert tour of the United Kingdom with concerts at Westminster Abbey and King's College, Cambridge. 

A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.; James David Christie) and Baylor University (M.M., Advanced Performer’s Certificate; Isabelle Demers), Gardner’s other teachers include Olivier Latry, Marie-Louise Langlais, and Stephen Best. Gardner advocates physical fitness outside the organ loft, believing that a healthy mind and body contribute to artistic quality. 

Private lessons and coachings: 

It is a teacher's job to understand that every student's needs are different. Each lesson and student are approached with flexibility in order to help each student thrive and reach their full potential. Skills will include performance and interpretation, technical facility, and body awareness. We will use exercises, solo repertoire, and sight-reading as a basis to build on these skills. 

Private lessons are offered in half-hour and full-hour increments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Coachings are available as needed in the areas of organ repertoire and church repertoire, hymn playing, choir accompaniment, transcriptions, and registration.

College study:

Jillian is the organ instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). UAH is the only school in the state of Alabama that offers a degree in organ or church music. Visit here for more information and to apply:

Purchase music:

Jillian is published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company. Her music can be viewed and purchased here:

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