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. She has most recently 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 Grace Cathedral (San Francisco) and Arizona State University.
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.
Connect with Jillian at JillianGardner.com.