2019 Finalists

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Elena Baquerizo

A recent prizewinner in the AGO/Quimby RCYO, Elena Baquerizo currently studies organ with Dr. Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School, where she is pursuing a BM degree. Originally from South Florida, she has given organ performances and played for services in both Americas. Concert appearances have included Church of the Epiphany (Miami, FL), Marble Collegiate Church (New York, NY), and the Oregon Bach Festival (Eugene, OR); service playing venues have included Seminario Nuestra Señora Corredentora (La Reja, Argentina), Iglesia del Corazón Inmaculado y Doloroso de María (Santiago, Chile), and Assumption Chapel in St. Marys, Kansas. She has been the recipient of several organ performance awards, such as the M. Louise Miller-Paul E Knox Scholarship, second prize in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Hartford, and first prize in the ECU Young Artists Competition. Currently, she is organist at Our Lady of Peace Church in Brooklyn, NY. Miss Baquerizo is also passionate about the piano in its solo and collaborative roles. She has won third place in the Ray Millette Young Artist Concerto Competition and appeared as a soloist with the Alhambra Orchestra in Ransom-Everglades School (Coconut Grove, Florida); she has also given solo piano recitals in Reilly Arts Center (Ocala, FL) and Miami-Dade College’s McCarthy Hall. She has collaborated with choirs, singers, and instrumentalists of varying levels, including Dr. Andrew Childs in a performance of Schubert’s Winterreiseat St. Mary’s McCabe Theater (St. Marys, KS). Miss Baquerizo received her AA in Liberal Arts from St. Mary’s College (Saint Marys, KS), where she graduated as valedictorian. A chant aficionado, she sang in an adaptation of Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutumin April 2018 and has performed many of the Propers of the Mass with her sisters. She studied voice with Dr. Andrew Childs, Associate Dean of St. Mary’s College and former Managing Coordinator of Voice and Opera at the Yale School of Music.


Alexander Pattavina

Alexander Pattavina is a second–year graduate student in the organ studio of Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School, where he also earned his Bachelor’s degree. He is the Director of Music at the Church of Saint Agnes in New York City. A native of Stoughton, Massachusetts, Alex received First Prize in the 2014 L. Cameron Johnson Competition sponsored by the Northeastern Connecticut Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and was also awarded the 2014 Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship from the Lutheran Seminary in Chicago. Formerly, he worked as Organ Scholar of Christ Church in Bronxville, NY under composer and conductor Philip Stopford. Alex was an editor and proofer for The St. Paul’s Hymnal (2015), and his composition for choir and organ, All in a Stable Cold and Bare , was recently published by Hal Leonard. Alex has performed with the Juilliard Orchestra and performs frequently on the East and West coasts.

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Joe Russell

Joe Russell recently received his Master’s Degree in Organ Performance from the Shepherd School of Music, at Rice University, with renowned professor Ken Cowan. Prior to his studies at Rice, Mr. Russell received his bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying organ with Alan Morrison. Mr. Russell was a recipient of the Stephanie Yen-Mun Liem Azar Fellow. He also studied Harpsichord and Continuo playing at Curtis with Leon Schelhase. In addition, Joe graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied organ with Thomas Bara and was a recipient of the Fine Arts award. A native of Grayslake, Illinois, he previously studied organ with Dr. Elizabeth Naegele and piano with Donna Fortney and Ruth Peck. Mr. Russell has performed at many notable venues across the United States and Europe, including the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (CA), The Kimmel Center of Philadelphia (PA), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NYC), Longwood Gardens (PA), Hill Auditorium (MI), St. Mary, the Virgin (NYC), the Musée des Augustins (Toulouse, France), and the Felix Mendelssohn Conservatory (Leipzig, Germany). Joe has participated in numerous competitions, including the 2019 Miami International Organ Competition, where he was awarded 2nd place and the Audience Prize, the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, where he won both first prize and the hymn playing award in September 2012. He also won the Chicago Regional AGO competition in April 2013. Currently, Mr. Russell is Organist at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Houston, Interim Organist at St. Philip’s Presbyterian Church, and Artistic Assistant for Ars Lyrica. During his studies at Curtis, Joe was the Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, under the direction of Zach Hemenway. In the summer of 2017, the choir was in residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where Joe was the organist in residence.