2019 Winners


Repertoire Competition


First Place: Alexander Pattavina

Second Place: Joe Russell

Third Place: Elena Baquerizo

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.

David Spicer Hymn Playing Award

Russell - for web.jpg

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.