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School of Music
Organ Performance & Sacred Music Studies


Student & Alumni News

Cristiano Rizzotto (MM 2013) graduated with the Master of Music degree in organ/sacred music. He has moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where he will study for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Oklahoma University under John Schwandt. Cristiano has developed a busy performing career.

Samantha Koch (BM 2012) graduated in December and is now the Assistant Organist-Choirmaster at Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC.  She was named the “E. Power Biggs Fellow” by the Organ Historical Society, and attended their national convention (all expenses paid) in Vermont during June, 2013. 

Gen Bolena (MM 2004) has been Organist/Choirmaster at Christ Church, New Bern, NC since 9/07. She is a member of Schola Cantorum, the East Carolina Episcopal Diocesan Choir and she serves on the Liturgical Commission for the diocese. Gen and husband Ryan live in New Bern with their son Jonathan.

Marty Barstow (BM 2010) is pursuing the Master of Music degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and he has been appoitned the Organ Scholar at Calvary Episcopal Church, a large congregation in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Casey Whaley (M.M. 2009), Holds the Colleague Certificate (CAGO) from the American Guild of Organists. In April of 2009, she was the first place winner of the RichardVan Sciver Scholarship in the organ division of the Metropolitan Music Ministries Competition. Casey is the current secretary of the Greenville AGO, and serves on the East Carolina Musical Arts Education Foundation board. She currently serves as Organist & Coordinator of Music Ministries at First Christian Church in Wilson, NC and maintains a regular schedule of private teaching and accompanying.

Mark Pacoe (MM '98), is Director of Music and Organist at the historic St. Malachy's Church - The Actors' Chapel in Times Square, NYC. Mark has performed as soloist and accompanist domestically and abroad including Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai, the Sydney Opera House, Konzerthaus in Vienna (International Haydn Festival), St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles and St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC.

Michael Douglas Boney (BM, 1997 and MM 2002) currently serves as the Choirmaster/Organist of St. Michael's Cathedral (Episcopal) in Boise, Idaho.

Jackie Copeland (Masters in Church Music/Organ,1999) is curently the Organist/Pianist for The Albemarle Chorale and a Music Teacher for Elizabeth City/Pasquotank Public Schools. Copeland was the Teacher of the Year for Central Elementary School in 2002.

James H. (Buddy) Hyatt, III (Bachelor of Music Education, 2006) received the American Guild of Organist's Service Playing Certificate in June 2004 and received the ECU Student Government Association's Outstanding Senior Award for Music Education in May 2006. He is the Director of Music/Organist at Franklin Congregational Christian Church, Franklin, VA and a music teacher at Ayden Elementary School, Ayden, NC.

Julie Anne Lechner Florin (MM, 1996) holds the AGO Service Playing Certificate and currently serves as the Director of Worship and Music, Grace Community Church of Raleigh. Florin is also the Secretary of the CNCC AGO as well as the musical director of the NCSU, Meredith College, and Raleigh Little theatres.

Jennifer Hudson Gay (MM, Sacred Music, organ, 2004) was the First-Place Winner for the Metropolitan Music Ministries Scholarship and National First-Place Winner of the MTNA Young Artist Organ Competition in 2004. Gay is currently the Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Wilson, NC.

Michael Howe (BM, Organ Performace, 1971) is the Director of Music & Organist, Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines, NC.

Rev. Sylvia B. Sutter (BME, 1967 and MM, 1993) serves as the Minister of Music & Church Administrator of Rock Creek Baptist Church, Nashville, NC.

Jason Allen Wright (B.M. sacred music with concentration in organ, 2003) earned the  M.M. (with distinction) in choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2004). Currently he is Director of Canterbury Music and Chapel Organist at Canterbury Episcopal School in Greensboro, NC and Minister of Music and Organist at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem, NC.  In addition he maintains a private studio of keyboard and voice students.