Boston Organ Studio

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Katya Barash

Originally from Russia, Katya Barash holds a Master's degree in piano pedagogy from the Pedagogical University of Moscow. She subsequently moved to Germany, where she studied musicology at Freiburg University. Here in Boston, she teaches piano and singing and is active as a choral accompanist and substitute organist.  

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I was lucky to meet Chris and get private organ lessons with him. He is not only a great musician, but is also a very patient and positive teacher, and I can highly recommend him not only for beginners, but also for highly skilled organists.
— Katya Barash

 
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Dennis Chan

Dennis Chan's love affair with music began at the tender age of six when he began taking piano lessons. Before long he was appointed pianist of his church in Hong Kong, where he continued until the age of 18.

He began learning the pipe organ in 2003 under the instruction of Ronald Ebrecht, while pursuing a Physics degree at Wesleyan University. As a student of Ronald's, he performed concerts in Connecticut, Colorado, and Guadalajara, Mexico.

After a few years of venturing into jazz vibraphone, Dennis moved to Boston in 2012, where he began studying organ music again under Christian. Under Christian's guidance he has performed concerts in venues including Old West Church, Trinity Church, and Harvard University. In addition, from 2013-2016, he also held a position as organist at the Armenian Memorial Church in Watertown, MA.

Not content to just *play* the organ, Dennis also recently built his own - an electronic organ using an Arduino board, scavenged parts, and his software engineering skills. Always looking to help others pursue the craft, he would be happy to help interested individuals build their own affordable practice organs.

In his spare time, Dennis plays and designs board games, and spends time with his partner and two cats.

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Noel de Sa e Silva

Noel de Sa e Silva began his organ studies with Christian Lane in 2013. Originally from Seattle, he graduated from Harvard University in 2016 with an A.B. in Visual and Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate he served as vice president of the Harvard Organ Society. Noel currently lives in Cambridge.

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Corey de Tar

Corey De Tar is the one of the newer students of the Boston Organ Studio. He is a recent transplant from Arizona where he was a music educator, teaching children from kindergarten through high school, as well as adult learners. Primarily a trained classical singer, Corey has been a piano enthusiast since he was a child, though he never studied formally. He has served as a tenor soloist and section leader for a number of churches over the years, making music with many fine pipe organs, though never really appreciated them before becoming an organ student.

Corey has sung with many professional choirs, several of which are Grammy Award winning ensembles—such as the Phoenix Chorale and True Concord. Corey aspires to pursue a choral conducting career as an educator, artist, and church musician. He is very thrilled to be learning all of the nuance and finesse of organ playing so that he may someday run his own church music program as an organist and choir director. 


Before beginning my organ studies with Chris, I hardly ever noticed the incredible instruments that supported the choirs I sang with. Now that I’m studying the repertoire, construction, and art form of the pipe organ, I wish I could rediscover the instruments I’ve ignored in my career. Each has a unique character with its own voice and story and I’m thrilled to be able to sit down and paint pieces with the individual palette of colors each instrument has to offer.
— Corey de Tar

 
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Emerson Fang

Emerson Fang has been a research assistant at Harvard University since 2014.  Emerson began pipe organ lessons with Christian Lane in May of 2016, and is excited to learn about the art, history, and architecture of "the king of instruments." He grew up in the Hudson River Valley region of New York, where he studied violin under Betty-Jean Hagen and piano under Sylvia Buccelli.  He has a Master of Science Education from Syracuse University, and graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2010.  In his earlier years, Emerson was involved in chamber music ensembles as a violinist, was part of his high school's full orchestra and pit orchestra, attended the New York School of Orchestral Studies summer camp and a local youth orchestra called Stringendo, and was also a member of the New York Youth Symphony.  During college, he was a member of the university orchestras at Boston University and Cornell University.  In his free time, Emerson enjoys practicing pipe organ and piano, playing strategy board games and video games, eating, and taking walks outside.

 

 

I am always impressed by the care and attention Christian gives to the physical and musical aspects of my playing, and I leave my lessons inspired to focus and improve in my playing and understanding of this great instrument. Christian has an amazing depth of knowledge regarding all aspects of pipe organ, and it is a privilege to study with him.
— Emerson Fang

 
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Jerome Fung

Jerome Fung began studying the organ with Christian Lane while completing a PhD in experimental soft condensed matter physics at Harvard University. Under Chris’s guidance, Jerome earned the Service Playing Certificate of the American Guild of Organists in 2014. Currently, Jerome is a Lecturer in Physics at Wellesley College. He occasionally acts as a substitute organist at churches in the greater Boston area.


It has been a pleasure and privilege to study organ with Chris Lane. I was a complete beginner, and Chris patiently taught me a broad range of skills including manual and pedal technique, registration, and service playing. But Chris’s teaching has encompassed so much more. I have benefited from his deeply perceptive musicality in every piece I’ve studied with him, not only in a general sense but also in learning to make any given organ sound its best. Above all, Chris has always encouraged me to do things I initially didn’t think I could do.
— Jerome Fung

 
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Laura Gullett

Laura Gullett is a graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. magna cum laude in Chemistry and Physics. After studying piano throughout her childhood, Laura began her organ studies with Colin Lynch and Nicholas White at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, where she served as organ scholar from 2009-2012. During her four years at Harvard, she studied with Christian Lane and served as president of the Harvard Organ Society. Laura currently works as a healthcare consultant with the Boston-based firm Health Advances. In her free time, she enjoys studying German and traveling.

 
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Christian Haigh

Born in Reading in the United Kingdom, Christian Haigh was first introduced to the organ during his time as a boy chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Christian continued his studies as a Music, HSBC, and Choral Scholar at Tonbridge School.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, Christian spent a gap year, first for a term as Organ Scholar at Saint Thomas' Church Fifth Avenue, in New York City (with John Scott), and after that for a term as Organ Scholar of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia.

During his time in Australia, Christian performed alongside groups such as the Australian Boys' Choir and The Vocal Consort, and has made two recordings for the Organ Historical Trust of Australia. He performed several recitals in both Melbourne and Sydney, including venues such as St Paul's Cathedral (Melbourne), St Michael's Uniting Church (Melbourne), and St Andrew's (Sydney). His trip also included a performance of selections from Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna with Morgan State University Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Choir at 24 hours' notice.

Christian has played various recitals in England, including recitals at Winchester and Coventry Cathedral, St Mary's Church (Streatley), Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin, St Mary's Butts (Reading), and The Guild Church of St Lawrence Jewry (London). He also performed a recital including the Suite by Maurice Duruflé at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue (New York) and gave a performance in South Africa while on a school exchange there. Last summer Christian performed at the Royal Albert Hall in Nottingham.

Besides playing the organ, Christian played clarinet in his school's symphony orchestra, sang in the chapel choir, and accompanied three musicals. Last winter break, he performed in the Bach Institute for Emmanuel Music. Christian is currently an undergraduate at Harvard University studying economics.

 

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Jennifer Hsiao

Jennifer Hsiao was recently appointed as Organist at Old West Church in Boston, MA, where she plays at weekly services.  She began her organ studies with Eric Plutz at Princeton University and continued them at the Yale School of Music with Chelsea Chen. She has continued her studies at Harvard with Christian Lane. She has played in recitals in the Boston area and has performed as a guest organist with the Bay Colony Brass. 

Jennifer is also a pianist and violinist.  She has won numerous competitions and has performed concerti as both a piano and violin soloist with numerous orchestras including the Princeton University Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Youth Symphony, and Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. As a pianist she has studied with Margreet Francis, Jennifer Tao, Abbey Simon, and Peter Frankl. She began her violin studies with Teri Einfeldt, continuing with Brian Lewis and Dorothy DeLay. As an undergraduate at Princeton, she was the first violinist of the Princeton University String Quartet and concertmaster of the Princeton University Orchestra; there she studied with Anna Lim, Stephen Clapp at the Juilliard School, and Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet. At the Yale School of Music, she studied with Ani Kavafian.

Jennifer holds an A.B. in Chemistry and certificates in Latin and Music Performance from Princeton University and a Masters of Music Performance (violin) from the Yale School of Muisc. She is now a PhD student in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University, where she also serves as concertmaster of the Dudley Orchestra and Resident Tutor in biology and music at Dunster House.

Jennifer Hsiao, center

Jennifer Hsiao, center


I first met Chris at the Yale School of Music when I was doing my masters in violin performance there. He was my music history teaching fellow. I remember going to one of his degree recitals at Woolsey Hall and being amazed at his artistry on the organ. Little did I know that a couple years later, I would cross paths with Chris again at Harvard, where he was the organist at Memorial Church. I contacted him about taking organ lessons and he was so generous and patient with me, especially given that I was very busy with graduate school and only taking one or two lessons per semester. Even when I was only taking a few lessons here and there, Chris always included me in the organ community that he was building in Cambridge and Boston. He would always invite me to go to studio classes, go on organ crawls, go to organ recitals, and attend other studio events.

This past year, I became much more serious about playing the organ and I’ve had weekly lessons with Chris. I’ve learned so much from him. He is always so generous with his time and every time I have a recital, he takes time out of his busy schedule to help me with registering the organs. He has built an organ studio full of incredible people in Boston and has taken us on organ crawls to amazing and inspirational organs all over the northeast and even in Europe.

In hindsight, I’ve realized how incredibly fortunate I was to have connected with Chris again; I never dreamed that I would one day love playing the organ as much as I love playing the violin and piano, which have been my primary instruments since I was 5 years old. Organ was originally a “secondary” instrument that I took up out of curiosity much later on but it has since become just as important to me as my other instruments.

I went to graduate school for biology, but I feel as though I’m getting a partial conservatory experience in organ at the same time, and this is all because of Chris. In addition to being an amazing and inspiring performer himself, he is also an incredible teacher who can connect with organists of all levels, from beginners to professionals—a true testament to his pedagogical prowess. He is also just a wonderful human being who takes time to really get to know his students and is a joy to be around.
— Jennifer Hsiao

 
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Heather Kirkconnell

Heather Kirkconnell is an organist, choir director and keyboard instructor based in Newton, just outside of Boston. She is the Music Director at Grace Episcopal Church in Newton, MA. Heather went to school at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio where she was an Organ Performance and French major. Enamored with the literature, art and music of 17th century France, she studied organ at the Conservatoire de Versailles in France with Jean-Baptiste Robin, completing a research and performance project funded by the Fondation des Etas-Unis in Paris.

In addition to music, Heather loves the visual arts. She is has taken a number of art and art history courses, most recently focusing on figure drawing. She is an avid knitter and enjoys designing and wearing her own clothing, knit or sewn. She enjoys calligraphy and the overlap between how handwritten music and words can open new avenues of expression and artistry. Heather lives in Waltham, MA with her husband Jacob Farnsworth and their cat Felix.

 

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Oskar Kocol

Oskar was born and raised in Poland where he want to the National Music School in Debica to play clarinet. This instrument turned out to not be Oskar's favorite. This way he kept experimenting with playing piano, accordion, saxophone, tin whistle and violin. It was in his high school, Dulwich College, London, where he first played organ. After two years of recreational organ playing he met Christian Lane and decided to bring his organ skill to the next level. After a year of organ tuition with Christian, for the first time ever, Oskar played for general public in Old West Church in Boston. Oskar is looking forward playing organ more often during his Junior and Senior year at Harvard College.


Christian is a gifted teacher who helped me transition from being a pianist trying to play organ to being an actual organist who knows what he is doing with his instrument.
— Oskar Kocol

 
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Julia Kornick

Julia Kornick hails from New Jersey. Aspiring towards the operatic stage, she is currently an undergraduate Vocal Performance major at The Boston Conservatory, where she is a member of the Sara Goldstein studio. When she isn’t engaged in musical activities, she pursues her other artistic passions of fiction and poetry writing and painting, as well as being an avid distance runner.

 

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Ryan Lynch

Ryan Lynch attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a Boston native, and is currently beginning his 4th year as Director of Music & Organist at Saint Raphael Parish (RC) in Medford, Massachusetts. In addition to Parish work, Ryan can be seen and heard on the CatholicTV Network providing Music for Daily and Sunday nationally televised Masses. Ryan has studied Organ privately with Leo Abbott, Diane Belcher, Matthew Sprinkle, and now Christian Lane. When not engaging in musical activities he enjoys traveling, and attending concerts and local sporting events. 

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Kade Phillips

Kade Phillips currently studies Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born and raised near Louisville, Kentucky, his interest in the organ began at age 11 when he undertook a personal study of organ building. Only a year later, his family moved to a small town in eastern Oregon—an area utterly devoid of pipe organs. However, his church had a digital one, and through periodic lessons in western Idaho he slowly learned to play. All the while, he continued to read books and search the depths of the internet about building the king of instruments. After accepting an offer of admission to MIT, Kade wrote an email to the Harvard Organ Society asking how he might be involved, and to his delight discovered that he could be a member. It was through the organ society that he met Chris Lane, with whom he has studied ever since. He marvels at the experiences he has had since moving to Cambridge, such as travelling to see the instruments of New York, visiting Woolsey Hall in Yale, and spending two incredible weeks in Germany, not to mention routinely hearing and playing the fabulous instruments of the Boston area. Besides the organ and engineering, Kade enjoys typography, linguistics, design, and just about everything under the sun. Although he has no idea what he wants to do with his life yet, one thing is certain. He swore to himself that, one day, he is going to build a pipe organ.

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Studying with Chris is one of the foremost privileges of my lifelong-learning career, and I have grown tremendously as a musician through his gentle and unfailing expectation. His patience, professionalism, and astonishing ear for detail place him amongst the ranks of the great pedagogues, and I happily look forward to the many more great experiences to come.
— Kade Phillips

 
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Brandon Santini

Brandon Santini, organist and pianist, is a native of Weymouth, MA. Piano study started early at 6 years old followed by the addition of organ lessons at 10 years old. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in both organ and piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with James David Christie and Peter Takács and subsequently received his Master of Music degree in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music under the guidance of David Higgs. He has performed throughout Massachusetts and serves as the Music Director and Organist for St. Theresa of Avila Parish in West Roxbury, MA as well as maintaining a piano studio of about 20 students. Currently he studies with Christian Lane.

In his down time, Brandon's hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking and photography, and he is an avid Boston sports fan.

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Helen Sibila

Helen is a junior at Tufts University, from Canton, Ohio. She studies Art History and Cognitive and Brain Sciences and has studied music since she was seven. 

She found music through dance and is a huge fan of Tchaikovsky. Her favorite time signature is ¾. Along with organ, she plays piano, and live music in general is very important to her and her well-being. She likes going to music festivals with her mom, especially!

Helen is also dedicated to the arts/crafts community at Tufts, where she managed the Crafts Center this past year. Art and cooperative living are her favorite! She prefers cats to dogs, and rosemary and ginger are her favorite spices, which she uses in her many baking projects. Helen so excited to have been a student under Christian Lane and is hoping to continue her study of pipe organ as much as possible while living in Boston!