Director of Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music Chairman of the Keyboard Department
Professor of Organ
Jack Mitchener is Professor of Organ, University Organist, Chairman of the Keyboard Department and Director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music in the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University. In addition, he is Organist and Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. Philip (Episcopal) in Atlanta. He previously served as Artist-in-Residence at Peachtree United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Organist/Choirmaster at Christ Episcopal Church in Macon and Organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, NC. He also is a former organ professor at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Salem College, and the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Jack Mitchener has been praised for playing that is technically brilliant, yet expressive and poetic. According to The American Organist, "Mitchener brings music to life with his supple rhythmic control, clear phrasing, energy, and sensitivity." In response to his recording on the historic Salem Tannenberg organ, Dulcet Tones, a reviewer for the International Record Review of London asserted: "Superb…an impressive and rather moving listening experience.” He was invited to participate as a performer for the 2016 Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative in Rochester, NY and garnered this review: “Mitchener’s masterful playing and sensitivity to both congregation and instrument was the high point of the conference,” The Diapason.
He has concertized extensively throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia, and many of his performances have been heard on American Public Media's “Pipe Dreams.” He has performed in notable venues such as the Church of St. Sulpice and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris; St. Thomas Church, New York City; the Church of St. Augustine in Vienna; the Church of St. James (Jacobikirche) in Lubeck, Germany; and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. He also has collaborated with Nick Eanet (Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), the Mendelssohn and Ying String Quartets, lutenist Paul O'Dette, and composer John Corigliano. While still an undergraduate student, he was the national winner of the Music Teachers National Association Organ Competition. Later he was a laureate in the Dublin International Organ Competition. He has recorded for the Raven and Albany labels.
He has performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach in a series of fifteen recitals and also has given recitals, lectures, and master classes for national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the Music Teachers National Association, the Historical Keyboard Society in North America, the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. He was a featured performer and clinician at the 2018 Alleluia Church Music Conference at Baylor University and the 2019 Sewanee Church Music Conference. He has been a guest performer and teacher at numerous universities throughout the USA as well as institutions in Hong Kong and Japan. He also has premiered works by Emma Lou Diemer, Dan Locklair, and Margaret Vardell Sandresky.
His major teachers include Marie-Claire Alain, David Craighead, David Higgs, John Mueller, and Russell Saunders (organ); Gerre Hancock (improvisation); Louise Leach, Kimberly Kabala, and Clifton Matthews (piano); and Arthur Haas and Huguette Dreyfus (harpsichord). He took three degrees (DMA, master’s in organ and master’s in harpsichord) as well as two Performer’s Certificates in organ and harpsichord from The Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. During his studies at the Conservatoire National de Rueil-Malmaison, France, he was unanimously awarded the Médaille d'or (Gold Medal), Prix d'Excellence, and Prix de Virtuosité. His high school diploma and bachelor's degree are from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
For the American Guild of Organists, Jack Mitchener currently serves as dean of the Atlanta chapter. A former dean of the Winston-Salem chapter, he also was a member of the National Committee on Professional Education. He has served as an adjudicator for numerous competitions including the Biarritz International Competition in France and the AGO national competition in July 2018 in Kansas City. He is a former President of the Board of Trustees of the Moravian Music Foundation and is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. He is represented by Penny Lorenz Artist Management of Seattle, Washington. ( http://www.organists.net ). More information can be found at www.jackmitchener.com.