Two organists have been selected as Organ Scholars at Duke University Chapel.
Joseph Fala, from Honolulu, is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Music where he earned a master’s of music in organ performance. Jacob M. Montgomery, a native of Raleigh, is an undergraduate student at East Carolina University where he is pursuing degrees in sacred music and chemistry. Fala and Montgomery begin the yearlong Organ Scholars program on August 1.
As Organ Scholars, Fala and Montgomery will study under Duke Chapel Organist Christopher Jacobson, a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. As part of their training, they will regularly play in Duke Chapel’s Choral Evensong worship services on Sunday afternoons. They will also play in other worship services, weddings, concerts, and public organ demonstrations. On January 21, 2018, they will give a recital at the Chapel, following that day’s Evensong service.
“I am excited to work with Joseph and Jacob this year,” Jacobson said. “Their broad experiences and dedication to sacred music will add tremendously to the liturgical life of Duke Chapel.”
Fala began organ studies with Katherine Crosier at home in Honolulu where he served as organ scholar at Central Union Church. A recipient of the Porgorzelski-Yankee Memorial Scholarship from the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and the Robert Baker Award of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Fala has competed and won prizes in the AGO Quimby Competitions for young organists, and the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, Hartford. Recently named one of “20 under 30” by The Diapason Magazine, he was featured at the Organ Historical Society’s 2015 convention in Springfield, and has performed across the country, including at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Trinity Church Boston, Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, Harvard University’s Busch Hall, and the Washington National Cathedral.
In addition to his training as an organist, Fala also graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a bachelor’s in architecture and a master’s in lighting.
Beginning his schooling as a pianist, Montgomery began studying as an organ major in 2014. Last year, he was awarded his Colleague certification in from the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and was serving as organist at the Memorial Baptist Church of Greenville, North Carolina. He has appeared in concert in Roanoke, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina, and will concertize in Wilmington, North Carolina, this fall. Studying organ under Andrew Scanlon, Montgomery has performed in masterclasses for Dorothy Papadakos, Dr. Janette Fishell, Dr. Mickey Thomas Terry, and Dr. Ann Labounsky. In addition to his certification from the AGO, he is a recipient of the Olive G. Long Memorial Scholarship for Piano, the Clay J.H. Organ Scholar Endowed Fund, Thomas Jones Scholarship for Chemists, and the Franklin Ritter Scholarship for Chemists.
Montgomery hopes to pursue a career in medicine and research, while maintaining a position as an organist.