Clara Gerdes, from Davidson, North Carolina, is a first-year Master’s Degree student at Yale University Institute of Sacred Music where she studies with Martin Jean. She recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Alan Morrison. She received first prizes in the Albert Schweitzer, AGO-Quimby Mid-Atlantic Regional and UNCSA School of the Arts organ competitions and was the recipient of the first annual Pogorzelski-Yankee scholarship, awarded by the AGO. She has performed around the United States at a variety of events, including the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional and 2018 National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and was featured as recitalist at the 2019 Annual Colloquium of the Church Music Association of America. She has performed at the Spoleto Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts held at the Kimmel Center, Charleston Bach Festival and most recently the Uncommon Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska.
Clara serves as Assistant Organist at Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Park Avenue in New York City and as co-music director for Berkeley Divinity School Choir at Yale University. Previously, she worked at Saint Mark’s Church, Locust Street and at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Clara has taught at Curtis Summerfest and two AGO Pipe Organ Encounters, maintains a small private studio, and enjoys transcribing works for organ and playing harpsichord.