FSU doctoral student appointed as Organ Scholar at Washington National Cathedral  

Ariana Corbin, a doctoral organ student at Florida State University’s College of Music, has been appointed as the Organ Scholar at Washington National Cathedral and as an Organ Scholar for the Girl Chorister Course at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York – two of the most prestigious sacred music programs in the country.

“My primary goal for myself as an organist and church musician is to use music as an opportunity for outreach, ministry and education,” Corbin said. “By working in the National Cathedral, I can pursue this dream of working in a church environment, while giving back to the community through the art of intertwining sacred music and concert repertoire with an emphasis on musical diversity.”

As the Organ Scholar at Washington National Cathedral, a position she will hold for two years starting this summer, Corbin will accompany two chorister programs and work as a coach for young singers. The choristers are drawn from St. Alban’s School and the National Cathedral School, which are affiliated with Washington National Cathedral.

She also will work alongside Thomas Sheehan, organist and associate director of music at the Washington National Cathedral, and Michael McCarthy, canon for music and director of institutional planning at the Washington National Cathedral.

“In working with these two musicians, I’ll be focusing on developing my skills as a church musician and learning skills in church administration, music education, choral accompanying and organ playing in general,” Corbin said. “This position will help me to develop the skills that I am going to need to lead my own church music program someday.”

Corbin’s one-week tenure at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York this summer is an opportunity to preview what she will work on at the National Cathedral. In this position, she will work with girl choristers from across the USA.

Corbin’s passion for the organ began later in her musical studies. She received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at the University of Michigan and came to FSU to pursue her master’s degree in piano. During her time as a master’s student, Corbin began her organ studies with Iain Quinn, professor of organ.

“I started as a secondary student with Dr. Quinn taking two credits of lessons in organ, which I thought was just going to be a side endeavor,” Corbin said. “Throughout that process, Dr. Quinn gave me a glimpse into the wide variety of music that exists in the sacred music space and encouraged me to develop myself further as an organist and church musician. I quickly realized that sacred music was something that I wanted to explore further, and I chose to pursue a second master’s degree in organ performance, followed by a doctorate in organ performance.”

Corbin intends to pursue a full-time career as a church organist after she graduates and hopes to be the principal organist at a large church or cathedral.

For more information, visit music.fsu.edu.