Dr. Emma Whitten is an organist and church musician currently living in San Diego, California. She serves as Organist and Associate Director of Music at Mission San Luis Rey Parish in Oceanside, the largest of the 21 California missions and a center for Franciscan worship, pilgrimage, and theological study. Emma has studied and performed on historic organs in Germany, Spain, Colombia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, and she specializes in early Baroque and contemporary repertoire.
In December 2014, Emma graduated with her D.M.A. in Organ Performance from Arizona State University, where she studied with Kimberly Marshall. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Synthesizing Styles: International Influence on Organ Music in Restoration England,” explores French and Italian musical elements in the organ works of Matthew Locke, John Blow, and Henry Purcell. Emma received her Masters of Music degree from the University of Kansas in 2011 under Michael Bauer, and in 2009 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied organ with Craig Cramer. Her previous teachers include László Attila Almásy of the Bartók Conservatory in Budapest and John Brock of the University of Tennessee.
Emma is active in both the San Diego and Central Arizona chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and currently serves as editor of The Pipeline newsletter for the Central Arizona chapter. Her upcoming concerts include an Advent Evensong organ recital at All Saints Episcopal, Phoenix, Arizona, featuring works by Pamela Decker, Cecilia McDowall, and Margaretha Christina de Jong (December 9). Emma will also play the February program for the San Diego American Guild of Organists, with Justin Murphy-Mancini, Ph.D. candidate in composition at University of California San Diego (February 23). For more information about upcoming performances, please visit her website at www.emmawhitten.com.
Emma also enjoys hiking, trail running, crosswords, and competitive Scrabble. Last year, she began training as a long-distance runner, and in January of this year she ran her first marathon!