Organists

Jeremy Filsell

Organist and Director of Music

Jeremy Filsell

As a U.S. Citizen and a British Citizen, Jeremy is uniquely placed to lead the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, which owes much of its existence to the great English choral tradition since T. Tertius Noble was invited to found the Saint Thomas Choir School in 1919.

Jeremy Filsell has been hailed as one of only a few virtuoso performers as both pianist and organist. He has appeared as a solo pianist in Russia, Scandinavia, New Zealand and throughout the USA and UK. His concerto repertoire encompasses Bach, Mozart and Beethoven through to Shostakovich, John Ireland and Rachmaninov. He has recorded the solo piano music of Herbert Howells, Bernard Stevens, Eugene Goossens and Johann Eschmann and recently released were discs of Litaize’s organ music, Rachmaninov’s first and second piano concertos and two of French Mélodies accompanying Michael Bundy (baritone). Jeremy is on the international roster of Steinway Piano Artists and has recorded for BBC Radio 3, USA, and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles.

His discography comprises more than 35 solo recordings. Gramophone magazine commented on the series of 12 CDs comprising the première recordings of Marcel Dupré’s complete organ works for Guild that it was ‘one of the greatest achievements in organ recording’. In 2005, Signum released a 3-disc set of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, recorded on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ouen, Rouen, BBC Radio 3’s Discs of the Week.

He has taught at universities, summer schools, and conventions in both the UK and USA and has served on international competition juries in England and Switzerland. Recent solo engagements have taken him across the USA and UK and to Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand. In North America, he concertizes under the auspices of Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

Brought up as a chorister in Coventry, England, Jeremy Filsell was charged with the direction of a men & boys choir there while still a High School student. Studying with Nicolas Kynaston and Daniel Roth, he read for a first degree as Organ Scholar of Keble College, Oxford University before completing graduate studies in piano at the Royal College of Music in London. He was awarded a PhD in Musicology at Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU for research on aesthetic and interpretative issues in the music of Marcel Dupré.

A former Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral and Director of Music at St. Luke’s Chelsea in London, before moving to the USA in 2008, Jeremy held Academic and Performance lectureships at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and was a lay clerk in the Queen’s choir at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

You can read more about Jeremy at his website: www.jeremyfilsell.com.


Benjamin Sheen

Associate Organist

Benjamin Sheen

Benjamin Sheen, a recent Juilliard graduate, is one of the UK’s brightest young organists. Hailed as a ‘brilliant organist’ by the New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens (Delaware) Organ Competition and received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition 2013. Benjamin started his education as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral (under the direction of John Scott), before studying at Eton College and, more recently, Oxford University where he graduated with First Class Honours in Music, While an undergraduate, he held the position of Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and became a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and the recipient of the prestigious Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal for 2011. As a concert organist, Benjamin has performed throughout the UK and the USA, as well as further afield in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Notable engagements have included performances in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as appearances with the City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Duisburg Symphonie in Germany. He has also performed live on BBC radio and television and made a number of appearances on NPR’s Pipedreams. In January 2012, Benjamin made his concerto debut with the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion Ensemble as part of the 2012 FOCUS Festival in the Lincoln Centre. For more information on Ben’s upcoming performances, please see his websitePhoto credit: Ira Lippke


Nicholas Quardokus

Assistant Organist

Nicholas Quardokus

Nicholas comes to us from St. Paul’s Parish K Street, Washington D.C., where was an Organ Scholar assisting in playing, conducting, and chorister training for weekly services. In addition to duties at St. Paul’s, he was a part-time organist at Washington National Cathedral. He has held similar posts at Yale Divinity School’s Marquand Chapel, Trinity Church on-the-Green, New Haven, CT, and Trinity Church, Indianapolis. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His principal teachers included Janette Fishell and Martin Jean (organ), Elisabeth Wright and Arthur Haas (harpsichord), and Jeffrey Brillhart (improvisation).

Nicholas has garnered top prizes in competitions around the country, winning first prize at the 2014 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition in Wethersfield, Connecticut. In 2013, he took first prize in the American Guild of Organists Regional Competition for Young Organists. As a solo recitalist, he has performed throughout the Eastern United States, including appearances at conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Kennedy Center, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. His solo performances have been broadcast on public radio’s Harmonia Early Music and Pipedreams. He was the featured organist in the 2018 German documentary The Unanswered Ives, which is to be broadcast on French and German television. He has appeared with the Cathedral Choral Society, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Washington Master Chorale.


Past Organists of Saint Thomas Church

1826—1827
Thomas S. Brown

1827—1830
Charles Wilson

1830—1831
Thomas Hall

1832—1833
William Taylor

1833—1837
Richard B. Taylor

1838
F. C. Unger

1839
Charles Wilkins

1840
John Dundersdale

1841—1845
Austin L. Phillips

1846
J. L. Northam

1847
A. M. Van Nostrand

1848—1851
Daniel P. Lyon

1854—1855
George W. Morgan

1856—1874
John F. Huntingdon

1875—1900
George W. Warren

1900—1913
William MacFarlane

1913—1943
T. Tertius Noble

1943—1953
T. Frederick H. Candlyn

1954—1971
William Self

1971—2004
Gerre Hancock

2004—2015
John Scott

2016-2019
Daniel Hyde

Assistant Organists of Saint Thomas Church

1870—1874
George W. Warren

1879
P.A. Schnecker

1884—1885
Richard Henry Warren

1887—1893
William C. Macfarlane

1894—1899
Walter C. Gale

1900—1912
G. Darlington Richards

1913—1919
Daniel R. Philippi

1921—1926
Maurice Garabrant

1926—1935
Andrew Tietjen

1935—1941
Grover J. Oberle

1941—1943
Frank A. McConnell

1944—1946
Richard W. Harvey

1947—1952
Frederick W. Graf

1952—1964
Edward A. Wallace

1964—1967
George W. Decker

1967—1970
Frederick O. Grimes III

1970—1971
Bradley L. Hull

1971—1989 & 1997—2004
Judith Hancock*

1989
Catherine Burrell

1990—1993
D. Michael Kleinschmidt

1993—1995
Peter Stoltzfus

1995—1998
Patrick Allen

1999—2002
Thomas Bara

2002—2004
Brian Harlow

2004—2007
Jeremy S. Bruns*

2004—2006
Christian Lane

2006—2012
Frederick Teardo*

2008—2012
Kevin Kwan

2013-2015
Stephen Buzard

* Associate