Christine Clewell is assistant professor of organ and keyboard at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and director of music and parish organists at Zion Lutheran Church, Indiana, Pa. She teaches applied organ, harpsichord, and applied keyboard and theory skills classes as well as class piano. Clewell was awarded degrees from Susquehanna University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), where she earned her doctoral degree in sacred and liturgical studies as a recipient of a Rackham Minority Fellowship. Her organ studies were under the tutelage of Susan Hegberg, Marilyn Mason, Grace Mealey, and Carol Teti.
As a diverse, keyboard performer, Clewell's chamber, church, and solo organ performance experience is extensive. She has served in several organist/choirmaster capacities while performing in numerous recital series throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, Michigan, and New England, Pueblo, Mexico, and the Alsace Region of France. Along with performing with colleagues at IUP, she has appeared as a guest soloist at the Washington National Cathedral and the historic Kotzschmar Series in Portland, Maine, and numerous guest alumni appearances at all three of her alma maters. She has been invited to teach master classes and present music by AGO chapters throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, along with the Monongahela Valley (WV) and Portland (ME) regions.
Clewell's scholarly interests lie in three areas: researching the European origins of organs built in South America; presenting recital programs that raise social conscience—since April 2011, she has been researching and presenting literature for piano accompaniment and solo organ repertoire associated with the topic "Heroes and Martyrs from WW II (1939-45)"; and promoting and advocating for new music written for the Pogorzelski Yankee Organ, an instrument that IUP uses under a special lease agreement with the American Guild of Organists.
In April 2010, Clewell wrote the national, winning proposal to bring the PYO to IUP, where she has hosted over five world premieres of the winning compositions from the Pogorzelski Yankee Memorial Organ Composition Competition by these composers: Christopher Adler, Claude Baker, Frederick Hohman, Christopher LaRosa, and Dan Locklair. Locklair's "Initial Memories: A Divertimento for Organ and Wind Quintet" was commissioned in 2014 by IUP in honor of IUP's newly installed Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Organ. It was the first of eight pieces written to-date for the PYO, and is dedicated to the memory of Messrs. Pogorzelski and Yankee.