Janette Fishell holds degrees with honors in organ performance from Indiana University (B.M. and MM) and Northwestern University (D.Mus). Her collegiate studies included work with Wilma Jensen, Wolfgang Rübsam, Richard Enright and Clyde Holloway; sabbatical study with Ludger Lohmann focussed on performance practices of the German Baroque and Romantic periods, as well an exploration of historic European instruments.
She was appointed Professor of Organ and Chair of the Organ Department at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in 2008, where she teaches applied organ and Organ Pedagogy. Her students have earned top prizes in national and international competitions and hold prestigious posts as church musicians and academics throughout the United States and Asia. She received the 2012 Oswald Ragatz Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University’s Organ Alumni Association (IOU), holds the university’s Bicentennial Medal for contributions to her alma mater, and was most recently awarded a 2023 Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award.
Previous to her appointment at Indiana University she headed the Organ and Sacred Music degree programs at East Carolina University, which honored her with a Distinguished Professorship in recognition of her record of achievement in teaching and research/creative activity.
Her international concert career has spanned the globe, and features recitals in many of the world’s greatest venues. A frequent recitalist in her native United States, she has been a solo recitalist at four national conventions and eight regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and will be the first female artist to present that organization’s prestigious Saint Cecilia Recital at the 2024 San Francisco national convention. A recitalist with a wide repertoire and interest in music of all periods, she has made a special study of the organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Petr Eben, both of whose organ works she has performed in their entirety.
Janette Fishell frequently joins the faculty of summer schools, short courses, conferences and conventions throughout the world, including the Yale Organ Week, Oundle Summer School for Young Organists, the Royal College of Organists’ Oxford and Cambridge courses, the Sewanee Church Music Conference and multiple conventions and chapter meetings for the American Guild of Organists.
Her numerous compact disc recordings include performances of the music of Marcel Dupré (NAXOS), Petr Eben (PRO ORGANO), J. S. Bach (ZIGZAG), and the French Romantics (LOFT). Widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the organ works of the Czech composer Petr Eben, her project Velvet Revolution presents his opera omnia for solo organ in six discs (BRILLIANT CLASSICS), all recorded on the two superb C. B. Fisk concert hall instruments of Indiana University, as well as companion essays and a teaching video.
She has been featured in live radio broadcasts worldwide, including NHK Japan, National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio’s Pipedreams, and the BBC.
Since being named “Young Organist of the Year” by Keyboard Arts, Inc. while still an undergraduate, Janette Fishell has established herself as one of her generation’s leading concert including recital broadcasts for BBC London, NHK Tokyo, and Czech Radio, and is a frequent lecturer and adjudicator. She is author of numerous articles, a book on service playing published by Abingdon Press, and composer of several works for choir and solo organ published by Selah, St. James Press, and Morningstar Music.
A life-long dedication to the vocation of sacred music has led to part-time parish ministry as choral conductor and organist, positions that also inspired compositions and recording projects. Notable among these appointments is a nearly two-decade appointment as Organist/Choirmaster of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, NC, and similar appointments at The Episcopal Church of All Saints, Indianapolis and, most recently, as Director of Music/Organist of Trinity Episcopal Church, Bloomington. In 2014 she was the recipient of the “Paul Creston Award,” an honor bestowed upon distinguished artists who are recognized for their artistic excellence and regarded as a significant figure in church music and the performing arts. She is a frequent faculty member and recitalist for church music conferences and workshops around the U.S., including the Sewanee Church Music Conference, Montreat, Lake Junaluska, and the Religious Arts Festival of the Lutheran Theological Southern.
All of her passions come together in the creation of outreach programs nurturing church musicians and new organists such as the Jacobs School of Music Sacred Music Intensive Course, now in its tenth year.