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Organized Crime Duo

Organized Crime is an organ duo that grew from the friendship between Rachel Mahon and Sarah Svendsen, who met at the University of Toronto. The programme includes a combination of classic organ repertoire and popular music transcribed and arranged for the instrument. The goal of this duo is to entertain audiences with their music and antics (which involve costume changes, dazzling shoes and hot tempers) and to promote the organ to a wider audience of all ages. With this purpose in mind, Organized Crime’s concerts are unlike any other organ concerts and appeal to everyone, from the organ aficionado to one completely unfamiliar with the pipes. The performance must be seen as well as heard.


Rachel Mahon began her organ studies in 2005 under the tutelage of Melva Treffinger Graham and was awarded the Barwell Scholarship for beginning organ students from the Royal Canadian College of Organists in the same year. She continued her studies with Andrew Ager in 2007 and was the Organ Scholar at the Cathedral Church of St. James from then until May 2010. She is now in her fourth year at the University of Toronto and studies organ with Dr. John Tuttle, the University Organist and Director of Music at St. Thomas’s Anglican Church. Rachel was the organist for the Oratory Children’s Choir of Holy Family Church and the rehearsal accompanist for the Tallis Choir but retired from both positions at the end of the 2010/2011 season. Currently, Rachel is the Bevan Organ Scholar at Trinity College, University of Toronto and Principal Organist at Timothy Eaton Memorial United Church. This past May, Rachel came first place in the Competition for Young Organists 2012 for the Toronto Centre Royal Canadian College of Organists. She will take up the position of Organ Scholar at Truro Cathedral for one year commencing in September 2013.

Hailing from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Sarah Svendsen was first introduced to the organ at age 15 through beginner scholarships from the Halifax Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO), studying with organist Wayne Rogers. After one year of study, she received a silver medal for the highest mark in Atlantic Canada for her Royal College of Music grade 7 organ exam. The following year, Sarah spent 10 months in Denmark as a Rotary International Exchange Student, studying throughout that time with organist Randi Mortensen at the  world-famous Odense Domkirke.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music in organ performance from the University of Toronto. While completing her undergraduate degree, Sarah placed second in the 2011 Royal Canadian College of Organists National Organ Playing Competition, winning the Casavant Prize. A busy recitalist, some of Sarah’s most recent engagements have included the 2012 Copenhagen International Organ Festival, as well as the 2012 Stratford Summer Music Festival. Sarah is currently studying under organist Dr. Patricia Wright, the Minister of Music at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church. Sarah serves as Organ Scholar at Metropolitan United Church, and is on the Executive of the Toronto Centre of the RCCO.