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Martin is a native of Indiana; he began his musical training at an
early age with a beginning interest in the piano. Music has been an integral part of Martin's
environment as far back as he can remember, and since that time has taken many dimensions.
As a teenager, he began classical organ study with the professor of organ and theory at Manchester
College in North Manchester, Indiana. During this time, he gained experience playing for services
in a variety of denominations and churches. In addition, he was active in school music programs,
providing accompaniment for various choirs and playing in jazz, concert, and marching bands.
Moving up to the Indianapolis area, Mr. Ellis began classical organ study at DePauw University while
still a highschool student. Theatre organ training soon followed, and while continuing to be
involved in church music, Martin became active in the American Theatre Organ Society, winning first
prize in local competitions and going on to become overall winner of the prestigious ATOS Young
Organist competition in 1985.
In addition to local concerts and programs, Martin has performed at the Chicago Theatre, the Patio
Theatre and the Bethesda Cinema for national ATOS events.
In 1986, Martin began attending DePauw University as a keyboard performance major. During college,
Martin not only established himself as a consumate soloist, but was also head accompanist for the
DePauw Choirs, touring to Carnegie Hall and Williamsburg, Virginia. He was active as a vocal coach
to the voice department and assistant conductor for three opera/musical theatre productions produced
by the DePauw School of Music.
Martin's performance awards include winning the local American Guild of Organists' Young Artist
Competition and placing second in the Region V Competition, and placing first in the Arts Council
of Indianapolis' Young Artist Competition.
In recent years, Martin has been active with the music program of Second Presbyterian Church, and
has performed numerous organ and choral/organ works in concert during his eight years there. His
concert career has taken him to perform at Westminster Abbey, London as well as playing in numerous
churches throughout the midwest area and Indianapolis. Martin has performed and recorded with the
Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and nationally with the Trio con Brio organ trio with Donna
Parker and Jonas Nordwall. He has been a regular theatre organ soloist in both the Chicago and
Indianapolis areas for the last ten years, and most recently moved on to pursue classical and
theatre organ venues right here in the Portland area. Martin recently accepted a position as Music
Director at St. James Lutheran Church in Portland, and is now a resident of this area.
A number of Martin Ellis recordings are available from: