A highly skilled organist and pianist, Linda F. Vaughn became involved in her profession at a young age by taking piano lessons and singing in the children’s choir at church. Her mother often played recordings of organ music, which led to her later interest in the instrument, especially after she attended her first live organ recital. In junior high school, she learned to play the flute and was active in the band through high school. Ms. Vaughn then began organ lessons with her band director’s wife.
Ms. Vaughn continued her music studies at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in organ performance and vocal education and a Bachelor of Arts in German. She participated in the college summer study program in Vienna, Austria, and while there, she studied organ with composer-organist Peter Planyavsky, with whom she still maintains contact. She next earned a Master of Music in choral music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After two years of teaching, Ms. Vaughn returned to the University of Illinois and earned a Master of Arts in German linguistics.
Ms. Vaughn’s teaching career was as a choir teacher with the Urbana School District from 1990 to 2015 and as a German instructor at Danville Area Community College from 1996 to 2000. She was accompanist for the community choir, the Chorale, from 1994 to 2001, and has also taught private piano and voice lessons.
The other part of Ms. Vaughn’s career has been as a church musician. She was a choir director and organist at First Baptist Church in Urbana from 1984 to 1993. Following this, she was organist at Community United Church of Christ in Champaign from 1993 to 2015 and Zion Lutheran Church in Philo, Illinois, from 2015 to 2017. Since 2017, Ms. Vaughn has been and continues as organist at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Champaign, where she also assists with the choir and a summer drama camp.
Ms. Vaughn is affiliated with various organizations related to her field. She is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association, Delta Omicron and Delta Phi Alpha. She participated with the Music Educators National Conference and the Illinois Music Educators Association during her teaching years. Ms. Vaughn also is a member of the Etude Mozart Music Club of Champaign-Urbana and performs often for their programs.
Apart from her music career, Ms. Vaughn is a certified life insurance producer in the State of Illinois and is a certified crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council. She has taught crochet at the Michaels store in Champaign since 2012. Her hobbies include sewing and crochet. Ms. Vaughn makes many of her own clothes and has sold some of her crochet items at craft sales. She also enjoys cooking and baking, as well as genealogy. She has traced her Dutch ancestry back to the 1600s and has compiled books tracing the linage of two branches of her family.
As an organist, Ms. Vaughn feels that she is still learning and progressing. She studies new literature often, but is very particular about her choices and wants to challenge herself to learn new things. At the same time, she wants the music to be meaningful and for people to enjoy hearing her play. Ms. Vaughn hopes to continue all of her interests for a long time to come.
If Ms. Vaughn could offer any advice to anyone interested in pursuing her field, she would advise them to be passionate and committed; to be knowledgeable but continue learning; and work hard, always strive to do the best you can. The trained church organist seems to be a dying art, but Ms. Vaughn would like to help keep it alive, and perhaps offer guidance and training to those wishing to pursue this art.
Ms. Vaughn has been recognized as a Marquis Who’s Who Top Professional and is a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Humanitarian Award. Furthermore, she was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.