Linda Gavenda was born in Chatsworth, California, and studied piano throughout her childhood with her grandmother Katharine Johnson, who was organist at their local Methodist church. Attending UCLA, she started as a piano major but soon began organ studies with Thomas Harmon. She later studied organ with Duncan Phyfe and Sandra Soderlund, and harpsichord with Charlene Brendler. She had training in choral conducting under Philip Brett, at that time on the UC Berkeley faculty. After years playing in Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic, and Congregational churches, on both the west and east coasts, she came to St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in 1982 and has never wanted to leave. In 1986, she was sent by the church to attend the six-week course for choral directors and organists at the Royal School of Church Music at Addington Palace in Surrey, England. She has taught piano and accompanied musical theater, solo performers, and choral groups. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Anglican Musicians.