NYACOP 2018 Results

I’m pleased to announce that I was awarded Second Prize at the 2018 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), held as part of the 2018 Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Kansas City.

The competition began with a recorded round due in the fall of 2017. Nine semi-finalists were chosen to compete in the following round on June 28th, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. The semifinals were held on the Marcussen Organ at Wichita State University’s Wiedemann Hall. Each semi-finalist performed a 35-40 minute program consisting of pieces by Buxtehude, Bach, Reger, and one of Demessieux’s Six Etudes for Organ.

At the conclusion of the semifinals, five finalists were chosen to compete in the final round on the brand-new Richards, Fowkes organ at Village Presbyterian Church. Each finalist crafted an hour-long program using both pre-determined repertoire (including the Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582, the Duruflé Scherzo, any work of Leo Sowerby, and Thomas Kerr’s Arietta) and free choice repertoire.  Unlike the semifinal round, the finals were not “blind,” meaning the jury faced the performer, whose name was announced, and the competition became more like a public performance. The finals were an official AGO Convention event, and convention attendees made up a fairly large audience, even at 9am, when I began playing as Competitor A.

In addition to the given repertoire, I also performed the Liszt BACH and two settings on Jesu, meine Zuversicht by Homilius. The organ served each piece beautifully (even when I  faced challenges with registration changes, given our brief practice sessions leading up to the competition), and I felt honored to have a chance to get to know the instrument throughout the experience.

Ultimately, the judges awarded me Second Prize, for which I feel satisfied and proud. Always in performances we look back and contemplate what could have gone better, what we might have done differently. And in competitions, so much is left to chance. What is important is to learn as much as possible through every experience, and to go away with a positive and grateful attitude for having grown through the process.

Onward to a brand new semester and new experiences to be had!

 

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Hello, 2017!

It’s a new year! It seems fitting to look back on all the performances I had the pleasure to give in the year 2016, including a full-length recital at Furman University, in my hometown of Greenville SC. I had the unique experience of collaborating with saxophones while playing Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ. Together we formed a “funky Renaissance band” and played arrangements of Tielman Susato’s dances from the Dansereye. I had the opportunity to perform Poulenc’s Organ Concerto for the fifth time, this time with
Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra members at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. Eastman colleagues Adam Detzner and Brian Glikes played concertos of C.P.E. Bach and Rheinberger.

Playing on the Frobenius Organ Recital Series in Saratoga Springs, NY, gave me the chance to collaborate with my dear friend, cellist Matt Zucker. We created a dance suite out of disparate organ pieces and movements from a Bach cello suite, and finished with a Tango by Piazzolla.
June 27 – Recital for the Organ Historical Society, Old St. Peter’s Church 3rd and Pine
Masters Degree Recital, Downtown United Presbyterian Church, Rochester NY, 8pm