National Composition Awards Bestowed at AGO National Convention

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) honored three award winning composers at its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, July 4, during the AGO National Convention in Nashville, Tenn. AGO President Eileen Guenther presided over the award presentations to Craig Phillips of West Hollywood, Calif.; and to Nicholas O’Neill and Alan Smith, both of Great Britain.

The 2012 Distinguished Composer Award was presented to Craig Phillips. The prestigious award, created in 1986, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding composers of organ and choral music in the United States. Previous award recipients include: Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Daniel Pinkham, Samuel Adler, Dominick Argento, William Albright, Conrad Susa, Emma Lou Diemer, Dan Locklair, William Bolcom, Alice Parker, Carl Schalk, Margaret Sandresky, Richard Proulx, and Stephen Paulus.

The 2012 AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition was presented to Alan Smith for his anthem, There Is a Flow’r, based upon a 15th-century text by John Audelay. The award included a cash prize of $2,000 and publication, both provided by the ECS Publishing Co., and a performance at the 2012 AGO National Convention in Nashville. Mr. Smith is the first British citizen ever to receive the award.

The 2012 AGO/Marilyn Mason Award in Organ Composition was presented to Nicholas O’Neill for his Festive Voluntary. The award included a cash prize of $2,000 provided by Marilyn Mason, publication by Hinshaw Music Inc., and a performance at the 2012 AGO National Convention. Mr. O’Neill is the first British citizen ever to receive the award.

Additional information, including biographies of the prize winners as well as official rules and applications for the 2014 composition competitions can be found on the AGO Web site, www.agohq.org.