AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
NAMES FIRST AND SECOND PLACE WINNERS IN
AGO/QUIMBY REGIONAL COMPETITIONS
FOR YOUNG ORGANISTS
NEW YORK CITY The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS (AGO) is pleased to announce the First and Second Place winners in its nine AGO/QUIMBY REGIONAL COMPETITIONS FOR YOUNG ORGANISTS (RCYO). The competitions, held in conjunction with the summer 2001 AGO Regional Conventions, were made possible by a generous grant from Michael Quimby, president, Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc.
The regional competitions are designed for organists under the age of 23. Participants compete in two levels of this competition, beginning at the chapter level and ending at the regional level. First Place winners received a cash award of $1,000, were sponsored in a solo recital during an AGO regional convention, and will be presented in a group recital, ARising Stars,@ at the AGO 2002 National Convention in Philadelphia next summer. Second Place winners received a cash award of $500.
REGION I - NEW ENGLAND
Brett Maguire is Organ Scholar (Class of 2002) at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., where he studies with James David Christie. Prior to his studies at Holy Cross, he was a piano and organ student of Malcolm Halliday. He has played in masterclasses conducted by Marie-Claire Alain and Jean--Pierre Legauy in the United States, and with Lionel Rogg and Martin Haselböck during the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Lübeck, Germany. Currently, Mr. Mcguire is interim music director at St. Paul's Cathedral in Worcester.
Kristin Naragon, a native of Grosse Ile, Mich., is a sophomore at Harvard University majoring in music and psychology. She studied piano with Carolyn Lipp, and became interested in organ at age 15 while attending the Lutheran Summer Music Program. Currently an organ student of James David Christie, she has also studied organ with Murray Forbes Somerville and Jeffrey Blersch. While at Lutheran Summer Music, she studied organ with Martin Jean and piano with Robert Satterlee. In Michigan, Ms. Naragon served as choir accompanist and assistant organist at St. Paul Lutheran Church and St. John Lutheran Church. Currently she is the music director and organist at North Prospect Church in Cambridge, Mass., and is president of the Harvard Organ Society.
REGION II - NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY
Tim Pyper started his career as a treble chorister at St. James' Cathedral, Toronto. He began organ study with Giles Bryant and later continued with John Tuttle. From 1994 until 1998, he was Organ Scholar of Royal St. George's College in Toronto, touring France, Luxembourg, and Belgium with the college choir. This year, he was the first-prize winner of the RCCO National Competition in Organ Playing. Mr. Pyper recently completed his sophomore year at the Eastman School of Music, where he is a student of David Higgs. He is organist and choir director at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Rochester.
Lee Wright began formal piano study at the age of seven. He was introduced to the organ in a beginning organ class at the Interlochen Arts Camp while a high school freshman. After three summers of organ study at the Interlochen Arts Academy, he spent his senior year there studying organ with Robert Murphy and piano with Stephen Perry. Mr. Wright graduated from the academy in 1997 with high academic honors and a fine arts award for superior performance in both organ and piano. In 1999, he won second place in the AGO Region II Competition for Young Organists, and was a finalist in the Ottumwa (Iowa) Undergraduate Organ Competition. Also in 1999, he was the annual scholarship recipient for the LINKS foundation of Rochester. Mr. Wright is pursuing a bachelor of music degree in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with David Higgs. He serves as director of music ministry at Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church in Rochester. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, he has served as vice president for membership of the Eastman student chapter, and in 1997 and 1995, he coordinated and conducted the association's annual Eastman-Rochester "Messiah Sing-Along." He returns to Interlochen every summer as the teaching and administrative assistant in the organ department at the Interlochen Arts Camp.
REGION III - MID-ATLANTIC
Christian Lane is a student at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., where he pursues both a bachelor of music in performance and a sacred music diploma, studying organ with David Higgs, harpsichord with Arthur Haas, improvisation with William Porter, and church music with Peter DuBois. In addition, he is assistant organist at the Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, where he plays services each week and accompanies the chancel choir, a group with which he has toured Great Britain and which he has accompanied on National Public Radio. In 2000, he was awarded first prize in the Albert Schweitzer National Organ Competition/USA. Mr. Lane has studied piano since age five; in 1995, he began organ study with Alison Shafer after receiving a scholarship from the local AGO chapter. Other teachers have included Ann Thompson, Philip Day, and Vincent Lenti.
JEFFREY DEVAULT, CAGO
Jeffrey DeVault, CAGO, began studying the piano at the age of five and is currently studying with Harvey Wedeen at Temple University. He has won many piano competitions in the Philadelphia area, including the Tri-County Youth Festival and the Kennett Square Piano Competition. He has been studying organ for five years with Dennis Elwell at Overbrook Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Mr. Devault placed second in the Albert Schweitzer National Organ Competition in Wethersfield, Conn., and this year, he won the Philadelphia AGO Chapter competition. Currently, he is the organist and director of the chancel choir and the bell choir at Middletown Presbyterian Church in Media, Pa.
REGION IV - SOUTHEAST
CHARLES L. BURKS
Baton Rouge, La.
Charles Burks is a senior at the University of Alabama, where he is an organ student of Warren Hutton. A native of Baton Rouge, La., where he studied organ with Robbie Giroir after ten years of piano lessons, he was the winner of the 2000 Gruenstein Memorial Organ Competition in Chicago as well as winner in the 1999 National Federation of Music Clubs Organ Division. He has been a winner in several local and regional competitions, and he received second place in the 1999 AGO Region IV Competition for Young Organists. Currently, Mr. Burks is the organist at Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He also accompanies for the Alabama Choir School and has been the University of Alabama carillonneur.
Daniel Hahn, a native of Dearing, Ga., is a junior at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he pursues a bachelor's degree in organ performance and studies with Hans Davidsson. He began formal piano studies at the age of nine under the tutelage of Jeanie Joesbury. While a freshman in high school, he began organ lessons with Cathryn Good, continuing thereafter with Keith Shafer. At Eastman, Mr. Hahn has studied organ with the late Michael Farris and Katharine Pardee, and piano with Tony Caramia. He was the recipient of the Betty Bauer Memorial Organ Scholarship for two consecutive years. He is the organist and choir director at South Presbyterian Church in Rochester.
REGION V - GREAT LAKES
Thomas Schuster is a recent graduate of Wayne State University where he pursued a double major in music performance, studying piano with Pauline Martin and organ with Ray Ferguson. During the last several years, he has won the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs Organ Competition, the National Federation's Sacred Music Competition, and the Oakland University Piano Competition, and has received awards from the Music Study Club of Detroit, Mu Phi Epsilon, and the Birmingham Musicale. Mr. Schuster is presently employed at Assumption Grotto as choir organist, where he is part of a music program that includes monthly performances of the sacred music repertoire with orchestra in the context of the Latin Mass. Last fall, he released a recording of organ concertos by Anton Heiller, Walter Braunfels, and Max Baumann, the latter two of which were world premiere recordings. He plans to begin study for a master's degree this fall with Robert Bates at the University of Houston.
Timothy Spelbring is an organ performance major at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He is in the organ studio of David Boe, and he also studies piano with Alvin Chow. He has studied organ with Rudolf Zuiderveld of Illinois College and piano with Jennifer Linn, and has also studied with Martin Jean and Catharine Crozier. After winning the Gateway East AGO Chapter Competition, Mr. Spelbring placed second in the 1999 Region V Competition for Young Organists. In high school he was the winner of a number of awards in both organ and piano performance. He is the director of music at Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin.
REGION VI - NORTH CENTRAL
MARTIN GRAJEDA JR.
Martin Grajeda, who was born in Wichita, Kans., is currently a home-schooled high school senior. His beginning organ study was with Rose Munoz. At age 13 he undertook further studies with Anna Jeter, adjunct organ professor at Friends University, with whom he continues to study. At age 12, Mr. Grajeda was appointed organist at St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church in Wichita, and at age 15, he became organist at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, where he accompanies a large choir. He also plays at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
Melissa Blanton was born in Denton, Kans. She started piano and violin lessons at the Mount Conservatory in Atchison, Kans., at age five, and began accompanying choirs in her home church, St. John's Lutheran in Bendena, Kans., at age eleven. At age 13 she began giving piano lessons; at age 14 she began organ study. In 1996, at age 16, Ms. Blanton took an organist position at the Presbyterian Church in Atchison. Her duties at the church have expanded to organist/accompanist/music coordinator/youth sponsor. She also teaches music there. Ms. Blanton is currently a junior music major at Benedictine College in Atchison. After graduating, she hopes to earn a master's degree in organ at the University of Kansas.
REGION VII - SOUTHWEST
Lucinda Meredith's musical instruction began in Evansville, Ind., with piano lessons at the age of ten with Henrietta Northcutt. Two years later, her musical education expanded to include organ lessons with Mark Hatfield, also of Evansville. While living there, Ms. Meredith twice won first place in the local AGO chapter's organ competition and also performed as organist with the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in a concert for the 1997 AGO Region V Convention. The following yearCthen living in TexasCshe returned to Evansville to perform Guilmant's Symphony No. 1 with the orchestra. In the summer of 1997, a family move took her to Houston where she began two years of study with Clyde Holloway in the Preparatory Division of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. She is currently a sophomore organ major at the Shepherd School, where she is a candidate for the bachelor of music degree. During her freshman year at the Shepherd School, she won first place in the undergraduate division of the William C. Hall Pipe Organ Competition at the First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. Currently, Ms. Meredith is the organist of Willow Meadows Baptist Church in Houston.
Daniel Stipe was born in Tulsa, Okla., and began piano study with his mother at age three. At age eight he continued lessons with Nathan Morgan, and at age eleven he began study with Elwyn Ratliff. His piano awards include the 1995 PAC Young Pianists Competition, the 1998 statewide Yamaha competition, and the 2000 Carver Concerto Competition. In September 1997, he began organ study with Casey Cantwell in Tulsa. He served as organist for two years at the First Methodist Church in Claremore, and as of August 2000 is staff organist at the Church of the Madalene in Tulsa. Daniel is a home-schooled high school senior. He plans to major in organ performance in college.
REGION VIII - PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Rico Contenti is a freshman at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Originally from Salem, Oreg., he began piano lessons at the age of four and organ studies at age nine. Under the instruction of Pamela Miller, his piano and organ performances have resulted in numerous awards. In 1997, 1998, and 2000, Mr. Contenti was chosen to perform at the OMTA Oregon State Bach Festival. In March 2001, he was the second-prize winner of the Augustana Arts-Reuter Organ competition for undergraduates in Denver, Colo. He has been recognized with various honors and awards in piano performance as well. Mr. Contenti has served as assistant organist and choral accompanist at the First Presbyterian Church in Salem. For the past two summers, he attended the Calgary International Organ Academy Summer School, where he studied with Simon Preston and David Higgs, his present teacher. Currently, he is the Organ Scholar at Christ Church, Episcopal, in Rochester.
Paul Meier began the study of piano at age seven with Thelma McCoy in Port Angeles, Wash. Later, at age 13, he added the study of organ with Patricia Churchley, also of Port Angeles. During these years, Mr. Meier won first prizes in numerous organ and piano competitions, including the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Washington State Music Teachers Association Piano Competition, which he won four times, and the Senior Organ Competition, held at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J. During the summers after his sophomore and junior years in high school, he studied organ with Martin Jean at Lutheran summer music camps in Decorah, Iowa, and Valparaiso, Ind. In the spring of his junior year, Mr. Meier performed the Poulenc Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Timpani with the Port Angeles Civic Orchestra. During the summer of 1998, he studied at the North German Organ Academy with Harald Vogel. Mr. Meier is a junior organ major at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, where he is a student of Clyde Holloway. Currently, he is associate organist at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston.
REGION IX - FAR WEST
NO PRIZE AWARDED
New York, N.Y.
Chelsea Chen graduated in June as valedictorian of her class at La Jolla High School (Calif.). She began studying piano at the age of five with Jane Bastien and later with Ms. Bastien's daughter, Lori Bastien Vickers. Ms. Chen began organ lessons in 1999 after attending an AGO Pipe Organ Encounter in San Diego in 1997 and one in Boston in 1998. She studies with Leslie Wolf and has won generous scholarships from the Pacific Council of Organ Clubs and the San Diego AGO Chapter. She has served as a substitute organist at various local churches and has presented several solo benefit concerts. In the summer of 2000, she studied organ with Monte Maxwell, organist at the U.S. Naval Academy. Ms. Chen has been accepted at the Juilliard School of Music and will begin organ study there in the fall with John Weaver.
Long Beach, Calif.
Randall Harlow was born and raised in Long Beach, Calif. He began taking piano lessons at age six with Nancy Wheeler, and as a junior in high school began organ lessons with David York. He is currently an undergraduate student at Indiana University's School of Music, where he studies organ with Christopher Young. For three summers, he has attended the Calgary Organ Academy International Summer School in Canada, where he studied in masterclasses and privately with David Higgs and Simon Preston. He has also attended the Oundle International Summer School for Young Organists in Oundle and Cambridge, England.
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, the AGO seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the AGO is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. The Guild currently serves more than 20,000 members in 343 local chapters throughout the U.S. and abroad.
QUIMBY PIPE ORGANS INC. of Warrensburg, Mo. was founded by Michael Quimby in 1970 as a one-man service organization. The staff now consists of 14 full-time employees and numbers more than 100 new and rebuilt organs throughout the United States. The guiding principle for the firm is to build organs of the highest quality, both tonally and physically, that are musical, expressive, and communicative. In addition to his skills as an organbuilder, Michael Quimby holds degrees in music education and in history and literature with applied emphasis in organ performance from Central Missouri State, a background that has deeply influenced his philosophy in the design of church organs.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and THE AMERICAN ORGANIST Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL email@example.com.