|| SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RESIDENT NAMED ONE OF TOP PRIZE WINNERS IN INTERNATIONAL ORGAN COMPETITION
Original Composition Contest Aimed at Promoting Increased
Interest in Organ Music
Jan. 21, 2008
NEW YORK, NY— Residents of the United States, Germany and Britain, including a USC graduate living in Carlsbad, CA, walked off with top honors in an original composition competition sponsored recently by The American Guild of Organists (AGO).
The prizewinners were:
· 1st prize: “Ornament of Grace” for organ and violin or oboe written by Bernard Wayne Sanders of Muehlheim, Germany.
· 2nd prize: “Toccata Duo” for organ and trumpet, flute or violin written by Paul Ayres of Greenford, United Kingdom.
· 3rd prize: “Reach for the Stars” for organ and oboe written by Jon Naples of Carlsbad, California.
The third prizewinner, Jon Naples of Carlsbad, CA attended the University of Southern California (USC), where, in 1995, he earned his Doctorate in Music. Principal teachers were composers Morten Lauridsen and Frank Ticheli under whose tutelage Naples completed numerous projects leading to several composition awards.
As a frequent contributor of new original repertory through commissions from the Millennia Too! ensemble as well as others, Naples' music is frequently heard nationally in churches and music festivals. Twelve original compositions by Jon Naples can be found on his new art song CD: My November Guest. Naples is Director of Sacred Music at St. Margaret Parish in Oceanside, CA.
The AGO has designated 2008-2009 as the International Year of the Organ (IYO). The IYO 2008-2009 is designed to attract new audiences to the organ and lay the groundwork for future events, fund-raising and membership in the AGO. The 2008 event will begin at the national AGO convention in Minneapolis in June and will conclude with the regional conventions in the summer of 2009.
Showcasing the IYO will be an Organ Spectacular, during which an estimated 250 organ concerts will be held throughout the world. The event, scheduled to be held on October 19, will be the world’s largest organ concert and will feature the organ in its historic and evolving roles as a solo, accompanying and ensemble instrument. The event also will include a commissioned piece by acclaimed American composer, Stephen Paulus.
As part of this yearlong celebration, the AGO incorporated the idea of holding a Composition Competition and received over three-dozen entrants from around the world. Compositions were received from: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, as well as from Canada, England, and Germany.
The requirements for the competition were to compose an original piece for organ and C instrument, of easy to moderate difficulty, unpublished, and of no more than 5 minutes in length. Mary Beth Bennett, Emma Lou Diemer, and Mark Sedio judged the blind competition.
The first prizewinner, Bernard Wayne Sanders, is a native of DePere, WI and graduate of St. Norbert College. Sanders received his BM degree (Bachelor of Music) in 1979 and pursued graduate study in composition and organ at Wichita State University, which then led to an MM degree (Master of Music) in 1983. Sanders did a postgraduate study in Germany, which earned him a degree in organ performance from the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg in 1989.
Sanders is a full -time music director at the parishes of St. Gallus and St. Mary´s in Tuttlingen, diocesan liaison and an official organ consultant for the Tuttlingen area (Baden -Wurttemberg). He resides with his wife and two daughters in Muehlheim, Germany.
The second prizewinner, Paul Ayres, was born in London and studied music at Oxford University. Ayres works in London as a freelance composer arranger, choral conductor, musical director, organist and accompanist. His recent commissions include works for the BBC Singers and for the Seattle choir, The Esoterics. Ayres is an assistant director of music at London’s St George’s Church Hanover Square.
The first prize composition will be published by Concordia and discussed and analyzed on the BinAural Collaborative Hypertext (B.A.C.H.) website. The three prizewinners received monetary prizes from Hal Hinkle, an American financier, musician and patron of the arts.
The Phelps Group for AGO
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. The Guild currently serves approximately 19,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 20,000 readers each month.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.