AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists

The AGO RCYO began with the 1992-1994 cycle. It is an offshoot of the AGO NYACOP. Prior to 1992, younger players were able to enter NYACOP, however, as NYACOP became more demanding, it was apparent that a separate competition was needed for younger players. Since 2002, Michael Quimby, President, Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc. has generously supported the regional competitions.
Prizes: Chapter level varies. Regional: First place – $1,000; Second – $500. The AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists are made possible by a generous grant from Michael Quimby, President, Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc.

The RCYO competitions are held in odd-numbered years, in two separate stages. The competitions are sponsored and administered by the seven regions of the American Guild of Organists. In 2021, an initial competition will be held at the local level by an AGO chapter, February 13 – April 18, 2021. Each chapter winner will then advance to a regional competition, where the seven regional winners will be awarded. The online entry form for 2021 RCYO competitors will be accessible from this page later this year.

Revised 2021 Rules for AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists.
One of the repertoire requirements for the 2021 chapter competitions is Sonata in Sea: Cape Cod by James Woodman. Preview 1st pages  2021 RCYO competitors (as well as those not entering the competitions) can purchase Sonata in Sea before submitting an application. Your RCYO application fee will be reduced appropriately. Use this online payment form. In the “Invoice Number” field, enter “Sonata in Sea.”

2021 Chapter Competitions
Boston, April 17, 2021  email
Buffalo, March 13, 2021  email
New York City, April 17, 2021 email
Harrisburg, March 14, 2021 Email
Potomac/NOVA/Winchester, April 17, 2021 email
Greater Huntsville, March 6, 2021 email
Knoxville, March 13, 2021 email
Indianapolis, February 27, 2021 email
Rockford, March 20, 2021 email
Twin Cities, April 17, 2021 email
St. Louis, TBD  email
Lincoln, April 11, 2021 email
Wichita, March 6, 2021 email
Oklahoma City, April 18, 2021 email
Dallas, April 17, 2021 email
Houston, March 6, 2021 email
Salt Lake City, February 25, 2021 email
Central Arizona, February 20, 2021 email
Los Angeles, April 10, 2021 email

Frequently Asked Questions About the Upcoming 2021 Chapter Competitions
1. Must the recording of the performances accompany the initial application due on January 15, 2021?  
No. When the competitor applies online (January 15, 2021 deadline), he or she will  nominate a proctor.  It is the proctor who is responsible for submitting the recording later in the February – April period.
2. When is the recording to be submitted to the chapter?
The recording should be submitted by the proctor no later then one week before the date of the chapter competition.   The proctor can upload the recording into an online “Add your RCYO recording” application; the proctor can also create and submit CD’s if that’s easier.
3. Can I assemble the recorded performances and prepare a combined music file of all the performances to be played on the competition day?
Absolutely!  You might combine the music files with the competition script to produce a full program of video (with you as the host) and the competitors’ performances which you could play on the  scheduled competition date.
4. In Registration rule 4, there is a sentence reading, “The recording must be continuous and unedited.”  Does this mean that several “takes” are disallowed? 
Correct, several “takes” are not allowed.
5.) Is only one organ to be used for all pieces, or, for example, could a “baroque” organ be used for the Bach and a “romantic” organ be used for a French organ symphony?
Only one organ should be used.  This is detailed in Rules for Chapter-Level Competitions rule 4 Choosing an organ for the competitor – “adequate to play all chosen literature.”
5) My chapter doesn’t use Zoom – can we still host a chapter competition?
Yes! The chapter coordinator could still receive the recordings from the “Add Your RCYO Recording” online application or by CD’s and then make them available to the judges and chapter members on the day of the competition. After the judges have listened and determined a winner, the coordinator could contact the competitors with the results. 


Chapter Coordinators: Hosting a Successful 2021 Chapter Competition by Recording


The 2019 AGO Rising Stars perform at OrganFest!

In the summer of 2019, each of the AGO’s seven regions hosted an AGO/Quimby Regional Competition. The First Place regional winners, now AGO Rising Stars, were scheduled to perform at the 2020 AGO National Convention in Atlanta. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they performed at OrganFest by recording.

Northeast – Eddie Zheng plays Allegretto and Allegro maestoso from Sonata No.4 in B flat major, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)


Mid-Atlantic – Luke Brennan plays Concert Overture in C minor, Alfred Hollins (1865-1942)


Southeast – Nicholas Stigall plays Les enfants de Dieu, from La Nativité du Seigneur, Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)


Great Lakes – Noah Klein plays At the Ballet and Those Americans from Five Dances, Calvin Hampton (1938-1894)


North Central – Michael Caraher plays The Ecstasy and Reflection from Resurrection, Larry King (1932-1990)


Southwest – Martin Jones plays Berceuse from 24 Pièces en style libre, Op. 31, Louise Vierne (1870-1937) and Finale: Allegro from Concerto in D minor, BWV 596, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), transcribed by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)


West – Amber Dahlberg plays Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major, Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)






2019 RCYO Committee
Vivienne McKay, Director Email
Sarah Martin Email
Ann Posey Email

AGO Headquarters.