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.
The 2021 Quimby/RCYO rules appeared in the May, 2020 issue of The American Organist Magazine.
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. Chapters that are hosting competitions will be added to the list below as the applications are received. Chapter Application  Form for Hosting a 2021 Chapter Competition. The deadline for a chapter application is October 15, 2020. 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 summer.

Update: The RCYO Committee has formulated an online competition procedure for 2021 that will allow chapters to host a chapter competition safely. Revised 2021 Rules for Chapter CompetitionsAll 2021 chapter competitions will be recorded rounds. Recordings of the RCYO performances will be submitted to the host chapter by uploading them to a special “Add Your RCYO Recording” application. It is hoped, that chapters can adopt an virtual competition procedure that simulates a live event as closely as possible. These are the key points.

  • Competitors will submit an initial online application; the deadline of submission is January 15, 2021.
  • Each competitor will subsequently create a recording of their RCYO repertoire with the aid of a proctor.
  • The proctor will upload the recorded performance into a special “Add Your RCYO Recording” online application. The proctor can also create CD’s to be submitted via USPS.
  • On the day of the competition, the chapter competition coordinator will share the recordings with the judges and chapter members.
  • After the judges have determined a winner, the competitors will be notified, perhaps in a video meeting.

One of the repertoire requirements for the 2021 chapter competition is Sonata in Sea: Cape Cod by James Woodman.Sonata in Sea: Cape Cod, preview 1st pages  2021 RCYO competitors can purchase Sonata in Sea (now) before submitting an application. Your RCYO application fee will be reduced commensurately, $20. To purchase, use this online payment form. In the “Invoice Number” field, enter “Sonata in Sea.” If you are not entering the 2021 competitions, you still can purchase Sonata in Sea ($20).

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Must the recording of the performances accompany the initial application due on January 15, 2020?  
No. When the competitor applies online (January 15, 2020 deadline), he or she will  nominate a proctor.  It is the proctor who is responsible for submitting the recording in February – April.
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. 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.
4) 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. 


2021 Chapter Competitions
Greater Huntsville, Alabama March 6, 2021 Email
Dallas, April 17, 2021 Email
Wichita, March 6, 2021 Email


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.