Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Annual Competition

2018 Premiere Performance – Listen to  Monument
Christopher LaRosa was awarded the commission for the 2018 Pogorzelski-Yankee award.  He recently received a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he also served as an associate instructor of music theory.  The Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee sponsored the world premiere of Monument, March 4, 2018 (3PM) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, performed by James Kibbie of the University of Michigan. View the pre-concert discussion about the composition and preparation of Monument.

Mr. LaRosa talks about Monument: “The composition is a response to the prevalence of monuments in cultures worldwide. They suggest a powerful and universal human desire to mark our individual and societal existence. By design, monuments are often the most durable structures of a civilization, but their permanence is illusory, and they inevitably crumble to dust.  Ironically, monumental creation throws humanity’s age into relief, with our species far outlasting anything it has yet created.  Conversely, it magnifies humanity’s cosmic smallness.  My musical monument captures the immediacy of monumental experience, but necessarily admits the true ephemerality of any human creation.”

The Pogorzelski-Yankee Competition and Indiana University of Pennsylvania

P-Y-Award-1140x500-300x131Promising to add a new major composition to the organ repertoire every year in perpetuity, the new Pogorzelski-Yankee competition owes its existence to the astonishing generosity of two individuals. When Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee decided to give the largest bequest in AGO history they clearly sought to make a lasting impact upon the Guild. The bequest included the funding of college scholarships for organ study, the annual new music competition, and the donation and maintenance of their beloved R. J. Brunner & Company tracker house organ shown here in its former music room setting. Through a competitive search process the house organ has since found a permanent home at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). For the annual new music competition, Messrs. Pogorzelski and Yankee stipulated only that the winning work be composed for and performed on the  organ in its new home.

Each competition cycle extends over 2 years. The next cycle will begin in mid-2019 with the publication of the rules in the The American Organist Magazine. A winner will be announced in early November, 2019 with a mid-2020 delivery date for the commissioned piece. The piece will be premiered the following March or April, 2021 at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The organ console in its new home at Indiana University of Pennsylvania appears on the left.  See the specifications (N.B. on the Great division, the Gemshorn 8′ has been replaced by the Principal 8′.) Rules for the competition will vary. The first three competitions called for a proposal for a commission of a piece 10-12 minutes in length playable on the Pogorzelski-Yankee Organ; there were no restrictions in regard to compositional style. Award: $10,000 cash prize; premiere performance on the Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Organ at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in March 2018.

Awarded Commissions

2016 Composer, Claude Baker – Listen to  Sept Hommages and a half-hour interview with Dr. John Levey.
2017 Composer, Christopher Adler – Listen to Construct: for organ and a discussion with Professor Adler.
2018 Composer, Chris LaRosa – Listen to Monument and discussion with Dr. LaRosa.
2019 Composer, Fred HohmanThe Organ Icons will be premiered in early 2019 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Committee on New Music
Louise Mundinger, MM, Director  Email
David J. Hurd, Jr., MusD  Email
Carol Feather Martin, MM Email
Alexander Meszler, MM  Email

Eileen Hunt, AAGO, DMA, ex officio (Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music)  Email
AGO Headquarters Email