Promising to add a new major composition to the organ repertoire every year in perpetuity, the new P-Y 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. 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. The Pogorzelski-Yankee Organ (R. J. Brunner & Company) is shown above in its former music room setting. Specifications (N.B. on the Great division, the Gemshorn 8′ has been replaced by the Principal 8′.) Award: $10,000 cash prize; publication by ECS Publishing; premiere performance on the recently installed Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Organ at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in March 2017.
The 2018 competition rules 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. The application deadline was August 31st, 2016. The winning composition will be given its world premier performance in a formal recital at the University by an internationally recognized organist.
Christopher Adler – 2017 Pogorzelski-Yankee Competition Winner
Christopher Adler is the second composer to receive a commission in the Pogorzelski -Yankee Annual Competition. A composer, performer and improviser living in San Diego, California, his music draws upon twenty years of research into the traditional musics of Thailand and Laos, and a background in mathematics. He is internationally recognized as a performer of new and traditional music for the khaen, a free-reed mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand. He is Director of Composition for the nief-norf Summer Festival as well as the pianist and composer-in-residence with NOISE. He is active with San Diego New Music, and a co-founder of the soundON Festival of Modern Music. Mr. Adler is currently Professor of Music at the University of San Diego. Construct by Christopher Adler will be premiered March 26, 2017 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. For more information: email@example.com or call 724-357-ARTS (2787).
2016 Pogorzelski – Yankee Awarded Composition
Claude Baker’s commissioned piece, Sept Hommages, was premiered Sunday March 13, 2016 (3PM) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before the recital, Dr. Baker participated in a half-hour interview with Dr. John Levey, who teaches composition at IUP. He spoke about his music, commented on the composition of Sept Hommages, and took questions from the audience.