The 11th annual North Carolina Middle and High School Organ Festival and Competition, directed by Timothy Olsen, Kenan Professor of Organ in the School of Music at UNCSA, will be held Friday, Jan. 27, through Sunday, Jan. 29.
Competitors are expected from North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Georgia. In addition to competing, participating middle and high school organists will be able to meet other organists their age from across the country; tour the organ facilities at UNCSA and Salem College; participate in workshops, master classes and lessons; and build a small functioning pipe organ.
This year, the festival and competition will be hosted by Salem College, where Olsen also teaches. Several of the events are open to the public at no charge.
Olsen and Salem College piano faculty member Barbara Lister-Sink will give a recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, in Shirley Recital Hall, Elberson Fine Arts Center at Salem College. The performance is free and open to the public; no ticket is required.
The competition and winners recitals will take place on Saturday, Jan. 28, and are free and open to the public; no ticket is required. (Last year, the competition and winners recital were closed to the public because of COVID-19.)
This year, the competition has expanded to include two divisions: intermediate and advanced. Six organists will compete in the Intermediate Division, which is from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Shirley Recital Hall, Elberson Fine Arts Center at Salem College. Four organists will compete in the Advanced Division, which is from noon to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 3 p.m. in Hanes Auditorium, Elberson Fine Arts Center at Salem College. The winners recitals (one for each division, performed consecutively) will begin at 4 p.m. in Shirley Recital Hall.
Prizes for the Advanced Division of the competition include the Thomas S. Kenan III First Prize of $2,000 or one year of in-state tuition to UNCSA; second prize of $1,000, sponsored by the Piedmont NC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (and a $3,000 scholarship to UNCSA upon matriculation); third prize of $500; and the John and Margaret Mueller Hymn Prize of $350.
Prizes for the Intermediate Division include a first prize of $500, sponsored by the Piedmont NC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists; second prize of $250; third prize of $150; and a Hymn Prize of $100 in honor of Margaret Sandresky, faculty emerita of Salem College and founding faculty member of the UNCSA organ department.
All prizewinners will also receive a special gift: a volume of the complete works of J.S. Bach published by Leupold Editions, compliments of the publisher.
The Organ Festival and Competition is co-sponsored by UNCSA, Salem College, and the Piedmont NC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
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January 20, 2023