The National Competition in Organ Improvisation seeks to further the art of improvisation by recognizing and rewarding superior performance in the field. A flourishing tradition of improvisation is fundamental to a truly vital musical culture.
The semifinal NCOI round took place in Montreal, Quebec Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. This round was held in conjunction with the 2017 Northeast Regional Convention where three finalists were selected. Robert Horton, Douglas Murray and Kalle Toivio will compete at the Finals Round to be held in conjunction with the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral on Tuesday, July 3 from 9 AM to 12 PM.
The American Guild of Organists promotes the highest level of organ performance through its National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. The Competition is intended to serve as a springboard for emerging organists to develop their performance ability by participating in the various demanding stages of this Competition. Underwriting of expenses is provided in part by the Nita Akin Competition Fund. The 2018 Official Rules were published in the March 2017 issue of The American Organist Magazine.
The Semifinal Round comprised of nine competitors will be held in Wichita, Kansas on the campus of Wichita State University on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The five finalists will be announced after the trip back to Kansas City. The Final Round will be held in conjunction with the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City on Monday, July 2 from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM at Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, Kansas. The first place winner of this competition will play a prelude to the Te Deum Ensemble program at Village Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 5 at 1:30 pm. The winner will also be a featured performer at the 2020 AGO National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists
The seven Rising Stars performers are all first place winners from the seven AGO regions. Each one has already competed for the opportunity to play at the Kansas City 2018 AGO National Convention during competitions at the seven Regional Conventions in the summer of 2017 after winning chapter level competitions. All are under the age of 24.
The 2017 RCYO first place winners will perform at the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday, July 5 from 3:30 – 7:00 PM at the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri during the Pipedreams Live!® With Michael Barone and the Rising Stars performance. These Rising Stars are: Ben Kerswell,
Bruce Xu, Clara Gerdes, Collin Miller, Dominic Pang, Jiaqi Shao and Matthew Bickett .