School of Music

Organ Performance & Sacred Music Studies

The Tenth Annual Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance

February 26-27, 2016

The contact person for the organ competition is Prof. Andrew Scanlon ( 252-328-1261). Please direct any inquiries accordingly. For information on the piano competition, please contact Dr. Kerry Carlin ( 252-752-4749) The East Carolina University Young Artists Competition for Pre-College Organists is an innovative outreach program designed to inspire young musicians in our region to strive for the highest level of musicianship and technical accomplishment in organ performance. The competition is open to any pre-college student in North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. In addition to generous monetary prizes, the competitors will also compete for the two additional prizes in Hymn playing and Bach interpretation. The competition will be staged in two rounds. From the recorded application round three finalists will be chosen to compete live on February 27, 2016. All three will receive prizes and will be considered for the two special prizes mentioned above: The Bach Prize and the Hymn-Playing Prize. Organists chosen for the Final Round arrive for practice on Thursday and/or Friday, and attend the 7:30 p.m. recital by the competition judge, Dr. Paul Weber of Louisville, KY. The organ competition will take place on the following afternoon, on the Perkins and Wells Memorial Organ, C.B. Fisk, Opus 126, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, which borders the ECU campus. The competition will conclude with the awarding of prizes. Competitors and their families are welcome to come early or stay on in Greenville for the purposes of observing lessons and classes in the organ/sacred music area. The organ faculty will also be available to offer organ lessons to competitors following the competition. All recitals, masterclasses, and the competition itself are free and open to the public. Full organ competition details can be found below. Click below for an application and to view the organ specifications:

Download organ competition application (PDF file)


Thursday and/or Friday, February 25-26

Organ finalists practice at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. A schedule will be announced when finalists are determined.

Finalists and/or family members welcome to observe sacred music classes/lessons while in Greenville. Please make arrangements with Prof. Scanlon

Friday, February 26, 7:30 p.m.

Organ Recital by guest artist & adjudicator, Dr. Paul Weber (St. Paul's Episcopal Church). Reception follows in St. Paul's Parish Hall.

Saturday, February 27

9 am-12 pm: Finalists practice at St. Paul's Episcopal Church

12:30-2:30 p.m.: Organ competition followed by awarding or prizes

2:30 p.m.: Reception

Afternoon: Faculty available to teach lessons (by appointment, please contact Prof. Scanlon)

Sunday, February 28

All are welcome to attend services at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (8:00, 9:00, 11:00 a.m.)

All are welcome to attend the 5:00 p.m. service of Choral Evensong-St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Afternoon: Faculty available to teach lessons (by appointment, please contact Prof. Scanlon)

Official Organ Competition Rules 2016

Eligibility: The competition is open to pre-college students between the ages of 13-18 who are residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia or Florida. Current students of the judges and previous first place winners are ineligible to compete.

Competitors must submit three copies of a recording (high quality cassette or compact disc) postmarked no later than January 25, 2016, of the following repertoire for solo organ. The recordings must contain no speaking, and each piece must be continuous and unedited; recordings must not be marked with the name of the competitor.

  1. One work by Johann Sebastian Bach.
  2. One piece composed between 1850-1950 in a Romantic style.
  3. One piece composed after 1950 in a style contrasting with the second work.

Performance from memory is optional.

Total performance time of the repertoire should not exceed forty (40) minutes. Contact Prof. Scanlon with repertoire concerns or questions.

Compositions to be performed at the final round are to be the same as those on the recording with the following addition:

All finalists will be sent a competition hymn packet and should be prepared to play an introduction and designated stanzas of the indicated hymns. Upon arrival, all finalists will be notified of the hymn chosen, and all will play the same hymn on the competition day.

Not more than three persons will be chosen for live competition. Each will receive an equal amount of practice the days before and of the competition. Teachers or other assistants provided by the competitor may help with registration choices and turn pages; however, each competitor must accomplish his or her own registration changes (i.e. piston changes) during the competition. Both the preliminary recorded round and final competition will be judged with complete anonymity and judges' comments will be given to each competitor. Performers must use legal scores. The judge's decisions will be final. The competition will be open to the public.


First prize:The Fisk Prize, donated by C.B. Fisk, Inc, in memory of Charles Brenton Fisk. $1,000.00

Second prize: The ECMAEF Award, donated by East Carolina Musical Arts Education Foundation. $500

Third prize: The American Guild of Organists Prize, donated by the Eastern Carolina Chapter of the AGO. $300

Special prizes:

The Bach Prize: recognizing the outstanding performance of a work by Johann Sebastian Bach

The Hymn Prize: recognizing the day's most outstanding hymn playing.

All finalists will be awarded a compact disc of their performance.

Any contestant who requires an overnight stay in Greenville in order to participate in the competition may access or visit any of the many online hotel booking services.