The 25th Anniversary of our competition for high school students attracted a very talented pool of applicants. Many thanks to you, the congregation of Storrs Congregational Church, for your ongoing support of this competition that’s co-sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. It’s inspiring to see there are young students passionate about the organ and careers in church music. Our finalists this year hailed from Ohio, New Hampshire and New York. We had a stellar jury with Christian Lane of Harvard University, Christa Rakich, and Katelyn Emerson, our 2010 competition winner.
First prize went to Reilly Xu, a 15 years old sophomore at Juilliard Pre-College. Reilly serves as organist of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chester, NY. Last year he played a series of recitals at the church of St. John the Evangelist in Newport, RI and also played a solo recital at the West Point Cadet Chapel. It was a close decision for the judges. Second place and the audience prize went to Marshall Joos, a freshman from New Hampshire who has played recitals at Methuen Music Hall, MA and the Kotschmar organ in Portland, ME, both venues well known for their organ series.
Our SCC Ringers participated in the biennial Handbell Festival at St. Mary’s, Willimantic with Glastonbury Congregational and Simsbury United Methodist churches. This serves as a fundraiser to help with judges’ honoraria. Many thanks to our bell players for their hard work preparing and for their help moving the gear (tables, bell cases, director’s podium). It’s not something to be undertaken lightly, but they did a great job and had fun. Thank you bells!
There was a lovely reception afterward organized by Pam Roberts of Church Life and Liz Cowles, an indefatigable former music board chair. Many thanks to all who helped behind the scenes. We couldn’t pull this off without you.