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National Organ Competition

Concours national

2021 National Organ Competition Results

There was an extremely high level of playing in this year's Competition and we are so pleased to announce:

1st: Manuel Piazza - Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Prize

2nd: Tyler Boehmer - Paul Murray Prize

3rd: Samuel Lee - Muriel Gidley Stafford Prize

Please see biographies below.

Résultats du Concours national 2021

Le niveau était extrêmement élevé cette année, et nous avons le plaisir d’annoncer les résultats suivants :

1er : Manuel Piazza – Prix commémoratif Godfrey Hewitt

2e : Tyler Boehmer – Prix Paul Murray

3e : Samuel Lee – Prix Muriel Gidley Stafford

Voir plus bas pour les biographies.

We acknowledge and sincerely thank the donors of the three prizes, and we are deeply grateful to the many generous donors of the National Organ Competition Fundraiser who helped to make this year's competition possible. We are thrilled to have reached our fundraising goal for this unique competition that took place both on site and virtually.

We would like to thank the five jurors for the semi-final and final rounds: Michael Bloss, Isabelle Demers, David Enlow, John Laing and Patricia Wright. Special thanks also to John Laing for composing the required piece for the final round: Our Hope for a Better Tomorrow: Fantasia for Organ. Please click here to read the composer's note on this work and view an excerpt of the piece.

We are grateful to the Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church and Central Presbyterian Church in Hamilton for the use of their instruments and facilities for this Competition as well as the organists and churches who provided practice time and to Patrick Carter for driving the competitors to venues.

Thanks are also due to the video team under the direction of Adrian Foster; to the Organ Festival Canada Steering Committee; Zachary Windus who liaised so wonderfully with the committee and worked overtime; and to the members of the Competition Committee: Co-Chairs Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger, Thomas Leslie, David Simon and Zachary Windus. 

Nous tenons à exprimer notre sincère reconnaissance et gratitude envers les donateurs de ces trois prix, et à remercier chaleureusement les nombreux et généreux donateurs de la collecte de fonds du Concours national, qui ont contribué à rendre possible le concours de cette année. Nous sommes ravis d’avoir atteint nos objectifs de collecte de fonds pour cette édition unique du concours qui s’est tenu à la fois sur place et en ligne.

Nous souhaitons remercier nos cinq jurys pour la demi-finale et la finale : Michael Bloss, Isabelle Demers, David Enlow, John Laing et Patricia Wright. Nous remercions particulièrement John Laing pour la composition de la pièce imposée de la finale : Our Hope for a Better Tomorrow: Fantasia for Organ. Cliquer ici pour lire la note du compositeur sur sa pièce et voir un extrait de la partition.

Nous sommes reconnaissants envers la Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church et la Central Presbyterian Church de Hamilton pour nous avoir permis d’utiliser leurs instruments et leurs locaux pendant cette édition du concours, ainsi qu’envers les organistes et les églises ayant permis aux candidats de s’exercer, et envers Patrick Carter, qui a conduit les candidats à leur lieu de concours.

Nous souhaitons également remercier l’équipe vidéo sous la direction d’Adrian Foster ; le Comité de pilotage du Festival d’orgue du Canada ; Zachary Windus qui a assuré une merveilleuse liaison avec le comité et a fait de nombreuses heures supplémentaires ; et les membres du Comité du concours : les Co-présidents Marnie Giesbrecht et Joachim Segger, Thomas Leslie, David Simon et Zachary Windus.

Manuel Giovanni Piazza is a graduate organ student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in New Haven, Connecticut, where he studies with Martin Jean and serves as junior organ scholar at Trinity Church on the Green. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he attended St. Michael's Choir School and the University of Toronto, graduating with a BMus in Organ Performance and studying with John Tuttle. While in Toronto, he served as a choir director and organist at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, organ scholar at Trinity College (University of Toronto), organ scholar at St. James' Anglican Cathedral, and one of the five organists of St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. From September 2019 to July 2020, he was organ scholar at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall (UK).

Tyler Boehmer carries much promise as a future organ virtuoso, with international acclaim for his keyboard abilities, His principal teachers include Dr. Don Cook (Brigham Young University), Dr. James Higdon (University of Kansas), and Professor Edoardo Bellotti (Hochschule für Künste, Bremen, Germany). He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas.

Boehmer has quickly begun to distinguish himself as a rising star. Recent solo performances have taken him to five cities throughout Russia, the Washington National Cathedral, and the 2016 AGO Houston Convention, as well as cities throughout Germany and the western United States. He has also been active in many national and international competitions. Recent accolades include first prize in the 2019 Miami International Organ Competition, third prize at the 2019 Shanghai International Organ Competition, second prize in the 2018 Sydney International Organ Competition, and the diploma prize in the 2017 Tariverdiev International Organ Competition. In addition, he has also competed as a quarter-finalist in the 2019 Rheinberger International Organ Competition (chosen from more than 100 applicants), the 2019 St. Albans International Organ Competition, the 2018 Grand Prix de Chartres International Organ Competition, and the 2017 Canadian International Organ Competition. He continues to set a high standard of excellence in his performances, and has been described as “consistently good and expressive” (John Karl Hirten, MM), and “accurate, musical, controlled, with good attention to detail” (Dr. John Longhurst, Tabernacle Organist Emeritus).

Until September 2020, Boehmer also worked as the Director of Music for Leavenworth First United Methodist Church, where he rehearsed and conducted the Sanctuary Choir and the three handbell ensembles. In the future, he plans to become a university professor.

Samuel Lee began his organ study with Ms. Karen Holmes with a study scholarship awarded in 2011 by the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In 2017, Samuel took up the role of Organ Scholar at St. Martin’s Anglican Church, under the mentorship of Mr. Dave Dawson, Choir Director and Organist. Upon completing the FRCCO diploma in 2018, Samuel won the Healey Willan Prize for the highest marks in Canada and the Heather Spry Prize for the highest marks in the written section of the examination. In 2020, Samuel has successfully finished a Masters degree in Organ Performance and Church Music at McGill University with Hans-Ola Ericsson and Christian Lane. Presently, he is pursuing a Doctorate degree in Organ Performance with Hans-Ola Ericsson and Jonathan Oldengarm. Samuel is a two-time recipient of the Graduate Excellence Fellowship scholarship awarded by McGill University for both levels of graduate studies.

National Organ Competition Fundraiser Reaches Goal!

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we have met our fundraising goal of $25,000 in support of the National Organ Competition! A special note of thanks to our leading donors: the Berriman Bailey Foundation, and Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger.

We recently completed filming the semi-final and final rounds of the Competition at Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church and Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, with the support of the Organ Festival Canada Steering Committee and the Canadian International Organ Competition production team.  Please be sure to tune in to watch the performances on August 8 and 12, 2021 during Organ Festival Canada.

The College has many other exciting projects in the pipeline, so if you had intended to make a donation in support of the Competition but didn’t quite get around to it, please feel free to get in touch to discuss other giving opportunities in support of College programming.

Thank you!

La collecte de fonds pour le Concours national d’orgue atteint ses objectifs !

Grâce au soutien généreux de nos donateurs, nous avons atteint notre objectif de collecte de $25,000 en soutien du Concours national d’orgue ! Remerciements spécials à nos donateurs principaux : la Fondation Berriman Bailey, ainsi que Marnie Giesbrecht et Joachim Segger.

Nous avons récemment terminé de filmer la demi-finale et la finale du Concours à la Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church et à la Central Presbyterian Church de Hamilton, avec le soutien du Comité de pilotage du Festival d’orgue du Canada et l’équipe de production du Concours international d’orgue du Canada. Ne manquez pas la transmission des concerts le 8 et le 12 août 2021, pendant le Festival d’orgue du Canada.

Le Collège a beaucoup d’autres projets passionnants dans les tuyaux ! Si vous aviez prévu de faire un don pour soutenir le Concours mais n’y êtes pas parvenus à temps, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour parler des autres possibilités de financement en soutien des programmes du Collège.

Merci à vous !

About The National Organ Competition

The National Organ Playing Competition is held in odd numbered years coincident with Organ Festival Canada to encourage and reward a high standard of organ playing.

The competition is open to Canadian organists, permanent residents and non-Canadian organists studying toward a degree or diploma in Canada, who are under the age of 30 and are members of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Previous first prize winners are not eligible.

The 2023 National Organ Competition is being held in Toronto, ON.

À propos du concours national

Le concours national d'orgue du CRCO se tient les années impaires au moment du

Festival d'orgue du Canada. Il promeut et récompense l'excellence en jeu d'orgue.

Le concours est ouvert aux organistes canadiens, aux résidents permanents et aux organistes non canadiens étudiant et préparant un diplôme au Canada, il est réservé aux candidats de moins de 30 ans membres du CRCO. Les détenteurs d'un premier prix d'une édition précédente ne peuvent pas se représenter.

L’édition 2023 du CNO se tiendra à Toronto, ON.

2021 Preliminary Round Jury

Jury du tour préliminaire 2021

Maxine Thevenot

Click here for bio.

Maxine Thevenot

Cliquez ici pour la bio.

Michael Unger

Click here for bio.

2021 Final Round Jury

Jury de la finale 2021

Michael Bloss

Click here for bio.

Isabelle Demers

Isabelle Demers

Previous winners:


1st  - David Simon
2nd - Jocelyn Lafond
3rd - Alexander Ross

1st - Jason Biel
2nd - Helen Tucker
3rd - Emmanuel Bernier

1st - Stephen Boda
2nd - Helen Tucker
3rd - Sarah Svendsen

1st - Shawn Potter
2nd - Rachel Mahon
3rd - Stephen Boda

1st - Aaron James
2nd - Sarah Svendsen
3rd - Stephen Boda

1st - Aaron Tan
2nd - Matthew Coons
3rd - Kevin Dill

1st - Ryan Enright
2nd - Aaron Tan
3rd - Philip Chow

1st - Ryan Jackson
2nd - Ryan Enright
3rd - Isabelle Demers

1st - Andrew Henderson
2nd - Gary Tong
3rd - Geoff Ward

Précédents lauréats :

1er - Jason Biel
2e - Helen Tucker
3e - Emmanuel Bernier

1er - Stephen Boda
2e - Helen Tucker
3e - Sarah Svendsen

1er - Shawn Potter
2e - Rachel Mahon
3e - Stephen Boda

1er - Aaron James
2e - Sarah Svendsen
3e - Stephen Boda

1er - Aaron Tan
2e - Matthew Coons
3e - Kevin Dill

1er - Ryan Enright
2e - Aaron Tan
3e - Philip Chow

1er - Ryan Jackson
2e - Ryan Enright
3e - Isabelle Demers

1er - Andrew Henderson
2e - Gary Tong
3e - Geoff Ward


The Royal Canadian College of Organists

201-720 Bathurst St

Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Phone: 416.929.6400
Email: info[at]rcco.ca

The Royal Canadian College of Organists

201-720 Bathurst St

Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Téléphone : 416.929.6400
Courriel : info[

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