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First Church of Christ | Wethersfield, ConnecticutFriday–Sunday, September 11-13, 2015
The Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival features an annual national competition for young organ students with winners receiving awards to further their music education. The purpose of the Festival is to encourage young organists to enhance the area of organ education - both to support young people studying the organ and to increase general appreciation of organ music of the past and present.
The beautiful and historic First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Connecticut, with its magnificent Austin pipe organ, hosts the unique Festival for young organ students from around the country. These students will have the opportunity to benefit from the experience of recognized judges, compete for monetary awards for their work, advance their resumes, and develop close and lasting bonds with their peers.
The Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival in the Netherlands, founded in 1979 by Dr. Harold Robles, founder and former president of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, enabled many young European organists to become leaders in their field. This U.S. version energizes organ musicianship in North America. Area residents and others in the region greatly enjoy this annual exposure to the finest in organ music and organ playing.
After the application and recording have been received (postmarked by June 8), we will listen to each CD or tape and recommend up to three finalists for the High School Division and up to three finalists for the College/Young Professional Division. Finalists will be notified by July 8, either by phone or letter. For publicity purposes, finalists will be asked to send an original photograph of themselves (color or black-and-white, preferably glossy and at least 3.5 x 5").
September 7 & 8 will be reserved for practice by the finalists from the local vicinity or within commuting distance to Wethersfield. September 9-11 will be reserved for finalists who are from distant locations. All finalists are required to be in Wethersfield by Wednesday, September 9.
Finalists who are not local will be hosted and housed by members of the Wethersfield community. Wethersfield is a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut, and its scenic colonial buildings and friendly community should help make the Festival weekend a memorable one. If you are planning on staying with a host family, we kindly request you respect their hospitality and plan your travel as to arrive before 9 p.m. to facilitate the commute to their home and settling in for the evening.
College / Young Professional Division: First Prize — $3,500 Second Prize — $1,500 Third Prize — $750
High School Division First Prize — $2,000 Second Prize — $1,000 Third Prize — $500
An additional award is being offered for the Most Creative Hymn Playing.
NOTE: Since this Festival takes place in September, it is understood that: Organists who have just graduated from high school in May/June 2015 will, in September, compete in the High School Division. Those young organists already under concert management are not eligible to enter this festival. Applications must be postmarked by June 8.