The final round of the 2018 Taylor Organ Competition was held April 21 at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta, Georgia. Five finalists performed for judges Lynne Davis, Isabelle Demers, and Todd Wilson. Repertoire included the premier of the commissioned work, La Danza, by Pamela Decker.
First prize ($10,000) was awarded to Chase Loomer, a student at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York. Second prize ($5,000) was awarded to Benjamin Kerswell a student at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. The other finalists were Meg Cutting, Jeremy Jelinek (a member of The Diapason’s 20 Under 30 Class of 2017), and Jiaqi Shao, all Eastman School of Music students.
The triennial Taylor Organ Competition is sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists through a bequest in 2006 from chapter member Elizabeth Abbott Taylor. Preliminary round judges were Marilyn Keiser, Charles Tompkins, and Michael Velting. Co-chairs of the 2018 competition were Raymond Chenault and Timothy Wissler. For information: www.taylororgancompetition.com.
The 2018 Taylor Organ Competition: front row, left to right: Isabelle Demers, Jiaqi Shao, Pamela Decker, Meg Cutting, Lynne Davis; back row, left to right: Benjamin Kerswell, Jeremy Jelinek, Chase Loomer, Todd Wilson (photo credit: Nicole Marane)