The William C. Hall Pipe Organ Competition turns 42
Saturday, March 2, undergraduate and graduate organists will compete for the 42nd annual Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio. This year there are a record number of entrants, something unusual for the competition, since sometimes they are unsure of whether or not they will get the minimum of five competitors!
David Heller is chief consultant and advisor for the competition. He says there are a number of factors for having such a great turnout for contestants this year, mostly due to so many great organ studios across the state. "The University of North Texas up in Denton, SMU, Baylor, two great schools in Houston with Rice and UH, plus UT Austin and it is no wonder we have students interested."
Two divisions will separate the 17 organists in this year's competition, undergraduate and graduate; both with play a selection of Bach, hymns, and a piece of their choice. The performances are open to the public and will start Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
From a pedagogical standpoint, the competition is really something that can give the teacher and student a goal to be working toward within their degree program. But also the recognition that one gets from actually winning, placing within the competition that helps them to maybe get a leg up out there in the professional world.
There will also be a concert on Monday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. featuring James O'Donnell at the Margarite Parker Chapel, on the campus of Trinity University.