Student Competition

Saturday, March 9, 2019

St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church

17205 County Rd 6

Plymouth, Minnesota

Please see the Student Scholarship Competition details (PDF) for repertoire requirements and instructions on the application process.

Results of the 2018 Student Competition

Congratulations to the 2018 student competition winners!

First Prize: Audrey Pickering
Kansas State University (student of Dr. David Pickering)

Multifaceted musician Audrey Pickering is a freshman at Kansas State University majoring inorgan performance studying with her father, David Pickering. She also studies cello with David Littrell and piano with Agustin Muriago. Audrey has competed as a prizewinner in organ competitions sponsored by the Columbia, South Carolina Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Guild’s Regional Competition for Young Organists. Audrey also attended three Pipe Organ Encounters during her high school years, where she had the opportunity to study with Stefan Engels, Christian Lane, Kimberly Marshall, and Melody Steed.

Audrey has served as an organist for the Manhattan First Ward congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in addition to her work as a substitute for other area churches. A three-time member of the Kansas All-State Orchestra, Audrey has performed as a cellist in a variety of ensembles and orchestras, including the Gold Orchestra, a regional youth orchestra headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas. Her work as a pianist has encompassed both solo and accompaniment work on a variety of levels and settings. In her free time, she enjoys roller coasters and reading.

Second prize: Michael Caraher
St. Olaf College (student of Dr. Cathy Rodland)

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michael Terry Caraher, is a sophomore at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. An organ student of Dr. Catherine Rodland, he is currently pursuing his B.M. in Church Music with an organ emphasis, as well as a B.A. in American Studies. Before coming to St. Olaf, Michael attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan as an organ major and was a student of Thomas Bara. Michael started playing the organ in the fourth grade under Dr. Susan Jane Matthews, who was also his choir director since the second grade. Raised in the Anglican Choral Tradition, Michael was the twelfth person in the United States to receive the RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) Gold Award in 2011. During the summer between his sophomore and junior years at Interlochen, Michael served as the Intern Summer Organist at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, under the Cannon Director of Music, Benjamin Bachman. At St. Olaf, Michael sings in the St. Olaf Cantorei under the direction of James Bobb and studies voice with Dr. Anton Armstrong. When not practicing or studying, Michael can be found with his friends around campus or in the Twin Cities.

The competition judges were Dr. Jim Callahan, Dr. Jungjoo Park and Tom Ferry.

2018 Student Scholarship Competition

General information and repertoire requirements (PDF)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Augustana Lutheran Church
1400 Robert St S
West St Paul, Minnesota

1ST PRIZE: $2,000 - provided by the Schubert Club

2ND PRIZE: $1,000 - provided by Phil Asgian, TCAGO member


Glatter-Götz/Rosales 2005, 2 manuals, 39 stops, mechanical key action, electric stop action

Link to the stop list:


The competition is open to organists under 24 years of age as of August 1, 2018.

Competitors must reside (either home or school) in the North Central Region (formerly known as Region VI): Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Previous First Prize winners are not eligible to compete in this competition.


A completed official registration form, registration fee of $50 made payable to TCAGO and an official proof of age must be sent to the competition coordinator and postmarked no later than Monday January 29, 2018. See the rules and registration form (both as PDFs), below.


  1. A prelude and fugue OR two contrasting movements of a Trio Sonata by J.S. Bach. BWV 582 is acceptable; BWV 553-560 and 572 are not acceptable.
  2. A work by a composer born between 1800 and 1890 (a single movement of a larger work is acceptable).
  3. A work by a composer born after 1890 (a single movement of a larger work is acceptable.) The works in categories 2 and 3 must be contrasting in mood.
  4. Hymn (choose one):

Ein feste Burg

Lasst uns erfreuen

Lobe den Herren

The competitor will introduce the hymn and play two stanzas as if accompanying a congregation. One stanza must be played in a standard four-part setting. Published or improvised arrangements may be used for the introduction and/or other stanza.

The registration deadline is Monday, January 29, 2018

To register, you will need to print out:

2018 Student Competition Rules

Registration Form

For more information contact:

Dr. Mary Newton, Competition Coordinator

3930 Lancaster Lane, #220

Plymouth, MN 55441

Cell: 612-581-3106


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