Young Organists’ Competition Update

With just a fortnight till the Competition. thanks to organiser Alex West for this update.

Image from Yello Studio

As a final flourish of our Music & Heritage Festival, celebrating 150 years of the legacy of Exeter philanthropist John Dinham, we are holding a competition for young organists at St Michael’s at 7.30pm on Monday 14th July, first publicised back in March. We are delighted to announce that nine people have entered the competition.

Advanced category:- Ralf Ayling-Millar, 19, Devon; Rory Moules, 18, Somerset; Jack Oades, 19, Devon.

Open category:- Joseph Gooddy, 17, Devon; Josh Hughes, 15, Cornwall; Laurie Kirkcaldy, 18, Devon; Eleanor Little, 16, Somerset; Nick Tall, 16, Devon; Katherine Whitcher, 11, Somerset.

The contestants will each play for 15 minutes (Advanced) or 10 minutes (Open) in an open, public event that will last around two hours. The judges of the competition are:-

Andrew Daldorph FRCO, director of East Devon Choral Society and Exeter Chamber Choir

Neil Page ARCM, LRAM, Director of Music at St Michael’s, and St Boniface, Sarasota, Florida, USA

Jonathan Watts, artistic director of Devon Baroque, Music Director of Devon Opera and Dartington Community Choir

We thank the judges and the contestants for taking part in this event, which promises to offer a rich variety of music for the organ, and which it is hoped will prove an exciting and memorable experience for participants and audience alike.

Photo by RichardBarnes

The winners of the respective categories will each be offered a date in the St Michael’s Recital Series as part of their prize. It is intended that the new HLF funded St Michael’s instrument (click that link for specification and brief history) should be used for the benefit of all, but especially by young musicians and for the advancement of the organ in musical education.

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank again our sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible:

Exeter Festival Chorus

Exeter Festival Chorus

“EFC has a reputation as one of the liveliest and most adventurous choirs in the South West. Our programmes aim to offer a stimulating mix of works from the established choral repertoire together with music from the less well-known and the contemporary choral scene. Our repertoire ranges from renaissance to present-day choral music and covers a variety of genres.”



“Exeter School is an independent day school for boys and girls aged 7-18 set in beautiful grounds in the heart of Exeter. With our newly refurbished music school, 500 individual instrumental music lessons each week and over 30 choirs, ensembles and orchestras, music flourishes at Exeter School. Well-established pastoral care systems and excellent teaching enable us to get the best out of our pupils; our balanced programme of subjects, cultural pursuits and outdoor activities is designed to challenge and inspire our young people.”