Young Organists’ Competition

Applications now invited up until Sat 7th June (please note change of date).

Image from Yello Studio

With our Heritage Lottery Funded Project to install a large, restored pipe organ at the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Mount Dinham, nearing completion, as one of our celebratory events we are holding a Young Organists’ Competition. Please see below for details.


Young Organists’ Competition

On the evening of Monday 14th July 2014, the church of St Michael and All Angels, Mount Dinham, will be holding a competition for young organists open to all people aged 21 and under.  The event is being held to celebrate the installation of a new pipe organ at St Michael’s, to encourage the playing of the organ by young people, and to raise the profile of the instrument in the Devon musical world.

Who can apply?

Anyone who plays the organ at all, regardless of how long you’ve been playing!   We’ll expect to be hearing people of very wide-ranging abilities, and candidates will be divided into two categories prior to the competition by the judges to allow for a fairer comparison.  At the end of the day, how well you play your repertoire will be considered more important than how technically challenging it is.

The competition will be held as an informal public event on the evening of Monday 14th July.  The contestants will play to a panel of three judges.  There will be an opportunity to hear feedback after the event, but individual performances will not be publicly criticised.  The winners of each category will be announced at the end of the evening.

(In the event of an extremely high number of applications, it may be necessary for heats to be held before the main event, in which case candidates will be notified well in advance.)

How do I apply?

Send in your completed form either by email to, or by post to Flat 5, 2 College Road, Exeter, EX1 1TE.  The deadline for applications is now Sat 7th June 2014.

When you’ve sent in your form, we’ll ask you to make a 3-5 minute recording of your playing and send it to us.  You don’t have to do this, but if you’re able to then it will help us decide which category you should compete in.

A recording sounds complicated, how do I do it?

If you’d like some guidance on how to do this, contact us at and we’ll offer advice.   You won’t be judged on the quality of the recording itself – as long as all the notes are audible, we’ll get a reasonable idea.  If you don’t have a dedicated device, most smartphones now have a device for recording.  You can send the recording by email either as a .wav or .mp3 file.

What will I be asked to do?

You’ll be notified as to which category you’ll be playing in within a week of applying.

If you’re assigned to the ‘Open’ category, you’ll need to choose a small selection of pieces, lasting no more than 10 minutes altogether, including at least one pre-1800 and at least one post-1800 piece.

If you’re assigned to the ‘Advanced’ category, you’ll need to put together a selection of pieces lasting no more than 15 minutes altogether, including:

  • A piece from the German baroque
  • A piece from either the French Romantic, German Romantic schools, or any piece written in the 20th century.

If you’re unsure about whether a piece fits these requirements, contact us at and we’ll be able to offer guidance.  For both categories, it’s fine to play single movements of longer pieces.


Prizes will be awarded to the winners and runners-up of each category as follows:

  First prize Second prize
  • An opportunity to perform in Exeter Cathedral (tailored to candidate)
  • Invitation to give evening recital on the new St Michael’s Church organ
  • £100 worth of Music Room vouchers
  • Two free organ lessons with Cathedral organists Andrew Millington and David Davies
  • £50 worth of Music Room vouchers
  • Invitation to give an evening or lunchtime recital on the new St Michael’s Church organ
  • £50 worth of Music Room vouchers
  • One free organ lesson with Cathedral organist David Davies
  • £25 worth of Music Room vouchers

With thanks to our sponsors.

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.” Visit us at

“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.”

Photo by Richard Barnes