I just heard from former organ student Joey Fala, and am super-proud to announce that he took second place in the Region I and II Regional Competition for Young Organists! Although he was a teeny bit disappointed that he didn’t place first, I think it is remarkable that he went up against students from Juilliard, Eastman and Oberlin! (The candidate from Juilliard took first place, so Joey still won over students from Eastman and Oberlin. Joey said, “Just so you know, I placed second today. Of course, not what I had hoped, but still happy and grateful for the experience!”
Regions I and II are soon going to be combined and include AGO members in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, northern New Jersey, Argentina and Europe! So the fact that he came in second place from this diverse and wide region is amazing and truly to his credit.
And thanks to the generosity of Michael Quimby, first prize winners are awarded $1,000 and second prize winners are awarded $500.
I explained to Joey that judging an organ competition is extremely subjective and with a 100-point scale (and a maximum 400 points for the four pieces), anything is possible. I remember that in our Region IX competition, there was only four points separating the first and second place winners.
The competition was held on the Austin organ at Center Church, Hartford, and the judges included Thomas Murray and Isabelle Demers, both of whom have played recitals in Hawaii. In fact, both of them have been our houseguests! There was a party after the competition with judges and contestants and Joey said that Tom Murray “has an incredible memory and was telling me all about the time he stayed with you folks!”
Congratulations, Joey! We are so proud of you!