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A Gala Celebration of 20th Century Organ Music

Finals of the 9th National Organ-Playing Competition

A Gala Celebration of 20th Century Organ Music
Saturday, November 8, 1986 James Walker
photo of organ pipes

I was three years out of grad school when the 1986 Ninth Organ-Playing Competition of the Ruth and Clarence Mader Foundation was announced.

The required repertoire was intriguing — all music from the 20th century. All competitors were to learn the new Sonata en trio by Jean Guillou, one of the most technically-demanding works I have every learned. And then there were three other groupings of pieces, from which the competitors could choose the rest of their repertoire.

I remember learning the pieces for a May 1986 faculty recital at Occidental College. With pieces from that recording, I entered the preliminary round of the competition.

That fall, as the final competition drew near, Cherry Rhodes and I talked and came to the prudent conclusion that it would be advantageous for me to have a few coaching sessions with her. The final competition had three finalists perform the repertoire as a formal evening concert at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. It was thrilling to be named First Place Winner.

Date & Time Saturday, November 08, 1986
at 7:00 PM
Location Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 East Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101
OrganAeolian-Skinner Organ, 1961
Event typeorgan recital
Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Awards
  • James Walker, 1st Place
  • Mickey Thomas Terry, 2nd Place
  • Charles A. Sundquist, 3rd Place
  • Judges for the Finals
  • Jean Guillou
  • James Hopkins
  • Leonard Raver
  • Judges for the Preliminary Round
  • Catharine Crozier
  • Norberto Guinaldo
  • Paul Sifler
  • James Walker program
  • Johann Nepomuk DavidChoralwerk no. 31, volume 5: “Wach auf, wach auf, du deutsches Land”
  • Jean GuillouSonata en trio
  • Maurice DurufléSicilienne from Suite, opus 5
  • Calvin HamptonConcerto for Organ Solo
This performance was broadcast on Pipedreams, November 9, 1987.

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