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Important Dates
February 14, 2017
By: DataManager
A new page has been added to the website listing important dates and deadlines for upcoming...
2017 National Organ Playing Competition
January 24, 2017
By: Lorne Swan
Complete information on the competition is now available on the website in the Competitions...


To encourage and reward a high standard of organ playing, the College holds playing competitions. Every two years the National Competition takes place, coincident with the annual College Festival. In addition, some Centres organise local Competitions.

The next National competition will be held June 29 and July 1, 2017 in Montréal. The 2017 competition is open to organists born on or after January 1st 1987. Entries are invited from Canadian organists, and non-Canadian organists studying toward a degree or diploma in Canada. Entrants must be members of the RCCO or joint members with the AGO. Previous first prize winners are not eligible.

Rules and regulations (including repertoire lists) are available here and Application Form is here.  Note that the deadline for applications is March 10, 2017.

The results of the 2015 National Competition are:

First prize - Steven Boda

Second prize - Helen Tucker

Third prize - Sarah Svendsen

For more information on each of the finalists, click on their name.


Stephen Boda holds a M.Mus. degree from Yale University and a diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied organ performance with Thomas Murray and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. Originally from Ontario, Stephen graduated in 2011 with a B.Mus. degree from the University of Toronto where he studied organ with John Tuttle. Stephen recently finished his studies in organ performance at McGill University with Hans-Ola Ericsson, and is also a skilled pianist, having studied privately with Valerie Tryon. Winner of the 2014 Osborne Organ Competition at the Summer Institute of Church Music, Stephen has received a number of awards, including the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship through the RCCO, the Robert Baker Scholarship through Yale University, the Schulich Scholarship through McGill University and the Arthur Redsell Scholarship through the University of Toronto. Stephen is currently the Principal Organist at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto, Ontario. He held previous organist positions in Toronto at Grace Church on-the-Hill and St. Paul’s Bloor Street, St. John the Evangelist in Hamilton, Ontario, and Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, Connecticut. He is active as a recitalist and performer an Canada and the United States. He is the Grand Prize Winner of the RCCO’s 2015 National Organ- Playing Competition.


Helen Tucker

Helen Tucker holds a M.Mus. degree from McGill University, where she studied organ with Hans-Ola Ericsson and improvisation with William Porter. Originally from Sackville, New Brunswick, she completed a Bachelor’s degree at Mount Allison University in 2013, where she studied organ with Dr. Gayle h. Martin, as well as composition and musicology. Helen has participated in masterclasses with Olivier Latry, Ton Koopman, Harald Vogel, Jean-Claude Zehnder, and James David Christie. She has received several research awards, including a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from SSHRC (2013), as well as a J.E.A. Crake Student Fellowship from Mount Allison University (2012). Helen is currently serving as organ scholar at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Montreal, as well as chapel organist at the Presbyterian College at McGill. From 2010–2013 she was Director of Music for St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Sackville, New Brunswick. In July 2015 Helen was awarded 2nd prize at the RCCO National Organ Playing Competition in Winnipeg, Manitoba.



Sarah SvendsenSarah Svendsen was born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, is now based in Toronto, and will begin a DMA in Organ Performance at the University of Toronto, in September 2015 under Dr. Patricia Wright. Sarah holds a M.Mus. degree in organ from the Yale School of Music where she studied with Professor Thomas Murray; she also completed the Church Music Diploma of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. In 2013/14, she was the organist for Battell Chapel, Yale University Church. While earning her B.Mus. in organ performance from the University of Toronto, she was the assistant at Toronto's Metropolitan United Church. Sarah is currently an active member of the RCCO’s National Strategic Planning Committee and its National Communication Committee. A busy performer, some of Sarah's most recent engagements have included the 2015 St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Concert Series, Pittsburgh, PA, the 2014 Truro Cathedral Lunchtime Concert Series in the U.K., the 2012 Stratford Summer Music Festival in Canada, and the 2012 Copenhagen International Organ Festival. In October of 2014 Sarah recorded for the Canadian Broadcasting Company's YouTube channel as part of a special release for Halloween. Along with fellow Canadian organist Rachel Mahon, Sarah is a co-founder of and performer in Organized Crime Duo, an organ duo dedicated to providing audiences with high quality music and performance in a fun and entertaining atmosphere. Sarah won the Third Prize in the RCCO’s 2015 National Organ-Playing Competition.

Previous winners:

1st - Shawn Potter
2ns - Rachel Mahon
3rd - Stephen Boda

1st - Aaron James
2nd - Sarah Svendsen
3rd - Stephen Boda

1st - Aaron Tan
2nd - Matthew Coons
3rd - Kevin Dill

1st - Ryan Enright
2nd - Aaron Tan
3rd - Philip Chow

1st - Ryan Jackson
2nd - Ryan Enright
3rd - Isabelle Demers

1st - Andrew Henderson
2nd - Gary Tong
3rd - Geoff Ward




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