The 2016 edition of the OSM Manulife Competition took place last week. This year's categories were strings and organ, for which the semi-final string rounds took place in Tanna Schulich Hall at the Schulich School of Music. The semifinals for organ took place in the Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste and the finals in the Maison symphonique de Montréal at the Grand-Orgue-Pierre-Béique. There were a total of 21 semi-finalists in the two categories, of which current students Rashaan Allwood and Joel Peters, along with alumni Stephen Boda, ArtDip'15; and MMus'14; Donald Hunt, BMus'07 and MMus'09; Byungchan Lee, BMus’15 and ArtDip’16 took part.
Rashaan Allwood, a student of Professor Hans-Ola Ericsson, was awarded first prize in the organ category. His prize included a cash award of $10,000; the Jacqueline Desmarais Prize: A professional video recording on the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique; the Canadian International Organ Competition Prize: A recital in the series The Organ Takes Its Place, presented at some point in 2017; the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal prize: A recital in 2017; the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre in Geneva Prize: A recital in the series Les Concerts de la Cathédral; The Royal Canadian College of Organists – (Calgary) Prize: A concert during the 2017 season and the Schulich School of Music Prize: a scholarship covering complete tuition for a program of performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music.
Joel Peters, also from the class of Hans-Ola Ericsson, received third prize in the organ category. His prize included a cash award of $2500. He also received the prize for the best performance of the Canadian work: $2,500 grant offered by Ms. Juliana Pleines; the Stingray Rising Stars Award: Public’s Choice $2,500 grant offered to the contestant who received the most votes live on the Web and at Maison symphonique during the finals on November 26, 2016; and the Orford Music Prize: A scholarship covering tuition and accommodations for a two week music session at Orford Music in 2017.
“I am indeed very proud of both my organ students. Rashaan and Joel both show that hard work and talent, coupled with great determination can lead to success," said Prof. Ericsson. "The organ program at Schulich provides talented organists and church musicians with an opportunity to hone their artistry and skills."