Lawrence Student Organist Wins Regional Competition

Lawrence University senior Alexis VanZalen earned first-place honors at the recent Young Artists Organ regional competition conducted at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn.

Alexis VanZalen '13

The biennial regional competition is co-sponsored by the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Schubert Club of St. Paul.

This was the second straight time a Lawrence student has won the organ competition. Daniel O’Connor earned first-place honors when it was last held in 2010.

VanZalen, a double degree candidate majoring in organ performance and history from Holland, Mich., received $2,000 for her winning performance. Her 25-minute audition included J.S. Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541,” French composer Jehan Alain’s ” Variations sur un thème Theme de Clément Jannequin,” Basil Harwood’s  “Allegro appassionato, from Organ Sonata No. 1 in C# minor, Op. 5” and Benjamin Britten’s “Hymn of St. Columba.”

In 2011, VanZalen earned second-place honors in the Wisconsin National Federation of Music Clubs’ Biennial Student/Collegiate Competition.  She is a student of university organist Kathrine Handford.

The Young Artists Organ competition was open to organists under the age of 24 who reside in or attend school in the 10-state region that includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, eastern Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Founded in 1896, the American Guild of Organists is an educational and service organization that strives to advance organ and choral music, elevate the status of church musicians and maintain standards of artistic excellence among organists and choral conductors.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.