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News from the Hilltop

March 19, 2008

Birmingham-Southern students win organ competition awards

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Four Birmingham-Southern College organ students are winners of organ competitions, including a regional competition. All four students are taught by BSC Professor of Music James Cook.

Senior Patrick Scott tied for first place in the Clarence Dickinson Festival at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss. Scott, a music performance major from Picayune, Miss., was a winner in the advanced division of the competition. The festival, in its second year, is an organ competition sponsored by the Winters School of Music at William Carey. It is intended to encourage students to play and study the organ. Winners will share a concert next year at the First Trinity Presbyterian Concert Series in Laurel, Miss.

Scott and BSC senior Richard Byrd were jointly awarded the Myrtle Jones Steele Scholarship through a competition sponsored by the Birmingham chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The scholarship is named for the late patron of the arts in Birmingham and a benefactor of the BSC music department. Byrd is a church music major from Mountain Brook.

BSC sophomore Kenny Lewis, a music major from Mount Olive, received the Minnie McNeil Carr Scholarship, for the second consecutive year. This award is named for the first organist of Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham who taught organ students in the Birmingham Conservatory of Music for many years.

David Talley IV, a junior music performance major from Pleasant Grove, received the only scholarship award to an organ student by the Birmingham Music Club this year. The annual competition is open to all undergraduate students at Alabama institutions of higher learning with music departments accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Talley's award for his achievement among undergraduate organists makes the third consecutive year he has been recognized by the organization.

Talley also won the southeast regional competition for young artists sponsored by the National Association of Negro Musicians. The competition was held recently at Brainerd United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. As winner of the competition, he will compete at the national level in Houston, Texas on March 29.

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