SOA Young Organists’ Competition


We are pleased to announce two updates to this competition for 2021.

The first is to allow pupils more time to get onto an organ for practice, as we know that many are unable to use their local organs and don't have access to a practice instrument at home. We have therefore decided to delay the entry deadline for this year's competition to Saturday 1st May 2021. This we hope will allow pupils time to get onto an organ for practice.

For those lucky enough to be able to afford or borrow a practice organ to use at home, this has been the year that the digital organ has come into its own, and we are also pleased to announce that Viscount Organs Wales have offered sponsorship both for prizes, and for competition entries. The first five entries at Advanced, and ten entries at Intermediate and Novice, will therefore be free of charge.

Viscount Organs Wales also have a number of digital organs available for loan, and can offer practice facilities at Treorchy, and at Llandaff Cathedral if these are useful to pupils in those areas. For more information on practice organs please contact them via their contact page.


The first competition will take place in May 2021, and will be adjudicated by Professor Stephen Darlington MBE, formerly Organist and Tutor in Music at Christ Church, Oxford. This year's competition will take place online, with competitors submitting video files of their performances, although in future years we intend to run the competition live.

The competition is for any young organists aged eighteen and under, wherever they receive their organ tuition, and has three classes:

Advanced (Grade 8+) - £75 prize sponsored by The Royal College of Organists

Two pieces, contrasting in style and period, lasting not more than twelve minutes.

Intermediate (Grade 6-7) - £50 prize sponsored by Viscount Organs Wales (Chorum 40)

One or two pieces lasting between five and seven minutes

Novice (Grades 1-5) - £25 prize sponsored by Viscount Organs Wales (Chorum 40S)

One piece

Entries should be made on the entry form not later than 1 May 2021. There is a small charge this year to cover administration and prize costs (£10 for Advanced, £5 for Novice and Intermediate - although the first five entries for Advanced, and ten entries for Novice and Intermediate classes are free - see above for details).

Full details, including the rules of the competition and details of how to submit video files, are here.