WWC organ student
wins prestigious regional competition
By: Kristi Spurgeon
Bethany Miller, a junior music performance major at Walla Walla College, took first place at the American Guild of Organists Region VIII competition in Billings, Mont.
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The Regional Competition for Young Organists is held every other year. Qualifying was a yearlong process and included winning the Spokane AGO chapter competition last February.
A Kyoto, Japan native, Miller has been studying organ with Kraig Scott, professor of organ, harpsichord, and music history at WWC, for two years. “I chose Walla Walla College mainly because I recognized Dr. Scott as being both an amazing teacher and wonderful musician,” Miller says. “The biology department is also quite good, although I ended up dropping that major to focus more on my music.”
Miller received a $1,000 prize for winning the regional competition, as well as several recital invitations around the Northwest. In addition, as a regional winner Miller will play a 30-minute recital at the National AGO Convention held in Chicago next July. “I am greatly looking forward to playing at the national convention. I met one of the other regional winners this summer and am curious to hear the rest,” Miller says.
The American Guild of Organists is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. The Guild serves nearly 350 chapters throughout the United States, Europe, Korea, and Argentina. Its purpose is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, and encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music.