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Dordt College News

Horton sole prizewinner in organ competition

November 22, 2005

Robert Horton, Assistant Professor of Music at Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA, was awarded a $15,000 cash prize in the First Jordan Competition for Solo Organ Playing, held Nov. 6-10 in Legacy Hall at Columbus State University. Rob Horton

Dr. Horton was one of five candidates awarded the privilege to participate in the competition from an international field of 41 applicants. Horton participated in two rounds of live competition with organists Christian Lane, Andrew Kotylo, Isabelle Demers and Daniel Sullivan. Each competitor had broad freedom to construct recital programs that would showcase both their own talents as well as the grand instrument built in 2001 by the Canadian organ builder, Fernand Létourneau.

After the final round on November 10, distinguished scholars Marie-Claire Alain (Paris), James-David Christie (Boston) and Stephan Engels (Leipzig) deliberated for thirty minutes before delivering their results. The jury elected to withhold both first and third prizes, conferring only Horton with second prize and the corresponding cash award.

“The jurors had a definite sense of what they wanted to hear,” commented Horton, “…I was a little off my game that night and can’t fault them for withholding the gold.”

As prizewinner, Dr. Horton performed a solo recital on Sunday, November 13, during CSU’s Festival Jehan Alain.

The competition is named for the late G. Gunby Jordan II, a dedicated leader of the Columbus, GA, community whose generous philanthropy continues to provide for organ and opera programming at Columbus State University. The Jordan Competition offers the largest prize of any organ competition in the world and will take place every four years.

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