2019 Young Theatre Organist of the Year

The Musical Museum, Kew Bridge, kindly hosted the competition on Sunday 17th March.  Here we see the Mighty Wurlitzer with Michael Ryder, the Musical Museum Chairman, addressing the audience at the beginning of the competition.
 

 

Our compere this year was Janet Dowsett, who was herself a past YTOY competitor.


We had six entrants for the original competition, and notably all were ladies, namely Lucy Crouch, Isabella Curtis, Lucy Griffiths, Keziah Seal, Katharine Thomas and Freya Vicarey.  In the senior competition we had three competitors, namely Matt Geer, Jamyma Hanson and Will Shaw.

Our judging panel comprised of, left to right, John Mann, Len Rawle MBE and Andy Quin.  They certainly had their work cut out, with a very high standard set by all the competitors. 

 

It is a YTOY tradition that the previous winner of that category is invited to play.  Therefore, after the last of the standard competition entrants had played their set, we were delighted to welcome Robert Eldridge to the console, wearing the YTOY Chain of Office for the last time. 

 

Of course, the first winner of the senior competition in 2017, Aaron Hawthorne, was also invited to play after this years senior competitors.

 

Before the winners were announced, Len Rawle MBE gave his and the judges usual insight into the competition, and offered advice to the competitors, who were eagerly awaiting the results. 

 

The winner of the traditional competition was Lucy Griffith, a first time entrant from the Rye Wurlitzer Academy, seen here receiving her trophy from Nick Ashton, Chairman of the London & SE Chapter of ATOS. 

 

 Runner up in the traditional competition was Lucy Crouch.

 

In the seniors section, the judges thought it unfair to separate the two non-winning entrants, Matt Geer and Jamyma Hanson, so both received a monetary prize.  The outright senior winner was Will Shaw.

 

Here we see the two trophies traditionally awarded at YTOY, the Christie Cup and Dean Herrick Memorial Award.  This year Freya Vicarey was awarded the Christie Cup, and Robert Eldridge the Dean Herrick Memorial Trophy.

 

Our two 2019 YTOY winners at the console of the Musical Museum Wurlitzer, Will Shaw and Lucy Griffith, with their tropies.

 

 Here are all nine of our 2019 competitors, with the judges, around the Mighty Wurlitzer.

 

At the end of a memorable 2019 Young Theatre Organist of the Year competition, it fell to the Musical Museums Technical Director Simon Hill to close the proceedings.