UNT Takes Top Prizes at 2016 William C. Hall Organ Competition

On Saturday, March 5th UNT organ students competed in the annual William C. Hall Organ Competition in San Antonio, Texas. Andrew Kenney returned after winning second prize in the graduate division last year to claim First Prize this year. Gregory Santa Croce, a duel organ and jazz piano major, competed for the first time this year and clinched both First Prize in the undergraduate division and Best Hymn Playing award. These outstanding organists continue a long legacy of success in this competition. “It was a big coup for our students to pull this off.  With the possible exception of New York State, no other area in the USA has more active university organ programs than Texas. My heartfelt congratulations to Greg and Andy for all that they achieved,” said Dr. Jesse Eschbach. Contestants represented University of Texas (3), Southern Methodist (1), Rice (1), University of Houston (1), and of course UNT (3). Judges were Jonathon Dimmock, Faythe Freize, and Crista Miller. David Summers, the third UNT competitor also gave a strong performance at the competition.  Dr. Eschbach comments, "David Summers deserves special mention. His playing was superb from start to finish, polished and secure. Another year and David will walk away with a first prize."

Left: Gregory Santa Croce, First Prize Undergraduate Division, Best Hymn Playing Award
Right: Andrew Kenney, First Prize Graduate Division