RCCO Ottawa Centre
CRCO Section d'Ottawa

PO Box 2270 Station D
Ottawa ON K1P 5W4

GODFREY HEWITT PRIZE WINNERS (Bi-annual)

Godfrey Hewitt picture The following is a list of past winners of the Godfrey Hewitt Prize, awarded bi-annually at the National Organ Playing Competition held at the RCCO National Convention. Starting in 2011, the Godfrey Hewitt Scholarship fund has provided the $5,000 first prize for the National Organ Playing Competition.

YEAR   WINNER
2017 Jason Biel
2015 Stephen Boda
2013 Shawn Potter
2011 Aaron James
2009 Matthew Coons (2nd Prize)
2007 Philip Chow (3rd Prize)


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  2017 Jason Biel  
Jason Biel picture

Jason Biel was born and raised on the family farm east of Lacombe, Alberta, where he first learned the piano. He was introduced to organ by Dr. Wendy Markosky at the Canadian University College, Alberta, where he earned an undergraduate degree in organ performance. He studied for a year with Dr. Marnie Giesbrecht through The King’s University in Edmonton, during which he assisted Jeremy Spurgeon as organ scholar at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral. In September 2015 he started graduate studies with Hans-Ola Ericsson at McGill University in Montreal, and since November 2015 has also been organist at the parish of L’église du Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus. In May 2017 he obtained his Master`s degree and will continue at McGill for one more year in the Graduate Diploma Performance programme; he is currently exploring options for further studies.



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  2015 Stephen Boda  
Stephen Boda picture

Stephen Boda holds a M.Mus. degree from Yale University and a diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied organ performance with Thomas Murray and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. Originally from Ontario, Stephen graduated in 2011 with a B.Mus. degree from the University of Toronto where he studied organ with John Tuttle. Stephen recently finished his studies in organ performance at McGill University with Hans-Ola Ericsson. He is also a skilled pianist, having studied privately with Valerie Tryon. Winner of the 2014 Osborne Organ Competition at the Summer Institute of Church Music, Stephen has received a number of awards, including the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship through the RCCO, the Robert Baker Scholarship through Yale University, the Schulich Scholarship through McGill University and the Arthur Redsell Scholarship through the University of Toronto.Stephen is currently the Principal Organist at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto, Ontario. He held previous organist positions in Toronto at Grace Church on-the-Hill and St. Paul’s Bloor Street, St. John the Evangelist in Hamilton, Ontario, and Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, Connecticut. He is active as a recitalist and performer an Canada and the United States.



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  2013 Shawn Potter  
Shawn Potter picture

Shawn Potter holds a master's degree in organ performance from McGill University's Schulich School of Music, where he studied organ with Hans-Ola Ericsson and John Grew, and harpsichord and continuo with Hank Knox. Originally from Nova Scotia, Shawn graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in music from Mount Allison University, where he held a Canadian Merit National Scholarship as well as a Mount Allison Bell Scholarship. He has held numerous grants and fellowships including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, allowing him to pursue a wide variety of interests, ranging from 17th century North German music to the organ works of Olivier Messiaen. Shawn has held organ scholar positions in Montreal at both Christ Church Cathedral and the church of St John the Evangelist, and is currently the Director of Music at First Baptist Church, Ottawa.



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  2011 Aaron JAMES  
Aaron James picture

Aaron James has just completed the M.Mus. degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Hans Davidsson, and is about to begin his DMA (organ performance) concurrently with his PhD (musicology) at the same school. His undergraduate studies were with Paul Merritt at the University of Western Ontario, where he was awarded the Faculty of Music Gold Medal. His recent honours include first prizes in the Stanley Osborne and Howard Fairclough Organ Competitions, both in 2010. Aaron has written on musical topics for both scholarly and journalistic publications,with a particular focus on contemporary music. He is presently Organist at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Webster, New York, and holds the Associate Diploma of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.



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  2009 Matthew COONS (2nd prize)  
Matthew Coons picture

The winner of the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Prize for Performance ($2,000) in 2009 is Matthew Coons. Also winner of the 2008 Toronto Centre Competition for Young Organists, Matthew Coons has completed his third year in organ performance at the University of Toronto where he studies with Dr. Patricia Wright. He was one of four finalists in the International Improvisation Competition at the RCCO 2008 Convention in Kitchener, and was also a prize-winner at the bi-annual Osborne Organ Competition in Whitby, Ontario. He is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and has been the Organ Scholar at Metropolitan United Church, Toronto, since 2006.





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This page was last updated on: Wednesday, 05-Jul-17 01:20:10 GMT