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Sydney Organ Competition

Conditions of Entry - Open Section

General Information

The Competition is administered by the Committee of the Organ Music Society of Sydney Incorporated.  The Committee reserves the right to amend the Conditions of Entry as it deems necessary.

The Open Competition will consist of two Rounds: Round 1 will consist of the submission of two recordings to a panel of internationally respected organists, Round 2 will be a public recital by three selected Finalists before a panel of adjudicators who will normally be different to those who assessed Round 1.

The order of performance will be decided by draw conducted by the Committee.

Copies of all music must be made available to the Committee at the rehearsal on the day of the competition. Responsibility for obtaining the necessary permission to copy music rests with the competitor.  Original music will be returned to the competitor.

A competitor whose performance does not fall within the time limit will be disqualified. We strongly suggest that you have a safety net of at least three minutes.

Any malfunction of the Competition organ believed by the competitor to occur during the Competition, must be reported at that time to the Committee.

The use in any form of cameras, camera phones, mobile phones, video cameras, sound recorders and the like during the second round of the Open Section is prohibited.

Any instructions given by the Committee must be strictly observed.

Adjudicators - Teachers and Competitors

The competitor may not enter if he/she has been a student of the Adjudicator since 1 January, 2024.  

Rehearsal and Warm-ups

Each finalist will receive two hours’ rehearsal time on the Competition instrument in the week prior to the Competition and 2.5 hours on the day of the Competition, which includes the warm-up.  It is the competitor’s and teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the amount of time allowed for rehearsal is not exceeded. In the case of competitors having no teacher present, the Committee will allocate someone to be present.

Note: The rehearsal and warm-up time may be altered slightly depending on confirmation from the venue.  The total time given will be 4.5hrs.

In the weeks during which rehearsals are scheduled, competitors may not rehearse on the organ at any other time than their allocated time. Under no circumstances should a competitor during or before this period contact the venue authorities to gain further access to the organ. The only exception would be if a competitor already practises on the organ. Competitors are requested to bring this situation to the attention of the Committee on entry to the Competition.

Console Assistant

Competitors need to demonstrate that they are able to perform as independently as possible. While it is accepted international practice to use a console assistant, the adjudicators will assess the extent to which excessive assistance has advantaged the competitor over other performers.  Competitors may have one console assistant (not their teacher) only and they are encouraged to organise their own. A request for a console assistant to be organized by the Committee must be noted on the application email. Competitors are advised to rehearse with their console assistant.

Open Section Adjudication

The decision of the Adjudicators is final.  The Committee, on the advice of the Adjudicators, reserves the right not to award any or all prizes.  The Adjudicators will take into consideration whether the programme is well balanced and varied.  


The performances may be recorded by OMSS.  By entering, each competitor gives permission to OMSS to use the biographical details and the photograph supplied with the entry for publicity in our Sydney Organ Journal and for other related purposes.  Performers will not be permitted to claim any rights or royalties. If recorded, performers will be offered a link to their performance.

How to Apply

As the first round is strictly anonymous, please address all enquiries to edu_subcommittee@omss.org.au.

Your Application Form will also be sent automatically to this address when you click on the SUBMIT button.

Please note that all the information (Application Form, recordings, declarations and payment) has the same closing date of Saturday 3 August 2024.

On clicking of the SUBMIT button on your Application Form you will see an email addressed to edu_subcommittee@omss.org.au.

You will need to add to this email:-

1.   A high-resolution .jpeg portrait photo.

2.   The completed Declaration Form confirming that the recording was made by the applicant in their presence at the stated location in 2024 and that it is a true and unedited recording of the performance. Breaks between pieces are permitted.

3.   Attach your Round One recording audio link (probably two files, one for each piece). Sharing storage platforms to use and provide links to the recording – TBA. For Dropbox, right-click on your file, choose Copy Dropbox Link, and paste/link to your email. So that we can send recordings easily to adjudicators, we ask that you save your recording as either a mp3, .wav or .aiff file to a sharing platform. Please note that .wav or .aiff files are preferred as they are of higher audio quality.

On receipt of your Application, you will receive a confirmation with further information, including an Identification Number to ensure First Round confidentiality, and OMSS banking details for payment of your Application Fee. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within seven days, please contact Lana Bailey at the above address or leave a voice message to 0404 130 945 as soon as possible.

By making your payment, the Committee understands that the Competitor has agreed to abide by the Conditions of Entry as provided on the competition website.  The fee is non-refundable.

Thank you for entering.

We wish you all the very best with the competition!