The James M. Weaver Prize in Organ Scholarship
Sponsored by the Organ Historical Society
The James M. Weaver Prize in Organ Scholarship celebrates and fosters the scholarly research of pipe organs. Through lecture and performance, finalists will illustrate the influence that provenance has on repertoire, performance practice and creation of the instrument.
The Organ Historical Society mission encourages the convergence of scholarship and performance to tell the history – the stories – of pipe organs in Canada and the United States. Competitors will craft and execute a scholarly presentation about an instrument that has captured their passion. This will include not only the history of the instrument and its significance to the organ world, but also a demonstration of its voice – music that makes this instrument come alive with song and spirit. Competitors need to have the skills for research (the OHS Library and Archives must be used for a portion of the research), for repertoire performance, and to present a narrative that will capture, captivate, and convince the listener of the virtues and values of the selected instrument. This is the backdrop for the Preliminary Round of this prize. Once three finalists are selected for the Final Round, they will be assigned another instrument to research and present with similar requirements in the geographic area of the OHS National Festival. This prize is designated to celebrate those that have the talent and commitment to make organ scholarship vibrant and inspiring.
Contact the Committee
About James M. Weaver
James Merle Weaver began his lifelong engagement with music as a piano, and later, organ, student in his hometown of Danville, Illinois. While on a high school field trip to Washington, DC, Weaver saw his first harpsichords at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Sometime during his sophomore year at the University of Illinois, he decided to go to Amsterdam to study harpsichord and the just-developing field of historical performance practice with Dutch organist and harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt. Returning to Illinois, Weaver completed his bachelor’s (1961) and master’s (1963) degrees, during which time he “discovered” the late-18th-century fortepiano, an instrument Weaver eventually added to his repertoire of historic keyboards.
The OHS Mission Statement
The Organ Historical Society celebrates, preserves, and studies the pipe organ in America in all its historic styles, through research, education, advocacy, and music.
The Organ Historical Society
330 North Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085 – 1737
(484) 488-PIPE (7473)