FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Four current students and a May graduate from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music recently won top prizes from prestigious national competitions in their respective fields.
Collin Miller, a master’s student of Janette Fishell, was the first-prize winner of the 2021 Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing, and Soma Quartet, studying saxophone with Otis Murphy, won the bronze medal at the 2021 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
“Collin is an extraordinary musician who routinely gives electrifying performances of some of the most difficult music in our repertoire; but, as we all know, this does not always translate into competition success,” said Fishell, chair of the Jacobs Organ Department. “It was thrilling to watch the final-round livestream from Syracuse, New York, and see him receive the first prize in this prestigious competition that honors one of the great twentieth-century pedagogues in the organ world, Arthur Poister.”
Miller also is a finalist in the St. Albans International Organ Competition, taking place during the United Kingdom’s St. Albans International Organ Festival July 5 through 16.
“His finalist status at the St. Alban’s competition is a huge coup, as it has been many years since we had one of our students advance to the final round of this enormously important competition,” said Fishell. “Although it is in a COVID-friendly format this year, with finalists submitting videos beforehand, we will all be watching to cheer him on.”
Soma Quartet was awarded the bronze medal in the Senior Winds Division of this year’s virtual 48th Annual Fischoff Competition, the nation’s largest and longest-running chamber music competition, based in South Bend, Indiana.
“Soma Quartet is an excellent chamber ensemble, but each member also is an incredible human being with great integrity,” said Murphy, professor of saxophone. “I am proud of them on so many levels and sincerely congratulate them on their recognition at the Fischoff competition. I wish them the very best with hopes that they remain close as true friends and that their passion for chamber music never ceases to grow.”
About Collin Miller
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Collin Miller began taking organ lessons in freshman year of high school then held positions at Northwood Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Lafayette. He currently serves as organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis.
A Barbara and David Jacobs Fellowship recipient, Miller won the 2017 Southwest Regional Competition for Young Organists, resulting in a performance at the 2018 American Guild of Organists National Convention. In 2019, he was featured as one of the Diapason magazine’s “20 under 30.”
An avid performer of neglected and challenging repertoire, he is the first American organist to publicly perform any of the organ solo music of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji.
About Soma Quartet
Soma Quartet was formed in 2016 at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the guidance of Otis Murphy. Current members include David Bayard, soprano saxophone; Paul Lorenz, alto saxophone; Sean Bradley, tenor saxophone; and Arthur Liang, baritone saxophone.
In addition to the Fischoff medal, Soma’s wins this year include first prize at the NOLA Chamber Fest Competition in the Emerging Ensemble Division and second place at the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Wind Competition.
The quartet also won grand prize at the 9th Plowman Chamber Music Competition, in 2019.
Other awards include third place at the 2020 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Wind Competition, first runner-up at the 2018 Classics Alive Young Artist Competition and first prize at the 2017 Chicago Woodwind Ensemble Competition.