The 26th Biennial Osborne Organ Competition

Final Round Competition

July 10, 2024 at 7:30 pm

St George’s Anglican Church in Oshawa

Free admission, donations accepted.

Daily in-person sessions in Whitby, ON
Online everywhere 12-4 pm ET; 9-1 pm PT

In the midst of change is the burning question of why our musical offerings continue to matter, beyond contributing to survival and perhaps numerical growth. In that “why” is an invitation to be empowered in our offerings, hopeful in our leadership, and more firmly grounded in our calling.

SICM 2024 theme presenter Martha Tatarnic, music graduate, author, and Anglican priest, will urge us to see these fraught times as an opportunity to examine what we do and why. Continuing SICM’s unique 50+ year tradition, each day will also include skills development, ministry resources, spiritual nurture, and personal connections.

SICM is pleased to announce, as part of its 55th Session, the three finalists in its 26th biennial Organ Competition.


Jonathan Oldengarm
Competition Jury Chair

Following a few years’ hiatus thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, we are excited to congratulate Ethan Duan, Owen Spicer and Alexander Straus-Fausto, and look forward to welcoming them to the public Final Round Competition on Wednesday, July 10th, 7:30pm at St George’s Anglican Church in Oshawa, Ontario. The 2024 Final Round jury will be chaired by Dr Jonathan Oldengarm.

Offered biennially in even-numbered years since 1976 and renamed in 2005, the Osborne Organ Competition supports the education of young Canadian organists who plan to pursue church music ministry at the organ. Finalists perform a set major work of Johann Sebastian Bach and an advanced-level Canadian composition, lead the Final Round Competition audience in the singing of a hymn and collaborate with a cantor in leading a sung acclamation and liturgical improvisation. Up to $2500 in prizes may be awarded by the Final Round Jury.

The Final Round Competition of the Osborne Organ Competition takes place during the 55th Session of Canada’s Summer Institute of Church Music held July 9-11, 2024 in-person at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Whitby, and online in time zones across Canada. Admission to the Final Round Competition is by freewill donation. For further information on the Competition, SICM, or to register for the Institute, click here.

For more than 50 years, the Summer Institute of Church Music has offered a unique professional development, study, and retreat program for church musicians, worship leaders and choristers. Participants have the opportunity to be mentored, coached and taught by the ‘who’s who’ of Canada’s performers, professors, and thinkers in the church music field. Musicians and leaders of all levels and denominations are warmly welcomed. Since the very beginning, the program has been held at the beautiful campus of Trafalgar Castle School in Whitby, Ontario, as well as churches in the immediate area. Dr. Stanley L. Osborne, the SICM’s founder, was a former Principal at the school, and a dedicated and passionate church musician himself. The SICM is widely recognized for its one of a kind and first class program. Many participants return year after year to rejoice, study, renew their skills, re-energize, play and sing. The SICM is a non-profit organization that is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Sponsorships and donations are gratefully received.

The Finalists

Ethan Duan is junior organ scholar at Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto. He attends St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, where he studies the organ with Dr. David Simon and the piano with Clare Pengelly. As a chorister, Ethan has been singing at liturgies and weddings at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica since 2019, and he hopes to continue studying music in university.

Owen Spicer has held positions as Organist at Montréal West United Church and Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, First St. Andrew’s United and St. Martin’s-in-theFields (both in London, Ontario. He has given recitals at numerous venues in Québec and Ontario, including Redpath Hall Montréal), St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Ottawa) and St James’ Cathedral (Toronto), and appeared with several ensembles, such as Caelis Ensemble and Stratford Symphony Orchestra. Owen, a graduate of McGill University with a bachelor’s in organ performance, is pursuing a Master’s degree at McGill in the studio of Isabelle Demers and is Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa.

Alexander Richard Straus-Fausto completed his Master’s degree in organ performance at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Dr. Martin Jean and improvisation with Dr. Jeffrey Brillhart, and is preparing for doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music. He completed his Bachelor of Music at McGill University Schulich School of Music and his secondary school studies at Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy. In 2023, he was a semi-finalists at the Longwood International Organ Competition and third prizewinner in the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ Competition, and was also a member of The Diapason’s “20 under 30 Class of 2023.”

Watch the Final Round Competition!

St George’s Anglican Church
51 Centre St S, Oshawa, ON L1H 3Z9

Free admission, donations accepted.