L-R Dr. Richard Rotman, Bethany Dame, Rachel Hoogmoed,
First Place winner Owen Tellinghuisen, Annamae Rotman

The Annamae Rotman Young Organist Competition was founded in 2013 by Dr. Richard Rotman in honor of his mother and is an annual competition.  We thank him for his generous support of young organists.

•   Eligibility – A competitor must be under 24 years of age as of August 1 of the competition year and be a resident of Kent County, MI or any county adjacent to Kent County and/or a resident student attending a junior high school, senior high school, college, or university in Kent County or any county adjacent to Kent County (Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Ionia, Barry, or Allegan Counties)

•   Competition Date – April 16, 2018

•    Application Date – Postmarked by March 5, 2018. Up to four applications will be accepted based on date received.

•   Previous first place winners of this competition are eligible to compete in this competition again in two years.

•   Venue – Grand Rapids area pipe organ of high quality and versatility, varied from year to year

•    Application Fee – $30 (nonrefundable)

•   Repertoire – Two or more pieces of contrasting styles and representing different time periods and a hymn

Required selections:

  1. Baroque style – J. S. Bach (can include the Eight Preludes and Fugues – Bach/Krebs), Trio Sonatas, and/or Chorale Preludes.  One work or any combination of two works by J. S. Bach for a minimum of 7 minutes.
  2. A contrasting work(s) of the competitor’s choice – Examples are Brahms, Duprè, Widor, Franck, Hindemith, or others from the 19th, 20th, or 21st century eras for a minimum of 7 minutes.
  3. Hymn- To be chosen from one of the hymn selections at the end of the application.
    1. Introduction, either improvised or published
    2. First verse as written
    3. Other verses as written, improvised, or published free accompaniment but able to lead singing. The judges will consider the text of each verse as it relates to the musical interpretation and registration of the hymn by the competitor. The audience will be invited to sing on each stanza.

Three unmarked copies of each repertoire number will be required for the judges.  In order to facilitate the judges, the competitors are required to number every ten measures of their compositions.

Performance Time – 25 minutes maximum for all selections, hymn, and console preparation; memorization is not required and will not influence the judges’ decisions

Awards – Cash prizes of $1000 first place, $500 second place, and $250 for the best high school student or younger who does not win first or second prize

Judges – Three judges will be paid for their services plus a travel allowance.  The judges may be local but may not be nor have been a teacher of any of the competitors.

2018 Venue – First (Park) Congregational Church on April 16, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Practice Details – Each competitor will work out practice times with the chapter coordinator, Bruce Klanderman, and will be assigned memory levels.  Each competitor should receive equal practice time, should not use the competition instrument regularly, and should practice alone with a chapter monitor.  A minimum of three hours practice time will be allowed.  Page turners will be provided.

For competition details not covered in these rules, consult the AGO/Quimby competition rules.

Note:  AGO/Quimby vs Rotman competitions in odd-numbered years – Young organists are encouraged to enter either the AGO/Quimby competition for more advanced young organists or the Rotman competition for less advanced organists.  If both competitions are entered, the repertoire including the hymn must be entirely different for each competition.

2018 Contacts:  Bruce Klanderman,, phone no. 616-974-9034

Joan Ringerwole,, phone no. 616-669-9376


Application form must be postmarked no later than March 5, 2018, and mailed to Bruce Klanderman, 2105 Raybrook St. SE, #4024, Grand Rapids, MI  49546.  Please retain a copy of the application and a copy of your payment. 


Legal Address:

Competitor’s School Name and Address:


             Telephone:                                     E-Mail:                                                  Birth Date:

List all of competitor’s organ instructors and institutions:


Repertoire Selections:




Applications must be accompanied by:

  1. $30.00 nonrefundable application fee (made payable to GRAGO)
  2. Proof of age (copy of driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport)

All application materials become the property of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the AGO (GRAGO).

I understand that I am required to bring three unmarked copies of each repertoire number to the first practice session for use by the judges.  Photocopies are allowed but will be destroyed immediately after the competition.

I hereby certify that I have read, understand, and agree to comply with the rules for this competition.

Signature of Competitor:                                                                              Date:

Signature of Teacher:                                                                                   Date: 


Download a PDF copy of the application, rules and hymns