top of page


March 4, 2022

The winner of the competition is Aaron Travers of Bloomington, Indiana, for his composition “Midnight Toccatas,” a work for solo organ. Dr. Travers is Associate Professor of Composition at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Dr. Travers will receive the prize of $10,000 and a premiere of the composition will be announced for the 2022-2023 season. In addition, this work will be published.

The competition was announced in January 2021 and received 42 entries from applicants across 15 states. Please watch for further press releases and details.

We are grateful to all who entered, and to our judges:

Frank Ticheli, DMA
Professor of Composition
USC Thornton School of Music

David Briggs
Artist in Residence, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City

Stephen Tharp
Internationally Acclaimed Concert Organist and recording Artist; Teacher and Educator, New York City

Aaron Travers


The Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund is announcing a Composition Competition for an organ work to mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Fund. The goal of the competition is to honor the Mader name through a work that will become a lasting staple of the organ repertoire.


Ruth and Clarence Mader will always be an inspiration to those privileged to have known them. The Fund is a response by students, colleagues, family and friends to widespread expressions of appreciation for the high ideals and artistic accomplishments of Ruth and Clarence Mader.



The competition is open to contestants on January 1, 2021. The deadline for receiving entries is December 17, 2021 (the exact date of the 50th anniversary of the Mader Fund founding). The winner will be announced by February 1, 2022.



Contestants will submit a work for organ based upon the name RC MADER.


Thematic basis for work:

The theme of this work will be based on the pitches: D C E A D E-flat D-flat (pitches derived from note names and solfege to represent the name MADER, including the initials for first names of both Ruth and Clarence).


While it is a requirement that the composition contain the theme provided herein, the committee also acknowledges the composer’s freedom to vary and develop the theme according to his/her needs and tastes.


Length of work: Approximately 8-12 minutes.


Form: At the discretion of the composer.



  • $10,000

  • Publication 

  • Premiere performance (details to be determined)


Who is Eligible: Residents of the United States (U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and international students residing in the U.S.)


Age Limit: None



  • Compositions must be submitted electronically (PDF file).

  • Composers will include their names on page 1 of the score, but they will remain anonymous to the judges.

  • Recordings, either live or via MIDI, must also be submitted.


Materials should be submitted via email to Dr. Craig Phillips, Committee Chair, at:



A distinguished panel of judges will review all entries, the winner will be chosen accordingly and announced by February 1, 2022.

Mader Composition Competition Committee:

  • Craig Phillips, Chair

  • Cherry Rhodes

  • Ladd Thomas

  • Linda Brown


All contestants must complete the submission form and return with your entry.

Contact the Chair

Questions may be submitted using this form.

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page