Young Theatre Organist of the Year (YTOY)

2018 Competition

The competition will be held on Sunday 8th July on Byron Jones' 3/10 Wizard Compton at the (click on the address for active link to a map) Eden Grove Methodist Church Hall, Eden Grove, Bristol BS7 0PQ.  The Chapter would like to thank Byron for his kind offer to host the event.

Further details, including the entry forms, are available as follows:

  • Information for entrants may be obtained here.
  • The entry form for the main competition (age 18 or under) is here.
  • The entry form for the senior competition (age 19-24) is here.

Entries for both competitions must be completed by Monday 14th May 2018.

2017 Competition

The 2017 YTOY was held on Sunday 30th July at Fentham Hall, near Solihull, home to the COS Midland & Wales District and their fine Compton organ.

You can read the full competition report here, and view photos of the event here.

If you would like to make a contribution to help towards the costs of running this important event, please contact our treasurer Keith Reeve at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Competition History

Back in 1978 the London Chapter of ATOS set in motion the Young Theatre Organist of the Year Competition (YTOY), which over the years has given valuable performing and social experience to many aspiring organists.   Some, including Janet Dowsett, Martin Harris, Michael Wooldridge, Richard Hills and Nicholas Martin are now well known to us all, but there are many more who have enjoyed and benefited hugely from the experience.  Soon after, having seen the success of our UK event, our American colleagues launched the ATOS international Young Theatre Organist Competition.

Following the success of his successful teaching programme at Rye College, and much encouraged by American organist John Ledwon, Michael Wooldridge was keen to support youngsters from all around the country by promoting the YTOY, not only to encourage them to play and improve but also to make what we hope will be life long musical friendships, just as it was for him when he won it back in 1980!

Michael coordinated the relaunch of  the event on Sunday 27th July 2014 at the Cinema Organ Society's magnificent 3/11 Compton Organ at Fentham Hall, Hampton-in-Arden near Solihull.  Michael was supported by the rest of the ATOS committee,  the Cinema Organ Society's team at Fentham Hall, Michael's Rye Wurlitzer Academy colleague Richard Moore and our three judges Len Rawle, David Lobban and Damon Willetts.

In 2017 we introduced a new ‘Seniors’ competition for organists aged 19 to 24.   This is to complement the main YTOY competition and gives us the opportunity to continue to support these wonderful young stars of the future.

To see photo's of the more recent competitions please go to the Photo Gallery and, to read more about them, competition reports may also be found from the side menu of this page.


In addition to the competition prizes there are also two further awards.

The Dean Herrick Memorial Trophy is a large silver cup presented to one of the entrants from last years competition.  Regardless of any trophy that may have been won previously, this award is made by the Chapter Committee in recognition of the person they consider to have made the most musical progress or who has made the greatest contribution to the theatre organ cause in the past 12 months.

The Christie Cup is a silver trophy awarded to any contestant in this years competition who, in the opinion of the judges, shows the most promise or potential.  It way also be awarded for any other reason which the judges feel is relevant.