The Atlanta Chapter AGO is pleased to announce the establishment of The Taylor Organ Competition, the first competition to take place on Saturday, April 21, 2012, and every three years thereafter. In October 2006 the Atlanta Chapter received a $300,000 bequest from the estate of Elizabeth Abbott Taylor, a long time member of the Atlanta Chapter. The Endowment Committee, Bobby Mays, Chair, invested the Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund in a separate account to be used as Mrs. Taylor desired, for scholarships for young organ students.
Elizabeth Abbott Taylor, 1904-2005, an Atlanta native, lived in a two-story Victorian house in the historic Grant Park area of the city from age 18 to the time of her death. She earned her music degree from Cox College in College Park, GA, and began teaching piano upon her graduation. She attracted students from all over the city, and taught into her 80s. Mrs. Taylor also developed a career as an organist and choirmaster, serving several churches in the Atlanta area. She was a parishioner at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, where the first competition will be held. She specified in her will that her estate be divided between the Atlanta Chapter AGO and the Atlanta Music Club to create scholarship programs to benefit talented young musicians.
The Executive Board of the Atlanta Chapter appointed a committee consisting of Sarah Hawbecker, Tim Wissler, Arlan Sunnarborg, Bobby Mays, Charlene Ponder, James Mellichamp, and Sarah Martin, Chair, to determine the best use of the bequest. This committee, after many meetings over a period of two years, recommended to the Executive Board of the Chapter that a national organ competition be established, the first competition to be held on April 21, 2012. The proposal was accepted and the same committee was asked to draw up the rules for the competition. These can be found by clicking here. It is the belief of the Taylor Scholarship Committee that by opening the competition to students throughout the United States, this will become a national and lasting legacy to Elizabeth Abbott Taylor.