A competition held each year in Syracuse, New York that has a strong Galion connection was won earlier this month by Daniel Coloner, a remarkable talent who captured international media attention at the age of 12 with his same-day performances on piano at Carnegie Hall and on organ at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

More about Colaner can be found here.

This prestigious event celebrates the rich legacy of Arthur Poister, one of America’s eminent organists and pedagogues. Arthur Poister served as music director at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel from 1948 to 1965, and as an organ professor from 1948 to 1967. Poister was taught by such masters as Marce Dupre, organist of St. Sulpice in Paris.

The competition was created in his honor in 1976 and stands as one of the leading contests of its kind in America​.

Poister was a Galion boy and a graduate of Galion High School. Born in 1898, Poister died in 1980 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery. He grew up in a house which still stands on Harding Way West, now the home of Claire Filiberti.

While growing up in Galion, Poister played for services at both First United Church of Christ, his home church, and at Grace Episcopal. He was a student of Bessie Todd, who also taught Galion and Crestline residents Herb Krichbaum, Joyce Hayden Cating, and Boyd Epperson. This line of instruction continues today with Galion organists and pianists Thomas Palmer and Amy Baxter Jarvis, both students of Krichbaum.

The competition serves as a platform for organists at the collegiate and early professional level to showcase their talent. The competition process involves a preliminary round of recordings, followed by a final live performance round. The final round of the 2023 competition was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Syracuse, featuring three finalists: Teddy Cheng, Daniel Colaner, and Marshall Joos​.

The 2023 competition was judged by Amanda Mole, Principal Organist and Assistant Director of Music at St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio; Alan Morrison, Haas Charitable Trust Chair in Organ Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music; and Timothy Olsen, Professor and Chair of the Organ Department at North Carolina School of the Arts​.

Prizes for the competition include a first prize of $3000, funded by the Arthur Poister Endowment Fund of Syracuse University, and a recital engagement on the historic and fully restored Crouse College Holtkamp organ at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music. The second prize is $1000, funded by the Arthur Poister Endowment Fund of Syracuse University, and the third prize is $500, funded by the Syracuse Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. 

Image by Biljana Jovanovic from Pixabay