Giles Harris Competitions

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The Christopher Giles and Lucille S. Harris
Competitions in Musical Performance

The Christopher Giles and Lucille S. Harris Competitions in Musical Performance began in 1977. The impetus came from 1967 alumnus Paul Sinal’s gratitude for his experience as an undergraduate at Wake Forest, where he was able to study with first rate faculty in the Department of Music, even though his major was Latin.  Hoping to stimulate future Wake Forest students to take advantage of this privilege, the first “Competitions,” as they were originally called, provided for a single cash prize in each of two categories.

This modest beginning quickly grew into a central event on the Music Department’s annual calendar.  The Competitions were named in honor of two recent retirees of the piano faculty (Lucille Harris and Christopher Giles), and as the years went by, the Sinals were joined by nine additional friends of the Wake Forest University Department of Music. There are now a total of eight prizes awarded annually, and the late February “Giles-Harris Competitions in Musical Performance” are consistently one of the best student performances of the academic year.  Judges for the competition are selected from highly qualified musicians from outside of the university who choose the winning performances, contributing an additional layer of excitement to this fine program.

Wake Forest students enrolled in individual instruction on any instrument or voice type are eligible to enter the Competitions, with their instructor’s permission.  More details and entry forms are available in the music office at the beginning of each November.

The Competitions in Musical Performance celebrated its 36th consecutive year on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The Competitions were dedicated to Carl V. and Lucille S. Harris.

Photography by Bill Ray.