The Central North Carolina Chapter of the American Guild of Organists recently awarded its 2017 Cooper-Miller Organ Scholarship to Joshua Sobel, 15, of Cary. The prize consists of a check for $1,000 and a two-year membership in the AGO. He will spend part of his prize attending a Pipe Organ Encounter week this summer at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Sobel family noticed Joshua’s musical talents when he could pick out tunes and chords on the piano at the age of 4. When he was 9, he asked if Santa could bring him a pipe organ. A search on the internet found an ad for a small 1970’s Laukhuff 4-rank, which had been abandoned by a church in Oberlin, Ohio. In 2010 the restored organ was installed in the Sobels’ living room and barely fits under the 9-foot ceilings.
Joshua attends Enloe High School in Raleigh, where he enjoys singing tenor in the chorus. He also likes to spend time in a flight simulator, part of his training to earn his pilot’s license.