February 19, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Brock Recital Hall

This piano festival was established by Fletcher and Nell Morris to encourage high levels of achievement in piano performance. Winners of the competition receive scholarship awards to be used toward music degree study at Samford.

Application will be available September 1, 2020

Schedule of Events

Feb. 18, 2021

Misha Dichter Recital 7:30 p.m.
Brock Recital Hall

Feb. 19, 2021

Master Class with Misha Dichter - Morning Session
Brock Recital Hall
Morris Competition 1-6 p.m. 
Brock Recital Hall


There will be two guest judges for this year's competition.


In keeping with the guidelines of the bequest, those eligible to participate in the competition include the following:

  1. Students who will be enrolled in the next academic year as junior, senior and graduate music majors at Samford University for whom piano is the principal performance area
  2. Graduating senior music majors at any college or university for whom piano is the principal performance area and who have applied for graduate study in music at Samford University.
  3. Individuals holding a baccalaureate degree with a major in music with piano as the principal performance area and who have applied for graduate study in music at Samford University. 

Repertoire Requirements

Participants in the Fletcher and Nell Morris Piano Competition must be prepared to perform the following repertoire:

  1. A prelude and fugue from either volume of J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier or another significant work by Bach
  2. Two of the following:
    • A substantial movement of a classical sonata 
    • A nineteenth-century composition in the Romantic style
    • A composition from the twentieth or twenty-first century

All repertoire must be performed by memory. A pre-screened video audition is required. Contest limited to 6 participants annually.  No registration fees required. 


Top three winners will be eligible for remission of graduate tuition and piano assistantship opportunities at Samford University.

Music at Samford University

Undergraduate degrees offered in the Division of Music at Samford include the bachelor of music degree with majors in piano performance, piano performance with emphasis in piano pedagogy, organ performance, voice performance, instrumental performance (strings, woodwinds, brass or percussion), music and worship, and composition; the bachelor of music education in vocal/choral or instrumental music; the bachelor of arts in music; and the bachelor of science in music.

The master of music degree is offered with majors in piano performance and pedagogy, vocal performance, church music, and music education.

Piano students at Samford regularly have been among the winners of annual performance competitions sponsored by the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs, the Alabama Music Teachers Association, Music teachers National Association and the Birmingham Music Club. Graduates in piano have pursued advanced study at many of the leading graduate schools and conservatories around the country.