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

Application Deadline: Feb. 1, 2020

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.Apply

Schedule of Events

Feb. 19, 2020

Morris Competition 3 p.m. 
Brock Recital Hall

Feb. 20, 2020

Master Class with Marina Lomazov 10:30 -11:30 a.m.
Brock Recital Hall
Marina Lomazov Recital 7:30 p.m.
Brock Recital Hall


There will be three guest judges for this year's competition: Artina McCain, Lynn Worcester Jones and Marina Lomazov.

Artina Photo

Described as a pianist with “power and finesse” (Dallas Arts Society), Artina McCain, enjoys a national and international career as a soloist and chamber performer, educator and lecturer. Recent performance highlights include guest appearances with Oregon East Symphony, Memphis Symphony and Austin Civic Orchestra. Television appearance include features on CSPAN and a featured inspirational leader in the PBS documentary series "Roadtrip Nation: Degree of Impact".  An American Prize winner for her solo piano recordings, she has won performance awards from Austin Critics Table and is a three time Global Music Awards winner for the album I, TooShades and Trombone Czar with husband and bass trombonist, Martin McCain.  A strong advocate of performance injury prevention and alternative care, she has presented lectures at NCKP, MTNA and numerous universities. Currently, Dr. McCain is an Assistant Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Piano Studies at University of Memphis. 

Dr. Jones Photo

Dr.  Jones is a dedicated pedagogue and publishes a wide range of academic writings in leading keyboard journals including American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion and Piano Pedagogy Forum. Most recently, she published her article “Campaigning for College Music Study” in the Oct/Nov. 2019 issue of American Music Teacher. She presents at national conferences and in 2020 will be presenting “Repertoire Swaps: Advocating for Women Composers through Intermediate through Early Advanced Romantic and Impressionist Solo Piano Repertoire,” at the MusicEdConnect International Music Teachers On-line Conference and her lightning talk, “Priming Gen Z to Save the Arts: Campaigning for Undergraduate Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy Major” at the MTNA GP3 Conference. Dr. Jones holds degrees from The University of Oklahoma, Baylor University, and California State University, Fullerton and currently serves as Assistant Professor, Keyboard Area Coordinator at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Lomazov Photo

Marina Lomazov is a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music.  She has served as jury member for the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Eastman International Piano Competition, Minnesota International Piano e-Competition, National Federation Biennial Young Artist Auditions and is the chair of the National Panel for the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts, the organization that nominates Presidential Scholars in the arts.  For 17 years she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she held the chair of Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts Music and where she is currently a Visiting Guest Artist.  Together with her husband and piano duo partner Joseph Rackers, she co-founded and serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, SC. Lomazov is a Steinway Artist. 


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 pres-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.

Awards for the 2020 competition will be as follows:

  • First Prize - $5,000, coaching with iCandenza (NYC), Recording session in Brock Recital Hall with competition repertoire.
  • Second Prize - $3,000, coaching with iCandeza (NYC) 
  • Third Prize - $2,000

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.