Thursday, July 12, 2018

WINNING ENSEMBLES: band/wind ensembles, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2017-18. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalists will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2017-18—college/university division

The American Prize winner:
Richard Tad Greig
Westminster College Wind Ensemble
New Wilmington PA

Westminster College Wind Ensemble
The Wind Ensemble is selected through audition and rehearses three times per week for one hour.  The Wind Ensemble performs a wide variety of the most challenging established and new works. This ensemble has received numerous commendations, most notably three guest appearances at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Conference over the past decade.  The conclusion of these performances was met with immediate standing ovations.  They have also received favorable mention in both recent NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) reviews. The Wind Ensemble also shared international performance tours with the Concert Choir to Spain and Scotland.  Along with their concert performances, the ensemble has accompanied numerous student and faculty soloists and guest artists. The ensemble has also had the privilege of working with notable composer/conductors including: Mark Camphouse, Dennis Fisher, Brian Balmages and Andrew Boysen Jr., to name only a few.  The Wind Ensemble has premiered numerous works and regularly records for area composers, providing recordings to submit to various publishing houses.



The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2017-18—youth division

The American Prize winner:
Matthew D. Schlomer
Interlochen Arts Academy Band
Interlochen MI

Interlochen Arts Academy Band
The Interlochen Arts Academy Band presents frequent concerts of unparalleled quality and diversity. Performances feature collaborations with renowned soloists, composers, and artists from all genres. The band appears regularly in live online performances and on public radio.The Academy Band is at the forefront of exploring new collaborative performance formats with artists from dance, visual arts, creative writing, theater, film, scientists and the culinary arts. The Interlochen Center for the Arts is dedicated to creating lifelong passion for the arts.



2nd Place:
Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
The Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester (YWEW) is excited to be celebrating its Seventh season! YWEW is an ensemble for highly motivated high school students interested in playing music from the Wind Ensemble/Concert Band literature, based in Ossining, New York. Founded by Bradley Morrison, YWEW is the only ensemble of it's kind in Westchester County. The ensemble is comprised of Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Students from around Westchester County and represents students from over a dozen different area high schools, both public and private. Students rehearse and perform throughout the school year in public performances, as well as various competitions. YWEW has consistently received Superior Ratings as well as numerous 1st place awards. In 2017 the Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester was named a finalist in the High School Concert Band Division of the prestigious American Prize competition.

 

The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2017-18—high school division

The American Prize winner:
Robert Truan
Decatur HS Wind Ensemble
Decatur GA

Decatur HS Wind Ensemble
This is Robert Truan’s third year as Director of Bands for Decatur High School where he teaches Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, IB Music, and other chamber ensembles.  While at Decatur, his ensembles have won a Grand Championship at the Southern Invitational Music Festival, have performed at the Georgia Music Educator’s Association Convention twice, and have performed at the Cork School of Music in Ireland.  His ensembles have also received straight superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation.  This is the second year Decatur has differentiated its band classes in two groups: Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.  After Wind Ensemble’s inaugural year, our recorded submission was selected to headline Music for All’s Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival. Robert Truan is heavily influenced by his wonderful mentors throughout the years: Reid Hall, Richard Brasco, Dr. Tony McCutchen, John Culvahouse, Dr. John P. Lynch, Dr. Laura Moates Stanley, and Jack Jean.  Mr. Truan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia and has a Master’s degree in Music Education.


2nd Place:
Curtis Melton
Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
North Las Vegas NV 


Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
The Legacy High School Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Curtis Melton, and is the most advanced concert band at Legacy High School in North Las Vegas, NV.  The Legacy Band Program was "re-born" in the fall of 2013 after not having a band program at the school for many years.  Since then, the band program has nearly tripled in membership for the upcoming fall of 2017.  The Legacy HS Wind Ensemble has received consistent "Superior" Ratings at festivals/contests since 2013-14.  The band has performed at special engagements throughout Las Vegas, performing for the Mayor, and the grand opening of the Las Vegas IKEA. The marching band also has performed in Los Angeles in the Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade in 2016 and 2017.  The Legacy HS Band Program offers marching band, three concert bands, a jazz ensemble, a colorguard/winterguard program, and an AP Music Theory class.



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Congratulations!

WINNING CONDUCTORS: band/wind ensemble divisions, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Conducting, Band/Wind Ensemble Divisions, 2017-18. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalists will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Conducting,  College/University Band/Wind Ensemble Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Pamornpan Komolpamorn
The University of Texas Bands
Austin TX
Pamornpan Komolpamorn
Pamornpan Komolpamorn, a native Thai, is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at The University of Texas at Austin, where she also serves as a graduate assistant with the University Bands. She is also currently an instructor of conducting at the College of Music, Mahidol University (MU), Thailand, where she works as a director and conductor of the MU Symphony Orchestra, the MU Symphonic Band, the MU Concert Band, and the MU Brass Band. She also serves as founding director and conductor of the Amass Chamber Ensemble (ACE) since 2010, performing various composers and periods from early to contemporary music. In 2012, she worked as a producer and conductor on the Mahidol Symphonic Band release the CD recording on the title Winds of Salaya with the world premiere of Zurazak Ut-Za’s Of Faith & Reminiscences. 


2nd Place:
Courtney Snyder
University of Michigan Concert Band
Ann Arbor MI

Courtney Snyder
Dr. Courtney Snyder joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2014 as Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Conducting. She directs the Concert Band, teaches conducting, and directs the Michigan Youth Wind Band. Previously, Snyder served as the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Additionally, she served as Music Director for the Nebraska Wind Symphony which was selected to perform at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association Annual Conference. Dr. Snyder is a frequent guest conductor both in the US and abroad, and has presented at the Midwest Clinic, national CBDNA and CMS conferences, and will present results of her study on movement and sound at the international WASBE conference this summer. She is published in Music Educators Journal, several volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band School Band & Orchestra Magazine, and Association of Concert Bands Journal.



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Michael Scott Butler
UWSP Wind Ensemble
Stevens Point WI

Michael Scott Butler
Dr. Michael Scott Butler is the Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, teaching Conducting and Instrumental Methods, and hosting an annual honor band for high school students. Ensembles under his leadership have been recognized for their outstanding artistry and invited to perform at venues such as the Florida Music Educators Conference and the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Most recently, CBDNA acknowledged the UWSP Wind Ensemble as one of the finest small university bands. A recent opportunity and privilege include being invited to guest conduct the United States Army Band Pershing’s Own. An advocate of new music for the wind band, he regularly joins commission projects to ensure talented composers are contributing to the wind repertoire. The National Band Association has awarded Dr. Butler a Citation of Excellence for his contributions to bands and band music.



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Ryan M. Yahl
Indiana University Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble
Bloomington IN

Ryan M. Yahl
Ryan M. Yahl is pursuing the Doctor of Music degree in Wind Conducting and serves as an Associate Instructor in the Department of Bands at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition, he serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Community Band.  He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University. From 2009-2015, Mr. Yahl served as the director of bands for the New Bremen Local School District.  Prior to New Bremen, he taught for one year in the Anthony Wayne Local School District, and two years at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Catholic School, in Toledo. He currently holds professional memberships in OMEA, IMEA, NAfME, PAS, the Indiana Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, WASBE, ASBDA, CBDNA, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds lifetime membership in Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Service Fraternity.

 
Finalist Honorable Mention:
Daniel Cook
Recital Chamber Winds
Evanston IL 

Daniel Cook
Daniel Cook is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Northwestern University, where he studies with Dr. Mallory Thompson. He received his Master of Music degree from the same institution. Prior, Mr. Cook served as Director of Bands at DeLand High School. His students have enjoyed success, earning superior ratings at district and state solo, small ensemble, and large group performance festivals. His ensembles have performed at the FMEA In-Service Conference and the Music for All National Concert Band Festival. Mr. Cook is active as an adjudicator, arranger, drill writer, and accompanist. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia. Daniel has recently been selected as a participant for the NBA Young Conductor Mentor Project. His professional affiliations include NAfME, NBA, CBDNA, and Kappa Kappa Psi.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Mason St. Pierre
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony
Sydney Australia

Mason St. Pierre
Mason St. Pierre is currently a second year postgraduate student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, pursuing a degree in Wind Conducting (MM) under the tutelage of John P. Lynch. On scholarship, he is the first international student to be admitted into this program. Mason earned his BM in Trumpet Performance and Music Education at Ithaca College. Recently, Mason has participated in the New England Conservatory Conductors Forum, Frederick Fennell Memorial Conducting Masterclass, and was one of six participants selected to conduct the Royal Australian Navy Band at the 2016 Australian Band and Orchestra Conference with H. Robert Reynolds, clinician. Mason is listed as an assistant producer on the SCM Wind Symphony's first professional recording, Celebrare (available on the Klavier label), and served as Intern/Assistant to the Verbrugghen Ensemble, the Conservatorium's professional ensemble in residence.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Adam Waller
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Baltimore MD 

Adam Waller
Adam Waller is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Wind Ensemble and currently serving as Graduate Assistant in the Wind Conducting Department and Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Wind Ensemble and Modern Orchestra. In addition to large ensemble leadership, Mr. Waller teaches conducting classes at the Peabody Conservatory and is an adjunct conducting faculty member at Towson University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studies Wind Conducting with Harlan Parker. Mr. Waller holds an Undergraduate Degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Wind Conducting both from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Additional studies in conducting include workshops at the Eastman School of Music, Michigan State University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Hart School of Music and the Inaugural United States Army Band’s “Pershing’s Own” conducting workshop.

 


The American Prize in Conducting,  Community Band/Wind Ensemble Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner (there was a tie):
Brian Hughes
Quad City Wind Ensemble
Davenport IA
Brian Hughes
The winner of the 2015 and 2016 American Prize in Band Conducting and lauded by Iowa Public Radio as a “major figure in Iowa arts,” Brian Hughes is an active conductor at home and abroad.  Since his 1993 European debut with the Northern Iowa Chamber Winds in Eger, Hungary, he has conducted concerts in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Russia.  In 1995, he founded the Tri-State Wind Symphony (Dubuque) and has continued to lead it through summer seasons of substantive growth. Brian is also the Music Director of the Quad City Wind Ensemble (Davenport). He holds degrees in music education and conducting from Olivet College (MI), the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brian lives in Dubuque with his precocious teenage daughter, Caitlyn. When not on the podium, Hughes is usually found in his favorite coffee shop or his kitchen—glass in hand--with his favorite utensil: his wok.
 

The American Prize winner (there was a tie):
Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Concert Band
Seattle WA

Shayna Stahl
Shayna Stahl (ABD) is currently in her final year in the Doctor of Music Arts/Instrumental Conducting program at the University of Washington. Currently she serves as Graduate Assistant Director of the UW Husky Marching Band, conductor for the UW Concert Band, and assistant conductor for the UW Wind Ensemble. Her previous experience includes ten years as a staff member in the athletic band program at Stony Brook University, including three years as Director of Athletic Bands. She also served for eight years as a music educator in the Middle Country Central School District where she taught Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. Shayna Stahl earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University and a Master in Music Education/Instrumental Conducting from The Hartt School of Music where she studied with Glen Adsit. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Temple University in Philadelphia.



2nd Place:
Gregory X. Whitmore
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble
Irvine CA

Gregory X. Whitmore
Dr. Gregory Whitmore is Director of Bands at Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA). Dr. Whitmore is also Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Youth Wind Ensemble (Irvine, CA). Dr. Whitmore received his Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education from The University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Whitmore received his Master's Degree in Music in Wind Conducting from California State University - Fullerton. Dr. Whitmore holds a Masters Degree, and Doctorate in Music and Music Education from Columbia University (Teachers College). Dr. Whitmore has conducted ensembles in such notable concert venues as The Musikverein (Vienna), The MuTh (Vienna), Segerstrom Concert Hall (Costa Mesa), Symphony Hall (Chicago), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Hall (New York City), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Holy Trinity Church (Stratford, England), St. John’s Smith Square (London), Chateau Vaux le Vicomte (Paris), and Heidelberg Castle (Germany).

 

3rd Place:
Richard J. Whitley
The Blacksburg Community Band
Blacksburg VA

Richard J. Whitley
Originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, Richard J. Whitley is a freelance conductor, composer/arranger, music educator, music director and oboist. He also serves as a certified judge with the National Judges Association and Tournament of Bands. Mr. Whitley holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Oboe Performance from Davis & Elkins College (Elkins, WV) and the Master of Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting from Radford University (Radford, VA). Throughout his music career, Mr. Whitley has performed with a variety of performance groups to include the Davis & Elkins College Concert Band, Concert Choir and Chamber Choir, as well as the Radford University Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert Choir. He has also been a regular and guest performer with the Blacksburg Community Band, Blacksburg Community Strings, Roanoke College Wind Ensemble, and Winds of the Blue Ridge.

 
Finalist Honorable Mention:
Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Bradley Morrison
Bradley Morrison is the founder, conductor and director of the Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester, and is the Director of Cultural Arts for the Ossining Union Free School District, where he oversees the Music, Art, and Theater curricula and programs for the over 5000 students in the Ossining Schools. Under his direction the Ossining Schools have been recognized as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM foundation for the last 7 consecutive years; they have been a semifinalist in the GRAMMY Signature Schools program; and the Ossining Schools have been awarded the prestigious Program of Distinction Award for Music from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. He is currently President of the New York State Band Directors Association and President of the Westchester County Arts Leadership Association.



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Congratulations!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

WINNING CONDUCTORS: orchestral programming, 2017-18 (Marijosius Award)

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce the 2017-18 winners, runners-up and honorable mentions in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations!

The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming honors the memory of the great Lithuanian conductor, Maestro Vytautas Marijosius, music director of the Lithuanian State Opera, and for nearly thirty-five years Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hartt School of Music. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community. 

Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com


The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—college/university division

The American Prize Winner:
Thomas Taylor Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK
Thomas Taylor Dickey
Dr. Thomas Dickey is the Director of Orchestral Studies at Oklahoma State University, where he conducts the OSU Symphony Orchestra and guides all aspects of the orchestra and orchestral conducting programs.  He concurrently serves as Music Director & Conductor of the OSU Youth Orchestra and the Stillwater Community Orchestra.  Prior to his appointments in Oklahoma, he was the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Music Director & Conductor of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra (IA). He holds doctoral and master's degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University, respectively, and graduated with highest honors from Eastern Illinois University. He has worked with conductors such as Carl Topilow, Christopher Zimmerman, Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, and Diane Wittry, and further studied conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and numerous workshops and master classes.


2nd Place and Special Judges' Citation: Remarkable Growth in the Programming of Major Repertoire
Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC
Tara Villa Keith
Tara Villa Keith is in her fifteenth season as music director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) in Davidson, North Carolina and in her ninth season as music director of the Lee County Community Orchestra (LCCO) in Sanford, North Carolina.  Tara has won local and national awards for her work with both orchestras, and has enjoyed conducting orchestras, running clinics, and serving as a guest speaker throughout the south, northeast, and abroad.  For the past four seasons, Tara has served as a cover conductor and pre-concert speaker for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and enjoys introducing audiences to orchestral music through their new Symphony 101 adult education program. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Tara studied percussion and piano at the Preparatory of the Peabody Conservatory. Tara holds degrees from Franklin & Marshall College, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of South Carolina.  Please feel free to visit her website at taravillakeith.com.


3rd Place:
Johannes Dietrich
Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
Annville PA
Johannes Dietrich
Johannes Dietrich, a native of Bozeman, Montana, is the Newton and Adelaide Burgner Professor in Instrumental Music at Lebanon Valley College. Along with his duties as conductor of the LVC Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, he is active as a guest conductor and clinician. He has led festival, District, Region and State orchestras from New Jersey to Montana. His college orchestra has completed three, highly successful tours to Europe. He is also active as a violinist, performing regularly as a member of Duo Terlano with his wife, cellist Marie-Aline Cadieux.
Www.duoterlano.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca NY
Chris Younghoon Kim
Chris Younghoon Kim has been at Cornell University as the director of orchestras and associate professor of music, since 2004. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He has premiered over 200 works by contemporary composers worldwide. Cornell Symphony Orchestra has hosted two Meet the Composer New Partnership residencies. At Cornell University he directs the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, teaches conducting and works closely with the DMA composers in presenting their work in concert. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and most recently to Neuquén, Argentina for a collaborative project to perform Gustav Mahler’s 6th Symphony with the combined forces of the Sinfónica del Neuquén and the Cornell Symphony. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary among others.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David Alexander Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA
David Alexander Rahbee
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and teaches conducting. He also serves of faculty of the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival as Conducting Associate. He is recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007. He has recently worked with the Seattle Symphony, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja. He participated in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, and Zoltán Peskó. His principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Monteux School. He holds degrees from Indiana University, New England Conservatory, and University of Montreal. He also studied at Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna.


The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—community division

The American Prize Winner:
Annette Jurcevic
Shoreline Symphony
Muskegon MI
Annette Jurcevic
Described by contest judges as “an electric personality” and “what a dynamo!”, Annette Jurcevic brings vitality to each ensemble she leads. She currently directs the Star Gate Orchestra in Chicago, Illinois, and the Shoreline Symphony in Muskegon, Michigan.  While living in Texas, she conducted the Austin Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Edward’s University Orchestra, and the Austin Summer Pops Orchestra. Career highlights include premiering contemporary works, founding three orchestras, conducting a German version of Messiah, and collaborating with dance and theater companies.  Additionally, she gives pre-concert discussions, has taught at four universities, maintains a private teaching studio, and performs as a pianist, organist, and singer. Possessing music degrees in multiple fields – music history & literature, music theory, choral conducting, and vocal performance – Ms. Jurcevic approaches conducting with a breadth of expertise.  Training in dance and martial arts has expanded her understanding of movement and gesture. Read more at www.annettejurcevic.com.


2nd Place:
Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA
Reuben Blundell
Reuben Blundell is Music Director of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra near Philadelphia, and New York’s Riverside Orchestra. From Fall 2009 he transformed Hunter Symphony from a small group into a symphony orchestra: recent performances included major symphonies and the Ewazen Flute Concerto with Mindy Kaufman of the NY Philharmonic. He recently completed his fifth season as a Chelsea Symphony conductor. His Gowanus Arts Ensemble CD, American Romantics, garnered outstanding reviews, including Gramophone Magazine. Blundell has performed in his native Australia, in Austria, Chile, Holland, Iraq, Japan, and Lebanon. He conducted the New World Symphony in their 2013 John Cage festival. After studies in Melbourne and Sydney, he was a Tanglewood Fellow (’02 & ’03) and a principal New World Symphony violinist (2003-05). He attended the Monteux School (’05 & ’06) and Eastman, earning a DMA in conducting with Neil Varon and studying violin with Zvi Zeitlin. Website: www.reubenblundell.com


3rd Place:
Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA
Orlando Cela
Venezuelan conductor Orlando Cela has recently been awarded second place in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the performance of American music, and second place in the London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition for his rendition of Beethoven’s Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. His experience includes launching the orchestral department at Ningbo University in China and conducting the inaugural concert of the Ningbo City Symphony Orchestra. In the US, his conducting positions include work with orchestras and choruses at Randolph College (VA) and UMass Dartmouth (MA). Guest conducting credits include the Marquette Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Northern Michigan State University Orchestra (MI), Brandeis New Music Ensemble (MA).  He is currently the music director and conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, with which he has performed world and American premieres by composers like Salvatore Sciarrino, Chen Yi, Hector Parra, Rebecca Saunders, and many others.



The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—youth orchestra division

The American Prize Winner:
Robert Boardman
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra
South Bend IN
Robert Boardman
Robert Boardman has been music director and conductor of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras (SBYSO) since 2011. In 2015, he was named winner of the American Prize in Orchestral Programming for his work with SBYSO. Since 2012, Boardman has been artistic director of Live from Orchestra Hall, the free webcasts of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, for which he frequently serves as cover conductor. In 2015 and 2017, Boardman led the Grand Central Symphony of New York City on a national tour, collaborating with Bollywood star Arijit Singh and his rock band. The tour visited sold-out venues across the United States. Since 2006, Boardman has been assistant conductor for The Lord of the Rings Symphony, assisting in more than 75 performances, including tours of North America and Europe. Other recent artistic engagements include the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he was assistant conductor for two seasons. As assistant to music director Marin Alsop, he worked with dozens of composers, including John Adams, Philip Glass, and Jennifer Higdon. Recently, Boardman assisted Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony in a semi-staged production of John Adams’ opera Nixon in China. He also performed and recorded the world premiere performance of Lembit Beecher’s multimedia oratorio And Then I Remember, a musical documentary about Beecher’s grandmother and her escape from Estonia during World War II. Boardman has conducted 14 world premieres and more than 30 orchestras worldwide, including the Houston Symphony, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Boardman studied conducting with Alsop, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, and Kenneth Kiesler. He also has participated in numerous master classes, workshops, and seminars with major orchestras and conductors throughout the United States. In May 2010, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


2nd Place:
Chad Hutchinson
SD Symphony Youth Orchestra
Sioux Falls SD
Chad Hutchinson
Chad Hutchinson is the Interim Director of Orchestras, Assistant Professor of Conducting and Conductor of University Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He conducts the Symphony Orchestra in 5 concerts annually, leads University Opera productions and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses. Prior to his time in Madison, Dr. Hutchinson was the Assistant Conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras.  As comfortable in the pit as on the stage, he has recently led productions at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Morningside College. Committed to education, Dr. Hutchinson taught orchestra in the public schools for nine years in Sioux Falls, SD and Williamsville, NY.  He later taught collegiately at Northwestern College(IA) and was the Coordinator/Music Director of the Siouxland Youth Orchestras in Sioux City, Iowa.  He holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Morningside College (IA).


Third Place:
Tigran Arakelyan
Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra
Bainbridge Island WA
Tigran Arakelyan
Armenian-American conductor Tigran Arakelyan is the Music Director of Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras, Federal Way Youth Symphony and the Artistic Director and Conductor of Port Townsend Community Orchestra. Arakelyan held conducting positions with California Philharmonic, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Whatcom Symphony, Rainier Symphony, and the Northridge Youth Philharmonic.  His recent conducting engagements are with the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Armenian Pops Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Northwest Mahler Festival, a second international tour of South Korea, and the inaugural Bainbridge Island String Orchestra Festival.

 Arakelyan helped in creating youth scholarship programs, festivals, young composer competitions, and led performances at unconventional venues. He conducted the Pacific Northwest premiere of Hindemith Kammermuzik Nr. 1. Arakelyan played alongside Sir James Galway during his induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame with the LA Philharmonic. He received a D.M.A. from the University of Washington under the mentorship of Ludovic Morlot and David Alexander Rahbee. www.TigranArakelyan.com


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Congratulations!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WINNERS: stage directors—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize

Charles Nelson Reilly, in "The Life of Reilly"
The American Prize is pleased to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of its award in stage direction, The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, recently renamed in memory of Charles Nelson Reilly, the Tony Award-winning actor and Broadway stage director, acclaimed opera director and acting teacher. Congratulations!

Charles Nelson Reilly won a Tony Award in 1962 for his portrayal of the character of Bud Frump in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” A Tony nomination for creating the role of Cornelius Hackl in “Hello Dolly” followed in 1964.

Far more than the zany television personality by which he was most often identified (Reilly was a regular on the “Match Game,” among scores of other television credits, and appeared as a guest more than one hundred times on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”), Reilly nurtured the creation of a whole series of unique one-person stage plays. Most famously, he directed Julie Harris in her Tony Award-winning star turn in “The Belle of Amherst”, on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson. Among his many Broadway directing credits were Ira Levin’s “Break a Leg”, Larry Shue’s “The Nerd”, and the revival of “The Gin Game”, starring Miss Harris and Charles Durning, for which Mr. Reilly was the sole American director to be nominated for a Tony in 1997. Late in his career, Reilly toured the U.S. in “Save it for the Stage: The Life of Reilly”, chronicling his life in his own one-man play.

Mr. Reilly’s career as an opera director included productions for Chicago Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Toledo Opera, Milwaukee Opera and Opera Pacific. Among Reilly's many acting students were Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler and Larry Burghoff.

Reilly and The American Prize chief judge David Katz were friends for three decades, first meeting through their mutual Hartford voice teacher, Mrs. Friedrich Schorr. Charles Nelson Reilly was honorary chairman of The Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice, which Katz founded in 1990. The Schorr Prize became part of the The American Prize family of competitions in 2010. Reilly was also the original director of MUSE of FIRE, Katz’s acclaimed one-man play about the art of conducting.


The American Prize in Directing—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Copeland Woodruff
Lawrence University
Appleton WI
Hydrogen Jukebox (Philip Glass)

Copeland Woodruff
Copeland Woodruff is the director of opera studies at Lawrence University and Conservatory. Woodruff has directed more than 100 productions of operas, plays, musicals and scenes programs. Most notably, he has been on the directing staffs of the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre and on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, Academy of Vocal Arts, and Temple University. Dedicated to the development of acting techniques for the singing actor, he has led collaborative workshops incorporating the leading methodologies and training philosophies, both traditional and modern. He is a champion of improvisation, musical and physical, in the operatic medium as a tool for education, creation, and performance. He is a regular collaborator with Guerilla Opera (Boston). Woodruff also works to expand the format of the solo recital. He is a proud member of AGMA and Actor’s Equity Association.
 


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Erin Naler
Bob Jones University
Greenville
The Trip to Bountiful (Horton Foote)

Erin Naler
Erin Naler completed a Bachelor of Science in Speech Education, a Master of Art in Theatre Arts from Bob Jones University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities in Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas in Dallas. She has directed and performed in numerous plays and operas from the classics to new works, most recently in the role of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Gertrude in Hamlet. Her creative and scholarly work focuses on the American play-cycle and the plays of Horton Foote and August Wilson. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Bob Jones University.

 

2nd Place (there was a tie):
David Ronis
University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Music
Madison WI
Transformations (Conrad Susa)

David Ronis
DAVID RONIS was recently named the inaugural Karen K. Bishop Director of Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Previously, he taught Queens College, Hofstra University, and Wagner College.  A six-time National Opera Association Production Competition winner, his guest directing engagements include Shreveport Opera, SUNY Potsdam, Rutgers University, Queens Symphony Orchestra, and Manhattan School of Music. The co-founder of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, he has taught at the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts, and La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.  A specialist in teaching integrative acting and movement techniques for singers, Mr. Ronis has given master classes and workshops at universities throughout the United States.  As a performer, he has sung over 50 operatic roles with companies all over the world, concertized extensively, toured nationally in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and appeared in independent films and nationally televised commercials.  www.davidronis.com

 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Herschel Garfein
Eklund Opera Company, University of Colorado
Boulder CO
The Magic Flute

Herschel Garfein
Herschel Garfein  is a GRAMMY® award winning composer, writer and stage director. This season he directed and adapted Mozart's The Magic Flute for Eklund Opera, University of Colorado, and his English dialogue for Flute will be heard in the Seagle Music Colony production this summer. Also, world premiere libretto of Sister Carrie, his operatic adaptation of the Theodore Dreiser novel with composer Robert Aldridge for Florentine Opera Milwaukee. Opera News called it “an important addition to the American operatic canon.” Composition premieres this year: opera Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (July 2017, The Seagle Music Colony);Mortality Mansions song-cycle at the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University; The Cyclone, 5 Boroughs Music Festival commission Garfein conceived, wrote and directed the jazz theater piece My Coma Dreams for composer/pianist Fred Hersch, which has been seen in New York, San Francisco and Berlin (Palmetto DVD, 2014). (“Best of 2014” Boston Globe; “Brilliant...smart, honest and true” Downbeat).  Garfein won the 2012 GRAMMY® award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for his “wildly operatic libretto” (–BBC Magazine) for Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry (Naxos). He teaches Composition and Script Analysis at New York University, where in 2013 he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award.

 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Darren P. Lawson
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC
Il Trovatore

Darren P. Lawson
Dr. Darren P. Lawson is dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.  He has a BA in Rhetoric and Public Address from Bob Jones University, an MA in Platform Arts from Bob Jones University, and PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas.  He is a member of the University Classic Players and has portrayed such roles as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Henry in King Henry IV, Duke of Buckingham in Richard III: The Terrible Reign, Bottom the Weaver in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macduff in Macbeth, Jaques in As You Like It, Feste in Twelfth Night, and many others.  He stage directs for the Bob Jones University Opera Association with productions including Little Women: The Broadway Musical, Aida, Samson et Dalila, Andrea Chenier, Mefistofele, L’Elisir d’Amore, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and Simeon.  http://www.bju.edu/events/fine-arts/concert-opera-drama/archive/

 

Finalist—Honorable Mention: 
Joshua Borths
Crane School of Music—SUNY Potsdam
Potsdam NY
The Magic Flute

Joshua Borths
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, stage director Joshua Borths is known for his innovative and thoughtful productions. Currently, Borths is the Resident Stage Director at Arizona Opera where he has directed new productions of Florencia en el Amazonas and Rusalka. Next season, he will direct Il babiere di Siviglia. Recently, Borths served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at SUNY-Potsdam where he directed The Magic Flute. Borths has also directed many new productions across the country Hansel and Gretel, The Tragedy of Carmen, The Elixir of Love, Suor Angelica, and Der Kaiser von Atlantis. Other favorites include a regional premiere of Soldier Songs and La Hija di Rappaccini. As an Assistant Director, Borths has worked on myriad productions for opera companies including Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and Wolf Trap Opera Company. More at https://joshua-borths.squarespace.com.

 

Finalist—Honorable Mention: 
Tracelyn Gesteland
University of South Dakota
Vermillion SD
The Marriage of Figaro

Tracelyn Gesteland
Dr. Tracelyn Gesteland is Associate Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of South Dakota and holds the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair.  She is the recipient of several national awards for her opera direction at USD, including accolades from The American Prize and the National Opera Association.  Other recent directing credits include productions with the Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival, the Houston Opera Project, and the South Dakota Vocal Arts Festival, in addition to serving as a directing apprentice with the Harrower Opera Workshop in Atlanta.  She is also an active performer on the opera, concert and recital stage, having been referred to by reviewers as “remarkable” and a “highlight of the evening” (Sioux City Journal) and “an engaging and versatile singing actress” (Madison Isthmus).  Dr. Gesteland was the winner of the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, USD’s highest teaching honor.

 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:  
David Holley
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro NC
Amahl and the Night Visitors

David Holley
David Holley has been the Director of Opera at UNCG since 1992 and was appointed as the Artistic Director of Greensboro Opera in June, 2013. Recent directing/producing credits include t hree acclaimed Greensboro Opera productions, Carmen (January, 2017), La Cenerentola (August, 2015) and La fille du régiment (January, 2015). Of the latter, the Greensboro News and Record said, “Simply put, Holley and the cast put on one of the finest performances in recent Triad memory.” In the Spring of 2009, he produced and directed the World Premiere of Picnic, an opera by American composer Libby Larsen, for which he also wrote the libretto. His productions have consistently won awards in the National Opera Association's annual Opera Production Competition, including seven first place and five second place NOA awards since his arrival at UNCG.

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Congratulations!




Monday, June 25, 2018

WINNING CONDUCTORS: opera, all divisions, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Conducting, Opera Divisions, 2017-18. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalists will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com


The American Prize in Conducting,  Professional Opera Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Isaac Selya
Queen City Opera
Cincinnati OH
Siegfried

Isaac Selya
A musician of remarkable versatility, Isaac Selya is a conductor, pianist, vocal coach, cellist, and entrepreneur. In recognition of his work as Founder and Artistic Director of Queen City Opera, he was featured in Musical America as a Spotlight Artist. He holds a Doctorate with specialization in Mozart’s operas, and has conducted all of Mozart’s German-language operas. At the Glimmerglass festival, he coached and conducted the first-ever reading of the revised version of Philip Glass’s Appomattox, with the composer present. Equally at home in symphonic repertoire, Isaac’s guest conducting credits include the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Xiamen Philharmonic, the Dayton Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Guatemala, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and the Chelsea Symphony. Committed to ensuring that musical education is accessible to all, Isaac teaches cello and conducts orchestras at the MYCincinnati Youth Orchestra, a free, El Sistema inspired program. He has two cats, named Tosca and Aida.

2nd Place:
Maria Sensi Sellner
Resonance Works/Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh PA
Falstaff

Maria Sensi Sellner
Maria Sensi Sellner has been widely recognized for her versatility and artistry as a conductor of opera, orchestras, and choruses. The first three-time winner of the American Prize for Opera Conducting, Ms. Sellner is the founder and Artistic Director of Resonance Works | Pittsburgh, Artistic Advisor for Hubbard Hall Opera, and previously has held positions as Director of the Akron Symphony Chorus and both Acting Music Director and Associate Conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (chorus of choice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra). In 2017, Ms. Sellner and Resonance Works presented the American premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Gloria in coordination with his residency with the Pittsburgh Symphony. In 2016, Ms. Sellner was a strand leader conductor for the world premiere of “the public domain” by David Lang, a piece written for 1000 volunteer singers performed during the 50th anniversary of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. The premiere was hailed by the New York Times as the “most inspiring feel-good performance of 2016.” www.MariaSensiSellner.org.


3rd Place:
Walter Morales
Pittsburgh Festival Opera
Pittsburgh PA
Julius Caesar

Walter Morales
Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of Undercroft Opera, Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, Head of Music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Assistant Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He has been a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, University of Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra, University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne University Opera & Orchestra, Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra and Rutgers Chamber Orchestra.  He has also served as cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. For more information please visit: www.waltermoralesmusic.com
 


The American Prize in Conducting,  College/University Opera Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Chad Hutchinson
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN
Suor Angelica

Chad Hutchinson
Chad Hutchinson is the Interim Director of Orchestras, Assistant Professor of Conducting and Conductor of University Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He conducts the Symphony Orchestra in 5 concerts annually, leads University Opera productions and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses. Prior to his time in Madison, Dr. Hutchinson was the Assistant Conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras.  As comfortable in the pit as on the stage, he has recently led productions at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Morningside College. Committed to education, Dr. Hutchinson taught orchestra in the public schools for nine years in Sioux Falls, SD and Williamsville, NY.  He later taught collegiately at Northwestern College(IA) and was the Coordinator/Music Director of the Siouxland Youth Orchestras in Sioux City, Iowa.  He holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Morningside College (IA). 
 
 

2nd Place:
Matthew Mailman 
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City OK
Dark Sisters (Muhly), Out Town (Rorem)

Matthew Mailman
Dr. Matthew Mailman is Professor of Conducting in the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, a position he has held since 1995. He serves as a Music Director for the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company and Conductor of OCU's Wind Philharmonic. He teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and coordinates OCU's Masters in Conducting program. At OCU, Dr. Mailman has conducted forty-two operas and musicals. Recent opera performances include Le Nozze di Figaro, La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte, and Dialogues des Carmélites. In 2016-17, he conducted Hairspray and Nico Muhly’s opera Dark Sisters. As Conductor/Artist in Residence at Opera in the Ozarks, he conducted Carlisle Floyd's opera Susannah in 2007 and Mozart's Cosí fan Tutte in 2008. Dr. Mailman earned his bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Northwestern University. He earned his doctorate in conducting at the University of North Texas.



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Walter Morales
Carnegie Mellon University Opera
Pittsburgh PA
Die Fledermaus
Walter Morales

Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of Undercroft Opera, Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, Head of Music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Assistant Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He has been a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, University of Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra, University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne University Opera & Orchestra, Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra and Rutgers Chamber Orchestra.  He has also served as cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. For more information please visit: www.waltermoralesmusic.com




3rd Place (there was a tie):
Kirk A. Severtson
The Crane School of Music, SUNY—Potsdam
Potsdam NY
The Tender Land

Kirk A. Severtson
Kirk Severtson (conductor and vocal coach) serves as the music director of the Crane Opera Ensemble at The Crane School of Music, in Potsdam, NY.  He serves on the music staff of The Dallas Opera (including three recent world premieres) and has previously worked at Opera Saratoga, Opera North, Cincinnati Opera, and others.  Recent performances of the Crane Opera Ensemble under his musical direction have garnered first-place awards from the National Opera Association and The American Prize, as well as honors from the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.  He serves as music director for the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize which recently awarded a commission to Tom Cipullo for his forthcoming work Mayo, to be produced in Fall 2018.  He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati (D.M.A. and M.M., both in piano performance) and Luther College (B.A. with majors in music, math, and computer science).
 
 


The American Prize in Conducting,  Community Opera Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Tiffany Chang
North End Music and Performing Arts Center Opera Project
Boston MA 


La Cenerentola
Tiffany Chang
Dr. Tiffany Chang is a versatile, award-winning conductor based in Boston, MA. Chang serves as Interim Director of Orchestral Studies at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music. She is the conductor of the New England Repertory Orchestra and Music Director for the North End Music and Performing Arts Center's Opera Project. She also served as Acting Director of Orchestral Activities at Boston University. Chang has been engaged with OperaHub, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, ALEA III, Xanthos Ensemble, Brookline Symphony Orchestra, and Parkway Concert Orchestra. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from Boston University and degrees in cello performance, music education, composition, and music theory from Oberlin Conservatory. Chang studied orchestral conducting with David Hoose and Bridget-Michaele Reischl; other mentors include Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, Robert Spano, Gunther Schuller, Larry Rachleff, and Donald Schleicher. 
 


2nd Place:
Ace Edewards
Opera in the Ozarks
Eureka Springs AR
Il Tabarro

Ace Edewards
Conductor Ace Edewards was born in California but raised in France. His studies have brought him to Le Centre d’Études Supèrieures de Musique et Dance in Toulouse, France; the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, in Glasgow, Scotland; and the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. In December of 2015, Ace received his doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona. Since graduating, audiences have seen him conduct critically acclaimed performances of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with Marble City Opera; concerts with the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra and Summerville Orchestra; Illegal Alien by Alfonso Molina at the International Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado in Àlamos, Mexico; Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Puccini’s Il tabarro and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at Opera in the Ozarks. Committed to the advancement of symphonic music in the Knoxville region, Ace helped create the Scruffy City Orchestra.

 

3rd Place:
Ezra Donner 
University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Ann Arbor MI
The Pirates of Penzance

Ezra Donner
Ezra Donner is an American composer, pianist, conductor, and educator.  His music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Turkey. Awards and recognition have come from The American Prize Competition, the Respighi Prize Competition, the Music Teachers’ National Association, the Boston New Music Initiative, the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, ClefWorks, and the Tobenski-Algera Concert Series.

Ezra has served as Music Director with The University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society since 2015 and was awarded 2nd Prize in The 2016 American Prize Conducting—Opera/Music Theatre Awards (Community Division). He holds a Doctor of Music Degree in Composition from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music with High Honors from the University of Michigan. His teachers have included Claude Baker, Don Freund, P.Q. Phan, Michael Colgrass, Bright Sheng, and William Bolcom.


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Congratulations!