Monday, January 23, 2017

COMPOSER WINNERS: Opera/Theater/Film, 2016

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mention recipients of The American Prize in Composition, 2016, in the Opera/Theater/Film category, all divisions. 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.

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 Composition—opera, theater, film—professional division

The American Prize winner:
JUSTIN DELLO JOIO—New York, NY
for
Blue Mountain—A Chamber Opera in One Act
JUSTIN DELLO JOIO
New York born composer, Justin Dello Joio, is the seventh generation of composer in the Dello Joio family. Currently the Faculty Composer in Residence for New York University, he has been described by distinguished composer John Corigliano  "Justin Dello Joio is a born composer. A real musician with a sparkling craft who has something urgent to say in his works, and the ability to say it. In an age when so much contemporary composition seems dictated by its technologically sophisticated means, it is wonderful to hear music that is composed completely by ear, mind and heart. His knowledge and mastery give his work a distinction that many other writers lack…he is a wonderful composer whose music has lasting power - A real creative artist!”  Composer Witold Lutoslawski described Dello Joio as“ an extremely talented and gifted composer”. Ned Rorem wore of his work, “ Of the hundreds of composers I know he is perhaps the most natural. He writes what he wants, not what the current market presumably demands… His music speaks.”

Dello Joio was honored with the American Academy of Arts and Letters highest award, The Award in Music, after previously receivingThe Lakond Award, and The Charles Ives Scholarship from the Academy. Dello Joio has received the John Guggenheim Fellowship and was honored as Composer of the Year by the Classical Recording Foundation in 2007. He has received awards and grants from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, CAPS  Grant, The New York State Council on the Arts,  3 Meet the Composer Grants, The Presser Foundation, The Lado Award, The Alexander Gretchaninoff Award (String Quartet #1), The Marion Freschl Award.
JustinDelloJoio.com


2nd Place:
CURTIS BRYANT—Union City GA
for
Zabette
CURTIS BRYANT
Atlanta native Curtis Bryant (b. 1949) has composed music for a wide variety of genres including orchestral, chamber, choral, art song, and grand opera.  A seven-time Emmy Award nominee, Bryant has also composed music for film, television, and video games.

Bryant's first opera, ZABETTE, a collaboration with librettist and historian Mary R. Bullard, is based on the true story of a Georgia plantation owner and his mixed-race mistress during the turbulent Civil War era.  The world premiere production in 1999 combined the vocal talents of Georgia State University with those of Morehouse and Spellman Colleges, as well as other area universities.

Bryant’s second opera, THE SECRET AGENT, based upon a libretto by forensic psychiatrist Allen Reichman, is an adaptation of the dark 1907 novel by Joseph Conrad.  The world premiere was given in 2013 by Atlanta’s Capitol City Opera Company directed by Micheal Nutter.

http://www.curtisbryantmusic.com 


3rd Place:
DOUGLAS BUCHANAN—Cockeysville, MD
for
Prospero Variations
DOUGLAS BUCHANAN
Douglas Buchanan’s (b. 1984) music has been lauded for its “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and being “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun), leading to grants and awards from the Presser Foundation, New Music USA, the Symphony in C, and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards. An active scholar, performer, and conductor noted for the “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material” (The Scotsman), Buchanan teaches at the Peabody Conservatory and Dickinson College. As pianist and organist he has performed concerts throughout the country, including at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art and the National Cathedral. In addition to serving as director of the Maryland Choral Society and Organist and Choirmaster at St. David’s, Baltimore, he enjoys interspecies microtonal improvisation with his black lab, Grover. You are invited to visit www.dbcomposer.com to learn more. 


Finalist—Honorable Mention:
ALLEN SHEARER—Oakland, CA
for
Middlemarch in Spring
ALLEN SHEARER
Allen Shearer has been honored with the Rome Prize Fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship, the Aaron Copland Award, and the Silvia Goldstein Award for a vocal work written at the Copland House. The National Endowment for the Arts has funded many of his works. His choral music has been performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. His opera The Dawn Makers, produced in San Francisco in 2009, was a finalist in the National Opera Association’s Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition. The 2015 premiere of his opera Middlemarch in Spring was named one of the Top Ten Operatic Events of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle. He composes in many media, with recent emphasis on opera. His current project is a new opera Howards End. Also a singer, he has performed and recorded in many styles, including his own works. He holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. 


Finalist—Honorable Mention:
JUDITH LYNN STILLMAN—Providence, RI
for
When the Music Stopped
JUDITH LYNN STILLMAN
Judith Lynn Stillman holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Juilliard.  Hailed by Wynton Marsalis as “remarkable, a consummate artist," winner of 18 competitions, Pell Award in the Arts, Stillman is Artist-in-Residence/Professor of Music at Rhode Island College, and an internationally-renowned composer, pianist, choral conductor.

Stillman's "When the Music Stopped" received national media coverage: "a breathtaking masterpiece," "Stillman's true genius shines as she catapults the audience through a multi-layered, artistically-complex presentation exploring injustice, survival and hope," "Stillman reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly in transporting us through darkness toward life and growth," "startlingly beautiful musical score."

Featured in world premieres at Lincoln Center; at Grammy's honoring Rostropovich; film scores for CBC-TV and Films JAD; Artist-in-Residence in China, Russia, Czech Republic, Beijing's Central Conservatory; Marlboro, Tanglewood, RI-PBS-TV, NPR. Collaborators: Wynton Marsalis (duo album, SONY), Mark O'Connor, Richard Stoltzman, Herbie Hancock (BOSE commercial), members of NY Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Borromeo, Cassatt, Shanghai Quartets.
www.judithlynnstillman.com


The American Prize in Composition—opera, theater, film—student division

The American Prize winner:
GEORGI DIMITROV—Los Angeles, CA
for
Maximus—An Opera in One Act
GEORGI DIMITROV
Georgi writes acoustic music that explores the relationships between distinctive sound molds and the ways in which they relate, mix, and complement each other in order to create a viable sense of form. His pieces occasionally enjoy the high-definition purr that results from the inclusion of intervals tuned in just intonation. He takes great joy in, in conjunction with the above or not, further using humor in his music: from a vulgar slapstick to an elegant eruditeness. His 2014 one-act, one-hour chamber opera Maximus was premiered at the University of Southern California and performed further in Los Angeles. The opera, conducted by the composer, takes place in the near future and concerns a parking ticket that utterly destroys its protagonist’s life. It is scored for clarinet, violin, viola, cello; and a soprano, baritone, and bass who all portray multiple characters.

Active as a performer, Georgi is also a proficient string player who began practicing violin at the age of 6. He currently plays in all three of Los Angeles’ youth orchestras and is principal viola at the YMF Debut Orchestra, assistant principal viola at the newly-formed Young Artists Symphony Orchestra, and third principal viola at the American Youth Symphony. He is a member of Che-Yen Chen’s viola studio at the Thornton School of Music. 


2nd Place:
DAYTON KINNEY—Durham, NC
for
Cold Hands
DAYTON KINNEY
Massachusetts-native, Dayton Kinney, creates music that has won and has been recognized for numerous competitions at the international, national, and state levels. Performed in the U.S. and abroad, Dayton’s music has had notable performances by the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Serpili Sisters.  Her music’s eclectic style is inspired from neo-romantic-ideals, juxtapositions, and accessibility. Her current compositional obsession explores the concept of the “in-between” grey-area of “tonality” and “atonality” through shapes, patterns, direction, and repetition. Currently, Dayton studies with Leonardo Balada and is pursuing her Masters of Music in Composition at Carnegie Mellon University. There, she is working on several long-term projects including a chamber opera and a symphony. Dayton holds a Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude with Honors in Music from Smith College. Her previous composition teachers have been Salvatore Macchia and Melinda Wagner.


3rd Place:
HARRIET STEINKE—Grosse Pointe, MI
for
Somewhere in Europe
HARRIET STEINKE
Harriet Steinke (b.1994) is a composer of contemporary classical music. Harriet’s works have been premiered within dance, art, and theatre productions involving professional and student artists as well as collaborations through youth programs in the Indianapolis area. In 2015, the Butler Community Arts School commissioned a collaborative piece for Butler University’s ArtsFest, which was premiered by several of their youth orchestras. Most of Harriet’s recent work is driven by not only artistic collaborations but also academic research. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Harriet was awarded a grant from the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program at Butler University. She conducted research surrounding the experiences of World War II soldiers to aid to the composition of a narrative piece focused on the physical and emotional experiences of the American soldier. Harriet is currently earning her B.M. at Butler where she has studied with Frank Felice, Ronald Caltabiano, and Michael Schelle. www.HarrietSteinke.com 


Honorable Mention:
DOUGLAS BROWN—Morgantown WV
for
The Problem with This German
DOUGLAS BROWN
Douglas Brown is currently studying for a doctorate in music composition at West Virginia University.  He has a Master of Music in composition from Houghton College in New York and received Music Theory Honors at Wayland Baptist University where he completed his bachelor’s degree in theory and composition.  He has studied composition under John Beall, Gary D. Belshaw, David H. Davies, and Sun Mi Ro.

As publisher for Three Candles Music, Mr. Brown provides an avenue of promotion for the new music of living composers.  In his own compositions he uses his combined background in instrumental and vocal music to draw on a broad spectrum for writing in the postminimal style.  He also currently serves as adjunct professor in music for Wayland Baptist University in their online degree program.

***
Congratulations!

Friday, January 20, 2017

FINALISTS: Marijosius Award in Orchestral Programming

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce 2016 FINALIST conductors in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

We encourage finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to the announcement at the bottom of this page.

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

For nearly thirty five years Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford, Vytautas Marijosius programmed concerts that were alive in every sense—not programming for novelty’s sake, nor neglecting the great masters of the past—but always bringing to the awareness of his students and audiences great composers of the current time and potential masters of the future. I believe he would be pleased in different ways with each of this year's honorees." —DK

For more about Maestro Marijosius, please visit the companion blog here.


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

James Allen Anderson
    University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra
    Newark DE 

Peter Askim
    The Next Festival of Emerging Artists
    The Raleigh Civic Symphony Orchestra
    Raleigh NC 

Nicholas DeMaison
    Rensselaer Orchestra 
    Troy, NY

Johannes Dietrich
    Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
    Annville PA 

Jaemi Loeb
    Centre College Orchestra
    Danville KY 

David Rahbee
    University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
    Seattle WA


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

Donald L. Appert
    The Jewish Community Orchestra of Portland
    Portland OR

Pia Liptak
    Cordancia Chamber Orchestra
    Rochester NY 

David William Oertel
    Starlight Symphony Orchestra
    Wimberley TX

Anthony Spain
    Northwest Symphony     Orchestra
    Seattle WA



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

Orlando Cela
    NC Governor's School Orchestra
    Winston-Salem NC

Alyze Dreiling
    YPO Soloists Ensemble
    San Diego CA

Farkhad Khudyev
    Youth Music Monterey
    Monterey CA


***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in my division in soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Monday, January 16, 2017

COMPOSER FINALISTS, 2016: chamber music (professional division)

"Extraordinary encounters..." From a grand field of applicants representing a great divergence of styles and compositional approaches, from the most traditional to the highly experimental, The American Prize is honored to announce FINALIST composers of chamber music for 2016 in the professional division. (The student division will be published separately.) Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement.

Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement.  

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. All finalists receive written evaluations.

We encourage finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to the announcement below on their website or blog. 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Composition—professional chamber music division

Finalists are listed by composer and community, and by the name of the work(s) advanced to the finals.


Sy Brandon    Cottonwood AZ
    Shenanigans—for SATB saxophone quartet
    Badinerie—for clarinet and piano
    Three Moods—for brass quintet

Matthew Burtner    Charlottesville VA
    The Ceiling Floats Away—for ensemble, poetry and audience interaction software

Daniel M. Cavanagh    Arlington TX
    Waves—for trumpet ensemble and drumset

Thomas Childs    Traverse City MI
    tritonicity
    chachi ka—for four amplified voices and two percussion

Allen Cohen    New Providence NJ 
    Sculpture Garden Suite—for brass quintet

Ethan Cypress    Oneonta NY
    Toy Suite—for saxophone quartet

Dante De Silva    Tarzana CA
    A Year of Strife—for soprano, harp and electronics

Justin N. Dello Joio    New York NY
    Due Per Due—for violoncello and piano
    The March of Folly—music for piano trio

Wallace DePue Sr.    Bowling Green OH
    Sonata Lycanthrope—for piano

Gregory Fritze    Daytona Beach Shores FL
    Petite Suite—for brass quintet

Kenneth Froelich    Fresno CA
    Sonata for Clarinet & Piano   

Ching-chu Hu    Newark OH
    Dragonfly—for marimba

Shawn Hundley    Port Orange FL
    Duoesque for Clarinet and Piano   

Dana Kaufman   Brookline MA   
    (application moved to correct category)
    Halcyon Disquiet—for flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, electric guitar and violin

Andrew List    Boston MA
    String Quarter No.5 "Time Cycles"   

Lansing D. McLoskey    Miami FL
    Rite—for 2 pianos, 2 percussion

Timothy Lee Miller    Mahwah NJ
    224 slices of pi—for flute, cello, piano & percussion

Ian Ng    New York NY
    Think Twice—Three Little Musical Games—for violin and viola

Mark Petering    Kenosha WI
    Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra (string quartet)   

Emilio Solla    Brooklyn NY
    Llegara, Llegara, Llegara—for two violns, viola and piano

Greg A. Steinke    Depoe Bay OR
    Expressions—on the paintings of Edvard Munch—for string quartet

Kotoka Suzuki    Chicago IL
    In Praise of Shadows—Three Paper Players and Electronics
 
William Vollinger    Woodcliff Lake NJ 
    Stalin and the Little Girl (an icon)—for unaccompanied voice

Kirsten Volness    Providence RI
    Alone Together—for violin, stereo sound and live electronics

Judith Lang Zaimont    Maricopa AZ
    ZONES—Trio for Violin, 'Cello and Piano


*** 

We encourage finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in my division next month. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

FINALISTS: Arts Marketing

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALISTS in Arts Marketing for 2016. To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

If you were not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement.

Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement.  

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to the announcement below on their website or blog. 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Arts Marketing

Distinguished Concerts International New York
    Iris Derke, Andrea Macy & Staff
    New York NY

The Endicott Repertory Dance Ensemble
    Cynthia Roberts
    Beverly MA

River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
    Eric Skelly
    Houston TX

Tallahassee Community Chorus
   Jan Smith, Gabriela Mendizabal, and Lara Larsson  
   Tallahassee FL


***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in my division shortly. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

FINALISTS: Theater and Music Theater Performance

Marilyn Miller in the Ziegfeld Follies
The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST theater and musical theater productions for 2016. To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

If you were not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement.

Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement.  

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to the announcement below on their website or blog. 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Theater / Musical Theater Performance

Finalists are listed by ensemble or organization, by city, by the person making the application, and by production.

"Each in their own way very fine productions..."

Belmont University
    Nancy Allen
    Nashville TN
Berlin, et al—White Christmas

AZ State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
    Brian DeMaris
    Tempe AZ
Sondheim—Company

Top Billing Entertainment
    Kristina Keener Ivy
    Glendora CA
Baum, et al—The Wizard of Oz

Bob Jones University
    Darren P. Lawson
    Greenville SC
Shakespeare—Richard III

Royal Oak Middle School
    Nicole Pedroche
    Covina CA
Brown, et al—13, The Musical 

***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in my division shortly. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

FINALISTS: Stage Directors

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST stage directors for 2016. To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

If you were not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement.

Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement.  

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to the announcement below on their website or blog. 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Directing

Alan E. Hicks
    Miami Music Festival
    Miami FL
Britten: Albert Herring 

David Holley
    The University of NC at Greensboro
    Greensboro NC
Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmelites

Kristina Keener Ivy
    Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy
    Glendora CA
Baum, et al: The Wizard of Oz

Darren P. Lawson
    Bob Jones University
    Greenville, SC
Verdi: Aida

Justin John Moniz
    Florida State University Student Opera Society
    Tallahassee FL
Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado
 
Samuel Mungo
    Texas State University
    San Marcos TX
Mollicone: Lady Bird, First Lady of the Land

Jacque Trussel
    Purchase Opera—SUNY Purchase
    Purchase NY
Ward: The Crucible

***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in my division shortly. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

FINALISTS: Opera Companies

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST opera ensembles for 2016. Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

If your ensemble is not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement.

Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement.  

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to the announcement below on their website or blog. 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Opera Performance (opera companies/ensembles)

Finalists are listed by company or ensemble, including the name of the individual (usually a producer, director or conductor) who made the original application, and the production that has advanced to the finals.

University of South Dakota Opera
    Tracelyn Gesteland    Vermillion SD
    Copland—The Tender Land

The University of NC at Greensboro Opera
    David Holley    Greensboro NC
    Poulenc—Dialogues des Carmelites

University of Michigan Opera
    Kathleen Kelly    Ann Arbor MI
    Ravel—L'heure espagnole / Puccini—Gianni Schicchi 

Bob Jones University Opera
    Darren P. Lawson    Greenville SC
    Verdi—Aida

FSU Student Opera Society
    Justin John Moniz    Tallahassee FL
    Gilbert & Sullivan—The Mikado

Texas State University Opera
    Samuel Mungo    San Marcos TX
    Mollicone—Lady Bird, First Lady of the Land

Messiah College Opera
    Damian Savarino    Mechanicsburg PA
    Copland—The Tender Land

Conservatory Opera of Music (SUNY—Purchase)
    Jacque Trussel    Purchase NY
    Ward—The Crucible

***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WINNERS: Ernst Bacon Memorial Award

Ernst Bacon
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mention recipients of The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the Performance of American Music, 2016, in all divisions. 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.

Among the many contests of The American Prize, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music is unique. It recognizes and rewards the best performances of American music by orchestras and choruses worldwide, based on submitted recordings. Applications are accepted from professional, college/university, community and high school orchestras, competing in separate divisions, from choruses performing with orchestra, from orchestra and choral conductors, and from composers of orchestral or choral/orchestral music with excellent recordings of their works.

Focused exclusively on works by American composers from any period and in any style, the contest not only judges performances, but in the case of new or unfamiliar works, the music itself.

Ernst Bacon (1898—1990) was one of that pioneering generation of composers who, along with Thomson, Copland, Harris, and others, found a voice for American music. Winner of a Pulitzer Scholarship (for his Symphony in D minor) and no fewer than three Guggenheim Fellowships, Ernst Bacon set out to create compositions that expressed the vitality and affirmative spirit of our country.

It is fitting, and with honor, that The American Prize creates an annual award in the memory of Ernst Bacon, recognizing the finest performances of American orchestral music worldwide.

To learn more about the music & legacy of Ernst Bacon, please visit the website of the Ernst Bacon Society.

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com
 

The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, PROFESSIONAL division, 2016

THE AMERICAN PRIZE winner:
Nan Washburn, conductor and Michigan Philharmonic, Plymouth MI
for these recorded performances:    

    Michael Daugherty—Ladder to the Moon
    Carter Pann—Slalom
    Kareem Roustom—Hewar


Nan Washburn, conductor and Michigan Philharmonic, Plymouth MI
Michigan Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor since 1999, Nan  Washburn is the 2013 Winner of the American Prize in Orchestral  Conducting Professional Division. She has also received19 ASCAP Awards  for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music from the League of  American Orchestras. Previously serving as Music Director and Conductor  of Orchestra Sonoma, the West Hollywood Orchestra and Camellia Symphony,  she has guest conducted the symphony orchestras of Richmond, Sacramento,  Wyoming, Eugene, Berkeley, Marin, Cheyenne, Dubuque and Stockton  addition to appearances with Oregon Mozart Players, Women's  Philharmonic, the University of Michigan Philharmonia. Washburn has  worked with and performed works by many of the leading composers in the  U.S. today, including Ned Rorem, Libby Larsen, Ellen Zwilich, Zhou Long,  John Corigliano, Joan Tower, Frank Ticheli, Alvin Singleton, Chen Yi,  Lou Harrison, Lowell Liebermann, Michael Daugherty and Jennifer Higdon.

The Michigan Philharmonic, one of the most innovative and dynamic  professional orchestras in Southeast Michigan, was recently awarded the  prestigious Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant and received 2nd and  3rd Place honors from The American Prize, professional orchestra  division. Michigan Phil is bringing its events into an ever-expanding  roster of Michigan communities, including Plymouth, Canton,  Birmingham-Bloomfield, Brighton, Downtown Detroit, and many others. The  organization is committed to reaching out to a broad and diverse array  of audiences. Currently in its 70th Season, the orchestra plays a full  season of concerts throughout the year including pops, outdoor,  Bollywood and Fusion Festivals. The Philharmonic also has an extensive  education program that includes the Michigan Philharmonic Youth  Orchestra. 

Michael Daugherty is one of the most frequently commissioned,  programmed, and recorded composers on the American concert music scene  today. Daugherty first came to international attention when the  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performed his Metropolis Symphony at  Carnegie Hall in 1994. Since that time, Daugherty’s music has entered  the orchestral, band and chamber music repertoire and made him,  according to the League of American Orchestras, one of the ten most  performed living American composers. Daugherty is a frequent guest of  professional orchestras, festivals, universities and conservatories  around the world. He has been the Composer-in-Residence with the Louisville Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and Cabrillo  Festival of Contemporary Music, among others. Daugherty has received  numerous awards, distinctions, and fellowships for his music including a  Fulbright Fellowship, Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. Daugherty’s  Metropolis Symphony and Deus ex Machina was honored with three GRAMMY®  Awards, including Best Classical Contemporary Composition for Deus ex  Machin. 

Composer/pianist Carter Pann has written for and worked with musicians  around the world, garnering performances by ensembles such as the London  Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Symphony in  Moscow, many Radio Symphonies around Europe, the Seattle Symphony,  National Repertory Orchestra, the youth orchestras of New York and  Chicago, and countless wind ensembles. He has written for Richard  Stoltzman, the Antares Ensemble, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, the West  Coast Wind Quintet, the River Oaks Chamber Ensemble, and many concert  pianists. His String Quartet No. 2 “Operas” was commissioned by the  Takács Quartet to premiere in the 2015-16 season. Pann has been awarded  a Charles Ives Fellowship, a Masterprize seat in London and five ASCAPs  over the years. His numerous albums encompass solo, vocal, chamber,  orchestral, and wind music and have received two Grammy nominations to  date. He currently teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder. 

Steeped in the musical traditions of the Near East and trained in western concert music and jazz, Syrian-born Kareem Roustom is an  Emmy-nominated composer who is a musically bilingual composer who has  collaborated with a wide variety of artists receiving numerous  commissions to compose works for Kronos Quartet, Daniel Barenboim and  the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra's  department of education, and others. Recent performances of Roustom’s  music have included performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Malmö  Opera Orchestra (Sweden), and at numerous festivals including the  Verbier Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the BBC  Proms, as well as performances in Japan, China, Germany, France, the  U.K., Argentina, the Middle East, and the U.S.A. Roustom’s work in film  includes a number of award-winning narrative and documentary films that  have competed at festivals that include Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca and  many others.


2nd Place:
Christina Brice Dolanc, composer, and Erie Chamber Orchestra & Erie Renaissance Singers Erie PA
for this recorded performance:

    Stars Alone for SSAATTBB Choral Ensemble and String Orchestra -- Christina Brice Dolanc
    poem by Sara Teasdale
    commissioned by the Erie Chamber Orchestra
    premiered April 2016 by the Erie Chamber Orchestra
    featuring the Erie Renaissance Singers 


Christina Brice Dolanc


Erie Chamber Orchestra & Matthew Kraemer
Christina Brice Dolanc is a composer, violinist, and vocalist currently residing in Erie, PA. She is steadily joining the ranks of today’s most innovative writers for strings and vocal ensemble and has recently found success with several of her compositions, including eight premieres, four commissions, and several national and international awards. Her music has been described as neo-impressionistic and emotionally enchanting.

Conductor Matthew Kraemer is the Music Director of the Erie Chamber Orchestra and has been recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and “energized sense of interpretation”. He was recently appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and is in his fourth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Butler County Symphony (Butler, PA). His guest conducting schedule includes numerous ensembles throughout North America and Europe.

The Erie Chamber Orchestra (Erie, PA) was founded as the Erie Bayfront Orchestra in 1978 by conductor Bruce Morton Wright, and is currently sponsored by Gannon University. Comprised of the region’s finest musicians, the group is able to maintain its mission to ensure everyone has access to classical music.

The Erie Renaissance Singers was founded in 1999 by Carolyn Brock and has been led by Steven A. Woods since 2014. They are dedicated to fostering a human connection to music through their high standards of choral excellence. Despite the word “Renaissance” appearing in their name, the 15-member ensemble performs a varied program of choral music from all eras including modern compositions.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Tim Huling, composer, and Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island, Anna Edwards, conductor, Whidbey Island WA
for this recorded performance:
   
    The American Northwest - A Concerto for Harp and Clarinet (2015)
    Composer: Tim Huling
    Soloists: John Carrington, Harp and Jennifer Nelson, Clarinet
    Ensemble: Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island
    Conductor: Anna Edwards


John Carrington, Harp and Jennifer Nelson, Clarinet

Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island
    Conductor: Anna Edwards

Composer: Tim Huling
TIM HULING, composer of The American Northwest, is a Seattle native and concert and media composer who has written chamber music, ballet, jazz, film scores and video games. Past projects include music for the Beijing Olympics, PBS's Inside Passage, TLC's Little People, Big World. Mr. Huling is on the Film Scoring faculty at Berklee College of Music.

SARATOGA ORCHESTRA of Whidbey Island (WA) is a professional orchestra formed in 2007 as an expansion of the Saratoga Chamber Players founded by Whidbey Island’s legendary violinist and arts supporter, Michael Nutt.  The orchestra achieved significant growth from 2007 through 2012 under the leadership of Conductor Emeritus, Legh W. Burns. In 2014, Anna Edwards was appointed Music Director and Conductor and currently leads the orchestra.

ANNA EDWARDS, Music Director and Conductor of the Saratoga Orchestra, holds several positions as an artist/teacher in the Seattle area. Anna is the Director or Orchestras at Roosevelt High School in Seattle and additionally serves as conductor, founder, and music director of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra. Her performing groups have been recognized at the local, state and national levels. In 2014, Anna received 1st place for conducting in The American Prize community orchestra division and the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra received 2nd place in The American Prize community orchestra performance division. Anna received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Washington and previously studied conducting at the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Jason Lim, conductor, and the Odysseus North Texas Chamber Orchestra, McKinney TX 
for this recorded performance:

    Russell Peck—Signs of Life II

Jason Lim, conductor, and the Odysseus North Texas Chamber Orchestra

Jason Lim, conductor, and the Odysseus North Texas Chamber Orchestra
JASON LIM, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
Recognized by the Denton-Record Chronicle as one of “2012’s Most Fascinating People,” the career of conductor Jason Lim is on the rise. Lim was born in Penang, Malaysia and began his formal training in viola performance when he won a scholarship to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with Alice Waten. He commenced his studies at the Canberra (Australia) School of Music, and completed his bachelor’s degree with honors at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. Jason received his Masters degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Texas. Known for his fine technique in performances, Jason began his conducting studies in Australia: first as an apprentice with the Canberra Youth Orchestra, and later as an Assistant Conductor with the Ku Ring Gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney, a position that was awarded in conjunction with the New South Wales Ministry of Arts Conducting Prize. Most recently, Mr. Lim has been of awards from the American Prize Competition: the 2011 Young Conductor Citation Award, third prize in the 2013 Conducting Competition and most recently second prize in the 2015 and 2014 American Prize Competition for professional conductors. In 2013 Jason made his European conducting debut with the Academic State Concert Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev and in 2014 appeared as guest conductor with the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. www.jasonlim-conductor.com
http://jasonlim-conductor.wix.com/jason

ODYSSEUS NORTH TEXAS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Founded in Denton in 2012, Odysseus Chamber Orchestra consists of  professional classical musicians from the DFW area. In May 2012, Odysseus launched a successful inaugural performance featuring local soloists, performed with Christopher Deane, Professor of Percussion at the University of North Texas and gave the world premiere of Breathe by Brad Robin, a work commissioned by Artistic Director, Jason Lim. Innovative in its programs under the direction of Jason Lim, OCO collaborated with the Denton City Contemporary Ballet  staging a full ballet performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and in 2014 staged the premiere performance of the full production of Igor Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale. In 2014 OCO collaborated with world renowned double bassist, Jeff  Bradetich featuring the Tango music of Astor Piazzolla. In its short history, the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra has gained a growing national reputation as an emerging ensemble, winning third prize in the 2015 American Prize Competition for professional orchestras, 2nd prize in the 2014 and 3rd prize the year before. OCO has supported local service clubs like the Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club, the Robson Ranch Kiwanis Club, sponsoring events such as the Eliminate Project Cruise and the Passing of the Banner Dinner. The outreach programs of Odysseus has expanded in the last two year, providing free chamber music series concerts, free amenity concerts in neighborhoods, educational school performances and collaborating with the Arts and Music Guild to organize the Summer Music Intensives.


The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY division, 2016

The American Prize winner:
Peter Askim, conductor, and The Next Festival of Emerging Artists, NYC & Falls Village CT
 for these recorded performances:

    Pierre Jalbert—Autumn Rhapsody
    Lisa Bielawa—The Trojan Woman


Lisa Bielawa
Pierre Jalbert
Peter Askim, conductor
About the Next Festival of Emerging Artists
The Next Festival of Emerging Artists is an immersion experience for talented string players on the cusp of great careers. Combining intense musical study and performance at the highest level, the festival brings together young artists, aged 20-30, from the best music schools and conservatories in the country, to work in a highly individualized and inspirational atmosphere.
The Next Festival is dedicated to championing the music of our time and supporting the artists of tomorrow. The 2015 season marked the Festival’s New York debut at (le)poisson rouge, in a program of all living composers. The concert was featured on the WQXR/Q2’s program New York Now. (www.next-fest.org)

About Peter Askim
Active as a conductor, composer and bassist, Peter Askim is the Artistic Director of the Next Festival of Emerging Artists and the conductor of the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, as well as Director of Orchestral Activities at North Carolina State University. He was formerly Music Director and Composer-in-Residence of the Idyllwild Arts Academy.

A dedicated champion of the music of our time, he has premiered numerous works, including works by composers Richard Danielpour, Nico Muhly, Christopher Theofanidis, Pierre Jalbert, Phil Kline, Rufus Reid, Chen Yi and Aaron Jay Kernis. He has collaborated with such artists as the Miró String Quartet, ETHEL Matt Haimovitz, Vijay Iyer and Sō Percussion.

About Pierre Jalbert

Pierre Jalbert is Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where he has taught since 1996, and he serves as one of the artistic directors of Musiqa, a Houston-based contemporary chamber ensemble. His music is published by Schott Music. Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 2007 Stoeger Award, given biennially "in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory", and a 2010 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About Lisa Bielawa
Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. Gramophone reports, “Bielawa is gaining gale force as a composer, churning out impeccably groomed works that at once evoke the layered precision of Vermeer and the conscious recklessness of Jackson Pollock,” and The New York Times describes her music as, “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart.” In 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California.


2nd Place:
Hugh Murphy, conductor, and SUNY Purchase Opera/Purchase Orchestra, Purchase NY 
for this recorded performance:

    Robert Ward—The Crucible

Hugh Murphy, conductor
Hugh Murphy has been the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Purchase Opera for their past sixteen seasons.  Under his baton, several Purchase Opera productions have been favorably reviewed by The New York Times, Opera News Magazine, Fanfare Magazine, American Radio Guide, and others; nine Purchase productions have been named “Best Opera of the Year” by the National Opera Association.  World-premiere recordings with Purchase Opera (Albany Records): The Tempest (Hoiby), Confession (Lucas).  At Purchase College, Mr. Murphy is responsible for coaching the voice majors, and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in German and French Art Song, Operatic Literature and Styles.  Other faculty affiliations: Mannes College of Music (former), Eastman School of Music (Visiting Faculty), “Si Parla, and Si Canta!” (Italy).  Mr. Murphy’s expertise and experience span the vocal repertoire from the earliest operas to the most recent; his professional clients perform with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies.


3rd Place: 
Mark Bartley, conductor, and West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra Ensemble, Canyon TX
for this recorded performance:

    Libby Larsen—Four on the Floor


Mark Bartley, conductor, and West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra Ensemble
Mark Bartley, conductor
In addition to its performances at opera productions, traditional concerts, choral-orchestral masterworks, and dance collaborations, the West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra has gained notoriety for its live cinema presentations of silent films with newly-composed synchronized soundtracks.  Primarily comprised of undergraduate and graduate music students, the 65-member orchestra also includes students with other majors.  The ensemble frequently tours the West Texas region, but this May completed its first international tour with performances in Prague, Budapest, and Vienna.

Mark Bartley has conducted professional orchestras around the world including the Atlantic Coast Orchestra (Portugal), China Opera and Dance Symphony Orchestra (Beijing), the Harbin Opera Orchestra (China), the North Czech Philharmonic (Teplice) and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau (Romania).  He has also conducted ensembles from Cornell, Yale, Boston University, University of Hawaii, Mount Holyoke College, and the New England Conservatory.  In Texas, Dr. Bartley has led the Amarillo Youth Symphony and served the Amarillo Symphony as Associate Conductor.  He has been Director of Orchestral Activities at WTAMU since 2006.


FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Michael W. Moore, conductor, and Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra, Greenville SC
 
   Ernest Bloch—Schelomo
    Stephen Hawkey, cello soloist

Michael W. Moore, conductor, and Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra
The Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra, one of three orchestras at BJU, exists to inspire artistic excellence in performance as a display of God’s glory and His gifts to man. Auditions are open to all students in the University regardless of major program of study. The Symphony has a long and rich tradition of presenting masterworks from the orchestral and operatic repertoire. http://www.bju.edu/life-faith/get-involved/fine-arts.php

Conductor Michael W. Moore is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra in Greenville, SC. Under his baton, the BJUSO received Honorable Mention in the college/university division of the 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance. Moore also serves as conductor and music director for the Fountain Inn (SC) Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees in music education and instrumental conducting and studied with William Moody (USC-Columbia).

Stephen Hawkey is a cello performance major at BJU where he studies with Dr. Yuriy Leonovich. Stephen won the 2016 BJU Concerto & Aria Competition and was recently accepted into the 2016 National Repertory Orchestra as one of nine cellists chosen from around the world. With the Chante Piano Trio, he was semifinalist in the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. During the summer of 2015, he and his trio members studied with Colin Carr, Kim Kashkashian, and Daniel Philips at the Music Mountain Masterclass Series.


HONORABLE MENTION:
Peggy Dettwiler, conductor and the Mansfield University Concert Choir, Mansfield, PA
    Sing til the Spirit Moves (spirituals from twenty-three seasons)
  
Mansfield University Concert Choir

Peggy Dettwiler, conductor
The African American spiritual (also called the Negro Spiritual) comprises one of the largest and most significant forms of American folksong.  The Mansfield University Concert Choir, under the direction of Peggy Dettwiler, has performed these powerful choral art songs annually for more than twenty years with deep respect and earnest understanding.  The MU Concert Choir, the premier touring ensemble, has been invited for twenty consecutive years to perform at state, regional, national, or international choral conventions and has won eight gold medals at the World Choir Games including a Championship and four second-place prizes as well as first place and two second-place prizes at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. The Concert Choir also won the American Prize in Choral Performance for the College & University Division in 2011 and gave their debut performance in Carnegie Hall as a part of the Performing Arts Educators 8th Annual Invitational in 2014. Peggy Dettwiler, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Mansfield University, has served as a guest conductor and lecturer throughout the country and has given presentations at numerous NAfME and ACDA Conventions.  Dettwiler has produced two DVDs, one entitled, “Developing a Vocal Color Palette for Various Choral Styles” and the second, “Sing in Style.” She presented an interest session at the World Choral Symposium in Seoul, Korea, in August of 2014, and served as an adjudicator for the 2016 World Choir Games in Sochi, Russia.  Dettwiler received the Presidential Coin for Excellence from General Francis Hendricks, President of Mansfield University and was designated “Honored Artist of the American Prize.”


HONORABLE MENTION:
Michael Richards, conductor and the UMBC Symphony, Baltimore MD
    William Grant Still—Afro-American Symphony

Michael Richards, conductor and the UMBC Symphony
Founded in 1973 in Baltimore by conductor/violinist Robert Gerle, The UMBC Symphony is an ensemble of 90 students that performs music from the 17th to 21st centuries.  In addition to symphonies by Berlioz, Beethoven, Brahms and Sibelius, music from the last 100 years has also been represented on their recent concerts by works of Rahilia Hasanova (Azerbaijan/USA), Daniel Schnyder (Switzerland), Sofia Kamayianni (Greece), and Dmitri Shostakovich, as well as American composers Charles Ives, William Grant Still, Linda Dusman,  Karena Ingram, and Zach Thomas.  Guest soloists have included the Italian/Swiss "Trio des Alpes."  UMBC is a mid-sized public research university with a liberal arts curriculum, and has recently received attention as a national leader in both innovation and undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report).   The student body, drawn from all 50 states and more than 100 other countries, is one of the most diverse in the nation.  Members of the Symphony are currently undergraduate students who are majoring in music and/or one of 19 other disciplines.

E. Michael Richards assumed leadership of the UMBC Symphony beginning in the fall of 2007.  Dr. Richards previously served as conductor of the Hamilton College Orchestra for 17 years, the Bowdoin College Orchestra, and as assistant conductor with the La Jolla Civic Orchestra (San Diego).  He has also guest-conducted the Syracuse Society for New Music. Fanfare Magazine heralded a recording on the Opus One label of Masataka Matsuo’s Hirai V that Richards led with the Hamilton College Orchestra as “a staggering achievement.”


HONORABLE MENTION:
Carolyn Watson, conductor and the Texas State University Symphony, San Marcos, TX
    Mollicone—Lady Bird, First Lady of the Land 

Carolyn Watson, conductor

Mollicone—Lady Bird, First Lady of the Land
Winner of the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Performance and Runner-up for the American Prize in Conducting, Australian conductor Carolyn Watson is Director of Orchestral Studies at Texas State University. From 2013-15 she held the position of Conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, having also conducted the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Prior to moving to the US Carolyn enjoyed a successful tenure as the inaugural Conductor-in-Residence at Sydney's Conservatorium High School from 2011-2013. A Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, Carolyn was a major prizewinner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest. She is the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Australian Conductors, Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize, Nelly Apt Scholarship and Opera Foundation Australia’s Bayreuth Opera Award and Berlin New Music Opera Award. Dr. Watson holds a PhD in Performance (Conducting) from the University of Sydney where the subject of her doctoral thesis was Gesture as Communication: The Art of Carlos Kleiber. www.carolyn-watson.com


The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, COMMUNITY division, 2016

The American Prize winner:
Diane Retallack, artistic director, and the Eugene Vocal Arts Chamber Choir, Eugene OR
for this recorded performance:     

    Shadow & Light, an Alzheimer’s Journey in 16 movements, by Joan Szymko
    Newly commissioned work premiered April 8 and 10, 2016
    Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

    Performers:
    Eugene Vocal Arts (chamber choir of the Eugene Concert Choir organization)
    Eugene Concert Orchestra
    Soloists: Marietta Simpson, mezzo; Sarah Joanne Davis, soprano; Brendan Tuohy, tenor; Lexy Wellman, narrator
    Conductor Dr. Diane Retallack


Eugene Vocal Arts and Eugene Concert Orchestra

Joan Szymko

Diane Retallack, artistic director
Eugene Vocal Arts, the chamber choir of the Eugene Concert Choir organization, was founded by Artistic Director Dr. Diane Retallack in 1986. The 40-voice ensemble specializes in sophisticated repertoire from the Renaissance to the present and along with its parent organization is a resident company of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. The Eugene Concert Choir organization commissioned Oregon composer Joan Szymko to create a choral work on the subject of memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s disease, entitled Shadow & Light. This ground-breaking masterwork was premiered by Eugene Vocal Arts and the organization’s orchestra, Eugene Concert Orchestra, in April of 2016. The project also includes a concert video, CD recording, and video documentary of the journey. Conductor Diane Retallack received her Doctor of Music from Indiana University and has been Artistic Director of the Eugene Concert Choir organization since 1985.

Eugene Vocal Arts, the chamber choir of the Eugene Concert Choir organization, was founded by Artistic Director Dr. Diane Retallack in 1986. The 40-voice ensemble specializes in sophisticated repertoire from the Renaissance to the present and along with its parent organization is a resident company of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. The Eugene Concert Choir organization commissioned Oregon composer Joan Szymko to create a choral work on the subject of memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s disease, entitled Shadow & Light. This ground-breaking masterwork was premiered by Eugene Vocal Arts and the organization’s orchestra, Eugene Concert Orchestra, in April of 2016. The project also includes a concert video, CD recording, and video documentary of the journey. Conductor Diane Retallack received her Doctor of Music from Indiana University where she studied conducting with Margaret Hillis and score study with Julius Herford. She pursued further study in workshops with Helmuth Rilling and Robert Shaw. Diane Retallack has been Artistic Director of the Eugene Concert Choir organization since 1985 and was recipient of the 2005 Bishop Arts and Letters Award for extraordinary contribution to arts and culture in Eugene. Composer Joan Szymko has a catalog of over 100 published choral works and her music is performed by ensembles across North America and abroad.  Her music has been performed at regional, national and international choral festivals, competitions and conferences including six consecutive National Conferences of the ACDA.


2nd Place:
Donald L. Appert, conductor, Clark College Orchestra, Vancouver WA
for this recorded performance:

    Eric Ewazen—Palmetto Suite for Alto Trombone and Orchestra

Donald L. Appert, conductor, Clark College Orchestra
Eric Ewazen
Eric Ewazen was born in 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio. Receiving a B.M. At the Eastman School of Music, and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from The Juilliard School, his teachers include Milton Babbitt, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner and Gunther Schuller. He is a recipient of numerous composition awards and prizes.. His works are recorded on Summit Records, d'Note Records, CRS Records, New World, Clique Track, Helicon, Hyperion, Cala, Albany and Emi Classics. He has been a faculty member at Juilliard School since 1980. Palmetto Suite for Alto Trombone and Orchestra was commissioned by Ronald Barron, Principal Trombone of the Boston Symphony and premiered by the Clark College Orchestra.

Donald Appert has been Music Director/Conductor of the Clark College Orchestra since 1990. He has guest conducted orchestras in Europe, Central America, Japan and Australia. Currently he is a Professor of Music and Head of the Music Department at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. In addition he is the Music Director/Conductor of the Oregon Sinfonietta and of the Jewish Community Orchestra, both in Portland, Oregon.  He received The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Vytautas Marijosius  Memorial Award in 2011 for his work with the Oregon Sinfonietta, an Honorable Mention in 2012, 3rd Place in 2014, and 2nd Place in 2015. He was also Honored Artist of the American Prize in 2015. In 2014 he received the Clark County (WA) Arts Commission Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award.


3rd Place:
Libi Lebel, conductor, and Texas Medical Center Orchestra, Houston TX
for these recorded performances:

    Bernstein—Candide Overture
    Ron Nelson—Savannah River Holiday
    Grofe—Mississippi Suite


Texas Medical Center Orchestra

Libi Lebel, conductor
Established in November 2000, Texas Medical Center Orchestra (TMCO) is one of very few community orchestras in the United States and the world with its origin in the health professions. It includes physicians, dentists, nurses, medical students, biomedical scientists, social workers and other allied health professionals who are dedicated to making music. Part of the orchestra’s mission is to provide health care professionals a creative outlet; offer affordable concerts to a diverse public audience; and bring public attention and support for, medically related and/or educational charities.

Russian-born conductor Libi Lebel, founder and artistic director of TMCO, has a strong and growing reputation in the music world. Ms. Lebel has been listed as one of the 50 most influential women in Houston, (population over 2 million). She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Julliard School of Music and Westminster Choir College, in piano performance and conducting. Conducting appearances in New Jersey, New York, Texas, Russia and Romania have been met with high praise. In 2013, conductor Lebel led the TMCO in a well-received program at Carnegie Hall. As to her passion about music, Ms. Lebel says: “What inspires me is to make music come alive. To feel the love, pride, joy, sadness. To help it unfold in the most convincing and compelling way. With it, we connect to the very essence of our humanity, we then come into contact with that part of ourselves that expresses our most profound creativity. I am so lucky to have music in my life.”


HONORABLE MENTION:
Kathryn Bowers, conductor, and the Oratorio Society of Estes Park, Estes Park, CO 
    Jerry Brubaker—Rocky Mountain Majesty 

Kathryn Bowers, conductor, and the Oratorio Society of Estes Park
Kathryn Bowers was appointed Artistic/Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Estes Park in the spring of 2012. A professor emerita of Webster University in Saint Louis, she headed the choral, music education, and church music areas and continues in retirement as an online adjunct professor. Early in her career she performed with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Gächinger Kantorei in Stuttgart, as well as with well-known choirs in the London area. Now semi-retired, in addition to conducting OSEP, her musical activities include composing, piano accompanying, singing in a chamber choir, and playing the recorder and viola. Her BMED, MA, and DMA degrees are from Northwestern University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Illinois-Urbana respectively. Her conducting teachers have included Margaret Hillis, Paul Vermel, and Milko Kolarov.

The Oratorio Society of Estes Park (OSEP), along with the Estes Park Chamber Orchestra, was organized in December 1987 by Connie and Gary Elting and by Merritt and Laura Martin. Its first appearance was for a sing-along session of Handel’s Messiah. Since then OSEP’s conductors have introduced and led this organization of volunteer musicians from the Estes Valley to successfully perform a large variety of major classical works for chorus and orchestra, most recently including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the Spring section of Haydn’s The Seasons, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, Berlioz’s The Childhood of Christ, Bizet’s two L’Arlesienne Suites, and Randall Thompson’s Nativity according to Saint Luke. For the 100th Anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park in 2015, OSEP commissioned new works from Robert Charles Howard and Jerry Brubaker.

Jerry Brubaker is an exclusive composer and arranger for Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. and has published over 300 works for band, symphony orchestra, and chorus. A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Jerry has a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music from The Catholic University of America. Mr. Brubaker served for 30 years in the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC, as a French horn soloist and composer/arranger.  He became Chief Arranger in 1985 and held that position until his retirement from the Navy in 1998. Most recently Jerry has been a member of the Estes Park Chamber Orchestra, the Village Band of Estes Park (CO) and the Virginia Grand Military Band. He is President of The Association of Concert Bands. Three Rivers Rhapsody, Jerry’s newest composition will receive its premier on April 2, 2016, in Pittsburgh, PA.


HONORABLE MENTION:
Peter Wilson, music director, and the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, Waynesboro, VA
    Copland—Lincoln Portrait


Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra

Peter Wilson, music director
The Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra ( WSO ) founded in 1996,  is a non-profit organization of professional, amateur and student musicians serving Waynesboro, Staunton, Charlottesville and other Central Virginia Communities. The WSO provides dedicated instrumentalists with opportunities to collaborate in an intergenerational and educational environment, to share in the joy of music-making and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the region.

Music Director, Dr. Peter Wilson, an engaging and multifaceted violinist and conductor whose musicianship has been noted as “first-class” by The Washington Post. He has served as Music Director of the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra since 2007 and was appointed Music Director of the Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013. The String Section Commander for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, he has performed as a violinist of The White House for over a quarter century. Highly respected throughout the National Capital Region, he is also Concertmaster of the American Festival Pops Orchestra, has guest conducted the National Symphony Orchestra and National Gallery Orchestra, and serves on the faculties of James Madison University and George Mason University as an adjunct instructor of violin. He holds music degrees from Northwestern University and The Catholic University of America where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts.


The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, YOUTH ORCHESTRA division, 2016

The American Prize winner:
Wes Kenney, conductor, and the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, Denver CO
for this recorded performance:    

    Copland—Billy the Kid Suite

Denver Young Artists Orchestra

Wes Kenney, conductor
The Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) was formed in 1977 under the auspices of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, now the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO).  It was started as a means for Colorado’s most talented young musicians to rehearse and perform together under demanding professional standards. DYAO has operated independently since 1979, and has maintained a close relationship with the CSO.

The mission of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association (DYAO) is to provide the finest possible youth orchestra programs, inspiring and educating young musicians through the performance of great works of music, and offering valuable cultural opportunities to the community. For thirty-eight years, DYAO has nurtured the talents of the Rocky Mountain region’s finest young musicians as an integral part of their musical education. Today, the organization’s five orchestras train nearly 250 students ages seven to twenty-three annually.


Wes Kenney in now in his third season with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and now is preparing the YAO for appearances in Carnegie Hall in June 2016. The 2007 Grand Prize Winner of the Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition, later in August he will start his 13th season as Music Director of the Fort Collins (Colorado) Symphony and Director of Orchestras at Colorado State University. Named in 2004 to an additional post as Music Director of Opera Fort Collins, he currently conducts three professional operatic productions as well as numerous orchestra concerts and dance performances each season throughout Northern Colorado. Mr. Kenney’s recent guest conducting activities include the Denver Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Acadiana Symphony (LA), Lafayette (IN) Symphony, and New Mexico All-State. Next July he will travel to Korea for the first time to conduct the Changwon Philharmonic. He has also conducted the Alabama All-State Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Alabama Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, and Richmond Symphony. Other international guest conducting includes performances with the Vidin State Philharmonic and Stara Zagora Opera Company in Bulgaria as well as the Edinburgh (Scotland) Music Festival.


2nd Place:
Orlando Cela, conductor, and the NC Governor's School Orchestra, Winston-Salem NC
for these recorded performances:

   Ken Ueno—On the Condition for the Existence of Most Specific Hypothesis
   Libby Larsen—What the Monster Saw
   Ives—Three Places in New England, Putnam’s Camp, Redding, Connecticut
   Ives—The Fourth of July
   Dulaney—The Old Harp, version 3
   John Luther Adams—Dark Waves
   Armando Bayolo—A Shelter that Filters the Sun


Orlando Cela, conductor, and the NC Governor's School Orchestra
Recently appointed music director of the Arlington Philharmonic (MA), Orlando Cela’s 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 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, Alwynne Pritchard, and many others.

The focus of Instrumental Music at Governor's School West is the study and performance of important music of our time for full orchestra and smaller ensembles, and the creation and performance of student works. These are all chosen to "open windows onto the future," the goal of the Governor's School curriculum as a whole. The orchestra and ensemble rehearsals are devoted not only to the preparation of the work for performance, but also to the development of an understanding of the concepts behind the pieces. Several class periods per week are devoted to lecture/discussions called "Context" – placing the music into a context of a broader understanding of 20th-21st-century musical thought and making meaningful connections with similar concepts in other disciplines. The orchestra repertoire that is studied and performed is all 20th-21st-century, and ranges from the relatively accessible styles of Holst, Copland, and Britten to the aesthetic and technical challenges of Lutoslawski, Tan Dun, Cage, Berio, Pärt, and Reich. These pieces are selected not only with the student's technical abilities in mind, but primarily as models of contrasting theories of 20th-century composition appropriate for study by the orchestra and the entire student body. Orchestra students respond with enthusiasm to the variety of repertoire, producing notable performances for high-school players.


HONORABLE MENTION: 
Ron Polomchak, conductor and the Schaumburg Youth Concert Orchestra, Schaumburg, IL
    Ron Nelson—Jubilee
    Copland—Fanfare for the Common Man
    Richard Meyer—An American Rhapsody

Ron Polomchak, conductor and the Schaumburg Youth Concert Orchestra
The Schaumburg Youth Orchestra (SYO) was founded in 1989 as a recreational and educational outlet for young advanced musicians in the Schaumburg, Illinois area. Originating as a string ensemble with 16 members, the orchestra made its public debut with a concert performance at Schaumburg's 1989 Prairie Arts Festival. Current registration is over 200, with members from Schaumburg and over thirty outlying communities. The program enrolls new and returning members by audition at the beginning summer. The orchestras exist to supplement the students' curricular training, as all members are required to participate in their school orchestra or band program. Each of the orchestras performs two concerts annually at the Prairie Center for the Arts.  The Schaumburg Youth CONCERT Orchestra is the second tier ensemble that includes string, woodwind, brass and percussion students. The music literature is selected from authentic and developing full orchestra repertoire.

Ron Polomchak has been part of the Schaumburg Youth Orchestras since 2012.  After one season conducting the Sinfonia String ensemble, Mr. Polomchak began conducting the Schaumburg Youth Concert Orchestra.  Since 1995, Mr. Polomchak has directed the orchestra program at Lake Zurich Middle School South in Illinois School District 95.  Mr. Polomchak has also served as an orchestra conductor at the Blue Lake International Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.

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Congratulations to all 2016 Laureates of The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music.