Monday, May 22, 2017

UPDATED: CONDUCTOR WINNERS: chorus—all divisions

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, in all  divisions, 2016-17. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  professional division:

The American Prize winner:
Jeremiah Selvey 
    Chorosynthesis Singers
    Seattle WA
Jeremiah Selvey
DR. JEREMIAH SELVEY currently serves as Visiting Director of Choral Activities of Connecticut College and Co-Artistic Director of Chorosynthesis Singers, a professional, project-based chamber ensemble in Seattle. He has performed throughout North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe and regularly teaches voice master classes and clinics choirs of all levels. Jeremiah’s compositions have been performed on four continents, and his research on choral expressivity has been presented in Asia, Europe, and throughout the North America. He is most recently published by The Choral Scholar and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. A Southern California resident, Jeremiah has taught applied voice majors, group voice class, conducting, choral methods, theory, music history, aural skills, and diction. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Washington and Emory University. www.jeremiahselvey.com


2nd Place:
Brian A. Schmidt
    South Dakota Chorale  
    Sioux Falls SD
Brian A. Schmidt
Brian Schmidt is a choral conductor at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he serves as conductor of the Duke Vespers Ensemble and Duke Divinity School Choir, and conductor of the Duke Chapel Bach Cantata Series. With the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Schmidt leads the highly-auditioned chamber choir in a weekly candlelit Choral Vespers service, as well as concerts and recording projects specializing in early music. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional choral organization in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His leadership has guided them to rapid growth as well as the release of two commercial albums and the signing of an international recording contract with Pentatone, a Dutch classical music label.


3rd Place:
Wendy K. Moy
    Chorosynthesis Singers
    Seatlle WA
Wendy K. Moy
Wendy K. Moy is the Co-Artistic Director of Chorosynthesis Singers and the Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Connecticut College. She is frequently sought as a guest conductor and clinician for orchestral and choral ensembles at all levels. Dr. Moy continues to perform as a soprano soloist and is currently singing in the professional ensemble CONCORA. Dr. Moy has presented at national conferences on her research on the culture of singing communities and the factors that contribute to successful choral organizations. She serves on the Connecticut American Choral Directors Association Board and is the Co-Founder/President of Chorosynthesis, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the culture of American choral music through collaboration, sustainability, innovation, and excellence. Dr. Moy holds a BA in Music Education from Seattle Pacific University, a MME from Westminster Choir College, and a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. www.wendymoy.com


The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  college/university division:

The American Prize winner:
David Fryling   
    Hofstra Chamber Choir & Hofstra Chorale
    Hempstead NY
David Fryling
Dr. David Fryling (www.davidfryling.org) is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Hofstra University, where he conducts the select Chorale and Chamber Choir, teaches beginning through graduate-level studies in Choral Conducting and Literature, and supervises choral student teachers during their field placements. Recent professional engagements include various all-state and regional honor choirs, master classes, workshops, and adjudications in over a dozen states. From 2007 to 2013 he served as conductor of the World Youth Honors Choir and Festival Choir at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and since 2014 has been a guest conducting artist at the NYSSSA Choral program. He is the founding conductor and artistic director of eVoco Voice Collective, serves as president of the Eastern Division of ACDA, and was inducted in the fall of 2014 into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame as “Educator of Note.” 


2nd Place:
Catherine Sailer
    Univ. of Denver Lamont Chorale
    Denver CO
Catherine Sailer
Catherine Sailer is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, and Associate Conductor of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  Conducting credits include the Santa Fe Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony, National Opera of China, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra, Central City Opera, Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Madrigal Vocale (Brazil), Rheinpfalz International Choir, and the Shanghai International Choral League.  She has collaborated as conductor or chorus master with singers William Warfield and Marilyn Horne and conductors Bramwell Tovey, Robert Spano, Ed Spanjaard, Eric Whitacre, Victor Yampolsky, Marius Szmolij, Stephen Alltop, David Amram, Tan Dun, David Fanshawe, Marin Alsop, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Aspen Festival Orchestra, and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra.
Sailer was awarded Chorus America’s Robert Shaw Fellowship, First Place in ACDA’s conducting competition, and serves as state president for ACDA.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Jaclyn Johnson
    University of Tennessee Chamber & Concert Choirs
    Knoxville TN
Jaclyn Johnson
Often described as an “energetic little firecracker” on stage, Dr. Jaclyn Johnson has made it her life goal to share her passion for music with ensembles and audiences around the world. Johnson is the current Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before completing her doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Michigan, she had a thriving career as a high school educator for eight years. Ensembles under her direction received numerous honors and awards, including performances at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference (2011), Western Division Conference (2010), and Central Division Conference (2014). Her choirs have toured domestically and internationally to such destinations as San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Canada, and Italy.
 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Beverly Taylor
    UW-Madison Choral Union
    Madison WI 
Beverly Taylor
Beverly Taylor, Assistant Conductor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Madison Symphony Chorus, has been recognized by The Boston Globe as an artist who “has the crucial gift of inspiring people to give of their best, and beyond.” Taylor has served as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1995, where she directs the choral conducting program and leads its premiere ensembles. For seven years she was Music Director of the Back Bay Chorale, conducting concerts with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and other distinguished collaborators. Past positions include Harvard University, Boston Bar Association Orchestra, and guest engagements with international orchestras and choruses. A graduate of the University of Delaware and Boston University, she has studied with Gustav Meier, Paul Vermel, Andrew Davis, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, and Herbert Blomstedt. She has received fellowships from Chorus America and Aspen. www.conductorbeverlytaylor.com


JUDGES CITATION: "Championing the Music of Gerald Kemner"
Michael Robert Patch
    UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance: Conservatory Singers
    Kansas City MO
Michael Robert Patch
Michael Robert Patch, recently completed his DMA in Conducting from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he studied with American Prize winner, Dr. Robert Bode.  Michael has held positions such as Artistic Director and Conductor, Music Minister, High School Music Teacher, and Professional Singer.  While at at the UMKC Conservatory, he was GTA and Graduate Director of the Conservatory Singers, and conducted the Opera Chorus, University Singers, and Canticum Novum.  He recently conducted a newly composed ballet and has commissioned new works, as well as arrangements of existing music.  He has sung with choirs of all shapes and sizes, including the Kansas City Chorale, Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and Oakland Symphony Chorus. Michael’s voice can be heard on a Grammy nominated recording of Rheinberger’s music, performed by the KC Chorale, and as a soloist and chorister for a recording of Elinor Remick Warren’s music, performed by the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.


HONORABLE MENTION: 
John Cuk
    Manhattanville College Choir & Women's Vocal Ensemble
    Purchase NY
John Cuk
John Cuk has a varied background as a musician and educator. As a conductor, he’s conducted choral and orchestral ensembles in Europe, South America and the United States. His groups have performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Library, Boston, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome,  Música Sin Edad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and The International Youth Orchestra Festival in Lucca, Italy.

 Active as a musical theater and opera conductor has had positions with  Opera Estate in Rome Italy, Dell' Arte Opera in New York, New York, Buck Hill/Skytop Festival in Pennsylvania, Westchester Conservatory's Summer Vocal Music Academy in White Plains, New York, as well as Musical Director for countless musical theater productions both at the high school and college level.

 Guest conducting includes festivals for Western Connecticut, Suffolk, Dutchess and Westchester Counties in New York,  the Orchestra Sinfonica di Bacau, Romania in Italy and the National Chorale's Annual Messiah-Sing-In at Avery Fisher Hall. Active as a coach, accompanist and pianist, he performs frequently with singers and chamber musicians.

Cuk is the Director of Choirs at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY where he teaches choral conducting and co-directs the opera scenes program. He is a native of New York and has degrees from Manhattanville College and The Manhattan School of Music as well as post graduate work at Westminster Choir College. http://www.johncuk.com/

 
The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  community division:

The American Prize winner:
David Fryling   
    eVoco Mixed Ensemble & Women's Ensemble
    Lynbrook NY
David Fryling
Dr. David Fryling (www.davidfryling.org) is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Hofstra University, where he conducts the select Chorale and Chamber Choir, teaches beginning through graduate-level studies in Choral Conducting and Literature, and supervises choral student teachers during their field placements. Recent professional engagements include various all-state and regional honor choirs, master classes, workshops, and adjudications in over a dozen states. From 2007 to 2013 he served as conductor of the World Youth Honors Choir and Festival Choir at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and since 2014 has been a guest conducting artist at the NYSSSA Choral program. He is the founding conductor and artistic director of eVoco Voice Collective, serves as president of the Eastern Division of ACDA, and was inducted in the fall of 2014 into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame as “Educator of Note.”  


2nd Place:
Douglas Buchanan
    Canticum Novum Chamber Chorus
    Baltimore MD
Douglas Buchanan
Douglas Buchanan (b. 1984) has been lauded for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and for creating music “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun). An active conductor, composer, and educator noted for his “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.dbconductor.com to learn more.  


3rd Place:
Reginald M. Houze
    The Weddington UMC/First BC Worcester Choirs
    Charlotte NC
Reginald M. Houze
Dr. Reginald M. Houze has experience and education conducting ensembles of all types. Previously, Houze was conductor of The Wind Ensemble at Tarleton State University in Texas and served on the conducting faculties at Clemson University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Anna Maria College. He has taught both instrumental and vocal music in the schools of Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi. Dr. Houze holds music degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and New York University. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of South Carolina. He has done additional conducting study at the Eastman School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Hartt School of Music. Houze made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall with The Overton Wind Ensemble featuring Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Currently, he is Director of Music and Arts at Weddington United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.



The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  school division:

The American Prize winner: 
Philip Brown
    Hopkins High School Concert Choir
    Minnetonka MN
Philip Brown
Philip Brown is the director of choral activities at Hopkins High School and conductor of the Cantanti Singers with Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs. He graduated summa cum laude from Bethany College (KS) and received his M.M. degree from Northern Arizona University. He has taught at the high school level in Colorado and Minnesota, coaching tennis and directing musicals in addition. Philip’s choral groups have performed with many college and professional choirs at festivals or special concert events. His choirs have received top awards at FAME Festivals, Heritage Festivals, and Festival Disney. His teaching has been recognized with awards given by ACDA-MN, Choral Director Magazine, and his alma maters. Philip is an active clinician and professionally affiliated with ACDA and NAfME.  


2nd Place:
Amy Johnston Blosser 
    Bexley Vocal Ensemble
    Bexley OH
Amy Johnston Blosser
Amy Johnston Blosser is the National Chair for Repertoire and Resources for ACDA.  As National Chair, Blosser has been active in planning National Conferences in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Salt Lake City.  Prior to this position she served as the National R&R Chair for Senior High School choirs. In her thirteenth year as Director at Bexley High School, Blosser conducts six choirs in grades 7-12. Under her direction, the Bexley High School Vocal Ensemble has performed at state conferences of OMEA and ACDA and for Central Division conferences in 2012 and 2016. Ms. Blosser was named Educator of the Year for Bexley City Schools in 2011. She was selected to serve as one of 14 Conducting Fellows for the International Conductors Exchange Program to Sweden in 2015. Amy Blosser is the Artistic Director of the Bexley Choral Society and the Director of Music at Bexley UMC.     


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Tatiana Kats
    Columbus International Children's Choir
    Columbus OH
Tatiana Kats
Tatiana Kats earned her Master degrees in choral conducting and piano pedagogy from the Ohio State University where she studied with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt and Mr. James Gallagher. Mrs. Kats is the founder of Columbus Music and Art Academy, Columbus International Children’s Choir (CICC) and Central Ohio Singing Competition.  Since 2003, she has been serving as the Executive Director of the academy, Artistic Director of the choir, and Conductor of CICC’s top choirs. Mrs. Kats also holds a very successful piano studio. Her advanced students have been winners in many Ohio piano competitions. She was recognized by the National Music Certificate Program as "Founding Teacher ... instrumental in establishing a national standard for developing musicians in the United States of America".  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Patrick Ryan
    Great Falls High School Delphian Choir
    Great Falls MT
Patrick Ryan
Patrick Ryan is the lead choral director at Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana.  Patrick is currently President of the American Choral Directors Association Northwest Division.  In 2012 he directed the inaugural Korean International Music Education Association National Honor Choir in Seoul, South Korea.  His choirs have commissioned and premiered works by John Muehleisen and Timothy Takach, and have performed on two NAfME Northwest Conferences.


***
Congratulations!


 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WINNING CHORUSES, 2016-17

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in CHORAL PERFORMANCE, 2016-17, in all divisions. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel; the competitions reserve the right to award additional citations for merit up until the final announcement of results for 2016-17 has been made.

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.

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

The American Prize in Choral Performance—professional division

The American Prize winner:
South Dakota Chorale
    Brian A. Schmidt Sioux Falls SD
South Dakota Chorale
Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the South Dakota Chorale is a collaborative network of musicians combining the talents of singers locally, regionally, and across the nation. “Bringing people together to produce inspirational world-class performances of choral arts that embrace professional artistry and enrich the cultural life of South Dakotans” is their mission, and they strive to reach this in all of their work.

In their five-year history they have developed educational collaborations with high school choirs, led master classes with pre-professional/collegiate singers, partnered with local arts series’ to build support and awareness for the arts, initiated a guest conductor residency, and released three commercial recordings in collaborations with Grammy award-winning producer, Blanton Alspaugh. In 2014, they joined PENTATONE, a Dutch classical music label specializing in high-end, surround sound recordings. www.southdakotachorale.com


2nd Place:
Chorosynthesis Singers
    Wendy K. Moy, Jeremiah Selvey   Seattle WA
Chorosynthesis Singers
CHOROSYNTHESIS SINGERS, a state-of-the-art project-based ensemble, exists to collaborate with professional-level musicians and composers in the creation and performance of music that connects the art with community. Their most recent concert featured a collaboration with 10 composers in performances of 10 premiere works on the theme of social justice. Based in Seattle, the personnel embody the best professional choral singers from the Pacific Northwest and across the country. Co-Artistic Directors Wendy K. Moy and Jeremiah D. Selvey, who received their Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, lead the ensemble. Prior concerts include a collaborative benefit concert of Brahms’s Requiem in collaboration with two academic institutions and two religious organizations. As part of the greater vision of Chorosynthesis, the ensemble serves as a practical example of applying the ideals of the organization, which are collaboration, innovation, sustainability, and excellence.  www.chorosynthesis.org/singers


3rd Place:
 Saint Louis Chamber Chorus
    Philip Barnes    St. Louis MO
 Saint Louis Chamber Chorus
The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus was founded and nurtured for its first twenty years by a recent import from Great Britain, Ronald Arnatt, now recognized as one of the Episcopal Church’s most influential musicians. During his tenure the SLCC introduced St. Louis audiences to numerous masterworks by Delius, Stravinsky, and Vaughan Williams. After Dr. Arnatt took up a position in Boston, the choir’s pioneering spirit was continued by two local academics, Allen Carl Larson and Stephen Curtis. In 1989, Philip Barnes was appointed the fourth artistic director in the choir’s history, and under his guidance the focus has shifted to a cappella literature, recordings, and the commissioning of new music. Over the past 25 years the SLCC has premiered numerous works from some of the leading choral composers around the world which includes R R Bennett, Judith Bingham, Bob Chilcott, Sydney Guillaume, Howard Helvey, Gabriel Jackson, and Ned Rorem. St. Louis Chamber Chorus website:  www.chamberchorus.org.



The American Prize in Choral Performance—community chorus division
 

The American Prize winner: 
Tallahassee Community Chorus
    Andre Thomas   Tallahassee FL
Tallahassee Community Chorus
The Tallahassee Community Chorus began in 1988 as a collaborative effort between the Florida State University School of Music and 37 community singers. The group has grown to more than 200 singers and has become one of the leading non-auditioned community choruses in the country. Much of the momentum for this growth and development has been the genius of the Artistic Director, Dr. André J. Thomas, whose energy, skill and musical talents are known and respected throughout the choral world. In addition, the Chorus continues to enjoy an excellent relationship with the Florida State University College of Music. The Chorus includes singers from all walks of life. Age is no restriction, as the Chorus boasts a range of members from high school students through senior citizens. The mission of the Chorus is to enjoy promoting choral music through excellence in performance, and to reach out into the schools and community.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Pasadena Master Chorale
    Jeffrey Bernstein   Pasadena CA
Pasadena Master Chorale
Founded in 2009 by artistic and executive director Jeffrey Bernstein, the Pasadena Master Chorale is one of Pasadena's most vibrant arts organizations. An auditioned community choir with professional standards, PMC presents well-loved and affordable concerts of the highest quality to the greater Pasadena community. Recently acclaimed concerts by the chorale include "A Portrait of Benjamin Britten", and "The Voice of California", a program of music by local composers including two newly-commissioned works. The chorale has thrilled audiences with performances of Orff's Carmina Burana, Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem, a folksong program entitled "Songs of the World", and a Renaissance program entitled "The Golden Age". PMC also offers a robust education program, committed to engaging Pasadena's young choral singers and fostering their love of the choral art. PMC is the proud recipient of support from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Community Foundation, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts and the City of Pasadena. www.pasadenamasterchorale.org


2nd Place (there was a tie):
eVoco Mixed Ensemble
    David Fryling   Lynbrook NY
eVoco Mixed Ensemble
eVoco* Voice Collective (www.evoco.vc) summons singers of the highest musical, technical, and expressive abilities and invites listeners to experience the extraordinary power of the voice. Through the power of the empathetic imagination, we remind each other of our shared human experiences.

Passionate advocates for excellence in the vocal art, we present inspirational performances of the highest caliber through projects that include the Mixed Ensemble, the Women’s Ensemble, our Voice Recitals, and the Young Vocal Artist Award.

We firmly believe in the transformative and educational power of music, and we welcome everyone to observe our work together. All of our rehearsals are open to the public, and our hope is that our weekly work together will not only prepare us for each concert series, but also–and just as importantly–will serve as a continual learning space for students, educators, and music enthusiasts alike. *From the Latin evocare: to lure, to summon; to evoke


3rd Place
Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland
    David DeLyser   Portland OR
Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland
As one of the region's premiere choral ensembles beginning its 48th season, the Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland seeks to educate, enrich and entertain its audiences with exceptional performances of familiar and rarely heard music.  As Portland’s Choir, we exemplify everything that makes Portland great: fun and a little geeky, accessible and approachable, passionate about our art form, collaborative, friendly and welcoming.  We are singers who represent a variety of professional occupations and diverse singing experiences, but we have all joined for a simple reason – passion – for music, for our fellow singers and for our audiences. Through artistic excellence and creative collaboration, we are committed to creating inspiring concert experiences performed at the highest artistic level.  Find out more at http://www.portlandschoir.org/



The American Prize in Choral Performance—college/university chorus division

The American Prize winner:
The Wartburg Choir
    Lee Nelson   Waverly IA
The Wartburg Choir
Founded in 1937, The Wartburg Choir has received critical international acclaim for their versatility of sound and innovative programming. The Wartburg Choir has received invitations for special appearances in the United States and abroad, including the White House Holiday Concert Series and the National Cathedral’s Bethlehem Prayer Service, which was simulcast worldwide. Over the past 20 years, the choir has appeared in many prestigious concert halls including the Kennedy Center; Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center; Carnegie Hall; Chicago’s Symphony Hall; and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The Wartburg Choir has performed at two national and four divisional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Renowned composer Morten Lauridsen lauded the choir’s performance of his O Magnum Mysterium as being “in the top echelon of any performance of that piece by any choir that I have ever heard.” The choir has collaborated with numerous composers including Morten Lauridsen, Eriks Esenvalds, Ola Gjeilo, Jake Runestad, Stacey Gibbs and René Clausen.


2nd Place:
University of AZ Symphonic Choir
    Elizabeth Schauer   Tucson AZ
University of AZ Symphonic Choir
Symphonic Choir is the premier undergraduate ensemble at the University of Arizona, carrying on a sixty-five-year tradition of excellence in choral music and education. In addition to performing formal concerts on campus, on Tucson-area concert series, and on tours throughout the Southwest, the choir collaborates with university and professional ensembles, including on recent performances of Faure’s Requiem with University Community Chorus & Orchestra, Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms with Arizona Choir, Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Arizona Symphony, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the City of Prague Philharmonic, and Mahler Symphony No. 2 with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.  Symphonic Choir has been invited to perform on the concert programs of the 2014 and 2010 Western Divisional ACDA Conferences, the 2012 Pacific-Southwest Regional Conference of College Music Society, and the 2011 Annual Conference of Arizona Music Educators Association.  Students represent a broad variety of disciplines and hail from throughout the United States.


3rd Place:
University of Denver Lamont Chorale
    Catherine Sailer   Denver CO
University of Denver Lamont Chorale
Catherine Sailer is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, and Associate Conductor of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  Conducting credits include the Santa Fe Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony, National Opera of China, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra, Central City Opera, Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Madrigal Vocale (Brazil), Rheinpfalz International Choir, and the Shanghai International Choral League.  She has collaborated as conductor or chorus master with singers William Warfield and Marilyn Horne and conductors Bramwell Tovey, Robert Spano, Ed Spanjaard, Eric Whitacre, Victor Yampolsky, Marius Szmolij, Stephen Alltop, David Amram, Tan Dun, David Fanshawe, Marin Alsop, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Aspen Festival Orchestra, and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra.
Sailer was awarded Chorus America’s Robert Shaw Fellowship, First Place in ACDA’s conducting competition, and serves as state president for ACDA.


JUDGES CITATION: "Exceptional Programming and Distinctive Repertoire"
Rutgers University Voorhees Choir
    Elian Kujawinski   New Brunswick NJ
Rutgers University Voorhees Choir
The Voorhees Choir maintains a membership of 55 voices, representing all women of the university. The choir presents two major concerts each year and serves as the official college choir at Douglass Residential College events, such as the Yule Log, Sacred Path and commencement ceremonies. The Voorhees Choir has a long tradition of representing Rutgers University, from its beginnings as the choir of the New Jersey College for Women (NJC) to its years as the official choir of Douglass College to its important dual role as an ensemble in the Mason Gross School of the Arts and its continuing work as an institution of pride representing the Douglass Residential College (DRC). The Voorhees Choir is extremely appreciative of the support of the Dean of the Douglass Residential College and Douglass Campus, Jacquelyn Litt.


HONORABLE MENTION: 
Wichita State University Concert Chorale
    Michael Hanawalt   Wichita KS
Wichita State University Concert Chorale
The Wichita State University Concert Chorale is the premiere choral ensemble at Wichita State University.  The Chorale is a highly-selective, auditioned choir open to all WSU students, specializing in the performance of a wide variety of significant choral literature from the Renaissance through the twenty-first century. The Chorale combines annually with other WSU choirs to present the annual Candlelight Christmas Concert.  It also performs with the WSU Symphony Orchestra for the spring choral/orchestral work, past performances of which have included Durufle's Requiem and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, under the direction of Robert Shaw.  The Chorale and other WSU choirs performed with internationally-acclaimed operatic artist and WSU alumnus Samuel Ramey in his appearance in Wichita in 2001.   The Chorale has a rich history of notable conductors, including Harold Decker, Harrison Boughton, René Clausen, Robert Glasmann, and currently, Michael Hanawalt.


HONORABLE MENTION: 
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
    Richard Nance   Tacoma WA
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
The Choir of the West is the premier choral ensemble at Pacific Lutheran University, located in Tacoma, Washington. The choir has toured to Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and China, and has appeared at several professional regional and national conferences. Most recently, the choir performed as one of the featured choirs at the 2016 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference, held in Portland, Oregon, under the direction of headline clinician Simon Carrington. The choir gave a highly acclaimed performance at the 2013 ACDA National Conference in Dallas, Texas. Choir of the West has won gold awards at prestigious international competitions, including the 2011 Harmonie Festival in Lindenholzhausen, Germany and the 2015 Anton Bruckner Choir Competition held in Linz, Austria, where the choir was awarded the Anton Bruckner Prize. Choir of the West is comprised of undergraduate students from a variety of academic disciplines. For more information please visit the choir’s website: www.plu.edu/choir.


HONORABLE MENTION:  
Wheaton College Concert Choir
    John William Trotter   Wheaton IL
Wheaton College Concert Choir
The Wheaton College Concert Choir is made up of approximately fifty young women and men with a passion for choral music. Led by Dr. John William Trotter, the ensemble provides an ideal performance venue for experienced and motivated choral singers whose goal is to make music at a high level. It also provides an experience of great value for those intending to make music their career. The Wheaton College Concert Choir has frequently been honored with invitations to perform on concert series and at regional and national conventions, to lead worship in churches, and to perform with professional ensembles. They also perform in more unconventional situations, ranging from soup kitchens and furniture stores to public lectures and prisons. Taken together, these varied experiences enrich students’ understanding of the vocation of the musician. Recently, the Choir has also enjoyed exploring interdisciplinary collaborations and engaging in musical improvisation with audiences.


HONORABLE MENTION: 
The College of Wooster Chorus
    Lisa Wong   Wooster OH
The College of Wooster Chorus
Founded in 1964, the Wooster Chorus is comprised of students representing all academic areas within the College of Wooster’s liberal arts program. A finalist for The American Prize in Choral Performance in 2015 and 2016, the Chorus has been praised for its beautiful sound, high level of artistry, and engaging performances.  The Wooster Chorus presents several concerts both on and off-campus throughout the academic year, and embarks each spring on a weeklong domestic tour. Members of the chorus collaborate annually with The Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus at Severance Hall.  The Chorus was selected to perform at the 2016 Central Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, and also at the 2014 and 2016 statewide Professional Development Conferences of the Ohio Music Education Association. In recent years, the Chorus has premiered thirteen new works, including Jake Runestad’s Ner Ner.  (2015)   



The American Prize in Choral Performance—youth and high school chorus division

The American Prize winner:
Sprague High Concert Choir
    David Brown    Salem OR 
Sprague High Concert Choir
Charles A. Sprague High School, located in southwest Salem, is a four-year high school with an enrollment of 1,800 students.  The school is named for Charles A. Sprague, a former governor of Oregon and editor of the Oregon Statesman Newspaper in Salem.  The school opened in the fall of 1972 and is now one of six public high schools in the Salem-Keizer School District.  Oregon’s second largest school district, Salem-Keizer has long been recognized for its tradition of outstanding music programs.  The Sprague Concert Choir is made up of the most advanced sophomore, junior, and senior vocalists at the school.  Since its inception over 30 years ago, the choir has won numerous titles at state and regional festivals and has made multiple appearances at regional and national ACDA conventions.


2nd Place:
Bexley HS Vocal Ensemble
    Amy Johnston Blosser    Bexley OH 
Bexley HS Vocal Ensemble
Vocal Ensemble, the advanced choir at Bexley High School, is one of four choirs in the Choral Department. Since 2003, Vocal Ensemble has toured throughout the United States and Canada including major cities such as New York, Toronto, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. They performed in Carnegie Hall in 2010, and will perform again in 2017.  They have travelled overseas to perform in the cathedrals of Venice, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, London, Paris, and throughout Ireland.  Vocal Ensemble has been invited to perform for OCDA Professional Conferences in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014 as well as OMEA Professional Conferences in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016. They performed for the ACDA Central Division Conference in 2012 and 2016. Members have worked with numerous conductors and composers including Hilary Apfelstadt, Eric W. Barnum, David Childs, Rollo Dilworth, James Gallagher, Sydney Guillaume, Lynda Hasseler, Ronald Jenkins, Kristina MacMullen, James Mulholland and Timothy Takach.


3rd Place:
Delphian Choir
    Patrick Ryan    Great Falls MT 
Delphian Choir
The Delphian Choir is the most select of seven choirs at Great Falls High School, located in north central Montana.  The choir consists of 44 sophomores through seniors, who strive to create and share passion, creativity, integrity, and empathy with their audiences through unique programming of choral music.  Delphian has performed on more than a dozen regional and national conference programs since the choir's inception in 1959. Recent highlights of the Delphian Choir include the commissioning and world premiere of John Muehleisen's Consolation: Requiem for Newtown; performing at the Northwest NAfME Conference in 2015; frequent performances with the Great Falls Symphony; and being part of a commission consortium and premiere of Timothy Takach's seven-movement work, The Longest Nights. 


JUDGES CITATION: "Excellence in the Performance of Music Before 1800"
Brookline HS Camerata & Chamber Orchestra
    Michael Driscoll    Brookline MA 
Brookline HS Camerata & Chamber Orchestra
The Brookline High School Camerata is made up of 48 students, all of whom are enrolled at Brookline High School. The singers are selected by audition and rehearse two days per week before school and one evening per week. Each member of the Camerata is required to sing in Concert Choir or A Cappella Choir for two years. Sight-singing ability is a major requirement for entry into the Camerata. Repertoire for the group spans all areas of choral literature including works of master composers, spirituals, gospel, music from world cultures and contemporary popular music. The group frequently performs with the instrumental ensembles at Brookline High School. Michael Driscoll is in his thirteen year directing the choirs at Brookline High School. He has a Masters in choral conducting from New England Conservatory and a doctorate in choral conducting from Boston University.


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Congratulations!

Friday, May 5, 2017

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: The Marijosius Award in Orchestral Programming, 2016-17

Maestro Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is proud to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award, 2016-17. Awards were made in three divisions this year: college/university orchestras, community orchestras and youth orchestras. All the results are below.

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 his 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.


The American Prize in Orchestral Programming
Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award
—College/University Orchestra Division 

The American Prize Winner:
James Allen Anderson
    University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra
    Newark DE
James Allen Anderson
Hailed for his inventive programming and compelling interpretations, maestro James Allen Anderson continues to engage audiences with inspirational and entertaining performances worldwide. Trained as both a conductor and pianist, he studied with maestro David Effron at the Eastman School of Music and with maestro Tonu Kalam and pianist Michael Zenge at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Additional studies include two seasons at Le Domain Forget under the tutelage of Pierre Hétu and Otto-Werner Mueller.

Since 2011 maestro Anderson has served as Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Delaware. In previous positions Anderson held the post of Music Director of the Butte Symphony Association, cover conductor with the North Carolina Symphony, Director of Orchestral Activities at both Appalachian State University and the University of Montana. He is in demand as a guest conductor, having worked with ensembles in North and South America, Europe and Asia.


2nd Place:
David Rahbee
    University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
    Seattle WA
David 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.
 

3rd Place:
Peter Askim
    The Next Festival of Emerging Artists
    The Raleigh Civic Symphony Orchestra
    Raleigh NC
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.


HONORABLE MENTION:
Jaemi Loeb
    Centre College Orchestra
    Danville KY
Jaemi Loeb
Jaemi Blair Loeb is the Director of Instrumental Ensembles at Centre College, where she is Music Director of both the Centre College Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. She is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra in Manchester, England and the Director of the International Conductors’ Festival - Danville. Jaemi’s work as a music director is always driven by the goal of building community within the ensemble and the audience. On the podium, she balances her musical vision with a collaborative mode of working to create exciting and emotional performances. To learn more, visit www.jaemiloeb.com.
 

The American Prize in Orchestral Programming
Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award
—Community Orchestra Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Anthony Spain
    Northwest Symphony Orchestra
    Seattle WA
Anthony Spain
Anthony Spain has been Music Director of the Northwest Symphony Orchestra (NWSO) since 1987. Dr. Spain has guest conducted orchestras throughout America and in Europe including the Seattle Symphony, and the Bath Philharmonia in Bath, England. He has been a cover conductor with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and recently guest conducted in Hong Kong and Honduras. A noted conductor of works with orchestra and choir, Dr. Spain has conducted several choirs in America and in Europe including the Orfeo International Orchestra with the choir of L’UNESCO (the cultural branch of the United Nations) in Paris, France. Dedicated to education, Dr. Spain is an active clinician and adjudicator. Spain graduated with a Doctorate Degree in Music from the University of Washington and has received numerous awards and honors including a Grammy nomination.


2nd Place:
Pia Liptak & Kathleen Suher
    Cordancia Chamber Orchestra
    Rochester NY
Pia Liptak & Kathleen Suher
CORDANCIA: Vibrant Music for a Vibrant Community
Founded by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher
Formed 2009; a not-for-profit since June 2010
www.cordancia.org

Kathleen and Pia serves as co-artistic directors of Cordancia as well as being members of the ensemble, respectively as principal oboist and concert-master. Pia Liptak earned her DMA in violin performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. She is on the faculty of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance and performs as a soloist and chamber musician. She has recorded a number of CDs and been much involved in the contemporary music scene. Kathleen, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, is a real estate attorney in Rochester. She studied with Richard Killmer at Eastman and Anita Brandon and is currently performing in a number of musical ensembles, including serving as the principal oboist of the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra.


3rd Place:
Donald L. Appert
    The Jewish Community Orchestra of Portland
    Portland OR
Donald L. Appert
Donald Appert has been Music Director/Conductor of the Jewish Community Orchestra in Portland, Oregon since 2012. 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 Clark College Orchestra and of the Oregon Sinfonietta.  He received The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in 2011, 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. He has received the ASCAPLUS Award numerous times. Videos of his conducting and his original compositions may be seen and heard via the Internet on his web site at www.maestrodonappert.com


The American Prize in Orchestral Programming
Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award
—Youth Orchestra Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Orlando Cela
    NC Governor's School Orchestra
    Winston-Salem NC
Orlando Cela
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.


2nd Place:
Robert Boardman
   South Bend Youth Symphony
   South Bend, IN
Robert Boardman
Robert W. Boardman, a native of Ithaca, New York is currently Music Director and Conductor of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Artistic Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's webcast, "Life from Orchestra Hall." He has assisted Marin Alsop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and served as Associate Conductor for CAMI's worldwide tour of Howard Shore's "The Lord of the Rings Symphony." Boardman received the DMA of Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan in 2010 where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler. He has participated in dozens of workshops nationwide and been a participant in masterclasses with conductors Larry Rachleff, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Mazur, Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, and many other fine pedagogues. 


Third Place:
Alyze Dreiling
    YPO Soloists Ensemble
    San Diego CA
Alyze Dreiling
Alyze Dreiling, www.alyzedreiling.com  is an award-winning conductor, and accomplished violinist and violist in San Diego. In addition to serving as the YPO Soloists Ensemble Artistic Director and Conductor since 2010, she conducts the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra Symphonic Orchestra and has guest conducted the San Diego Master Chorale and Cabrillo Chamber Orchestra to name a few. She was also the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Classics for Kids, a fully professional orchestra performing specialty youth concerts in the San Diego area. Ms. Dreiling’s performing violin credits include: soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Philharmonica Hungarica at the Vienna Summer Festival, Florida Chamber Orchestra, concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra. With composer, Myron Fink, she received a recording prize from Contemporary Recording Society for the production and release of a CD featuring Fink’s Violin Sonata #1 and subsequently the Violin Sonata #2


HONORABLE MENTION:
Farkhad Khudyev
    Youth Music Monterey
    Monterey CA
Farkhad Khudyev
Hailed for “ever-sensitive control and extraordinarily imaginative interpretation", Farkhad Khudyev has served as the Music Director of the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, New Haven Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Associate Conductor of the Opera Hidden Valley and the Alternate Conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra. As a Guest Conductor, Mr. Khudyev has worked with the Monterey Symphony, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Greenwich Village Orchestra of New York City, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Youth Symphony and the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. Currently, Mr. Khudyev serves as the Music Director of the Youth Music Monterey Orchestras. Farkhad studied at the State Music School of Ashgabat, Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin Conservatory and the Yale School of Music. He is the winner of the Grand Prize/Gold Medal of the 2007 National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the first American Conductor to receive the "Best Interpretation Prize" at the 2015 International Taipei Conducting Competition.


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Congratulations!

Friday, April 28, 2017

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: orchestra, all divisions, 2016-17

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Conducting—orchestra—in the professional, college/university, community and youth/school divisions, 2016-17. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—orchestra, 2016-17,  professional division:

The American Prize winner:
Jason Lim
    Odysseus N. Texas Chamber Orchestra
    McKinney TX
Jason Lim
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.

Currently, Jason is the Artistic Director and conductor of the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra, a group he founded in 2012. In 2014 the orchestra was awarded second prize in the Professional Orchestra division of the American Prize Competition and third prize in 2015. Thanks to Jason’s commitment to education, the group pioneered a unique mentorship program that gives talented high school students the opportunity to perform side-by-side with professional musicians. www.jasonlim-conductor.com
http://jasonlim-conductor.wix.com/jason


2nd Place:
Genevieve Leclair
    Boston Ballet Orchestra
    Boston MA
Genevieve Leclair
Canadian conductor Geneviève Leclair was appointed Music Director of Parkway Concert Orchestra in 2013 and Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music in 2016. Equally at home in the symphony, ballet and opera worlds, she was Assistant Conductor for Boston Ballet from 2010 to 2016, where she conducted main stage productions on a regular basis. In 2016, she returned to the company as Guest Conductor and made her debut with The National Ballet of Canada. She had the honour of being the recipient of the 2010 Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award in orchestral conducting.

In recent years, Ms. Leclair has had the opportunity to guest conduct various orchestras both in Canada and the United States, including Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Chamber and Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Her performances have been hailed as “impeccable” (Boston Phoenix), “ravishing” and of “exemplary pacing and reading” (Hugh Fraser) while her conducting style is praised for its “verve and precision”, “confident dynamics and tempos, crisp rhythms, and crystalline phrasing creat[ing] powerful forward momentum” (Carla DeFord).


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Paul Mauffray
    Hradec Kralove Philharmonic
    Czech Republic
Paul Mauffray
Paul Mauffray began his music studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Louisiana State University. He won 2nd Prize in the Bartok Conducting Competition and has 20 years professional conducting experience with European orchestras and operas in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Lyon, Salzburg, St. Petersburg, and Vienna. After studies in Germany and the Czech Republic, he earned his master's degree in conducting at Indiana University where he was engaged as Associate Instructor. He conducted at the Bucharest National Opera, Slovak National Opera, and appeared frequently as conductor with violin-soloist Tomas Vinklat from the Vienna Philharmonic. Mauffray has been a frequent guest conductor with the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, and Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra in Vienna.  In 2016 he recorded the opera “The Scarlet Letter” and conducted performances of “Rusalka” at the Mariinsky Theatre. He is currently reconstructing the 1894 opera "Tabasco" by George W. Chadwick. www.paulmauffray.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Walter Morales
    Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra
    Greensburg PA
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—orchestra, 2016-17,  college/university division:

The American Prize winner:
Genevieve Leclair
    Syracuse University Symphony
    Syracuse NY
Genevieve Leclair
Canadian conductor Geneviève Leclair was appointed Music Director of Parkway Concert Orchestra in 2013 and Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music in 2016. Equally at home in the symphony, ballet and opera worlds, she was Assistant Conductor for Boston Ballet from 2010 to 2016, where she conducted main stage productions on a regular basis. In 2016, she returned to the company as Guest Conductor and made her debut with The National Ballet of Canada. She had the honour of being the recipient of the 2010 Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award in orchestral conducting.

In recent years, Ms. Leclair has had the opportunity to guest conduct various orchestras both in Canada and the United States, including Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Chamber and Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Her performances have been hailed as “impeccable” (Boston Phoenix), “ravishing” and of “exemplary pacing and reading” (Hugh Fraser) while her conducting style is praised for its “verve and precision”, “confident dynamics and tempos, crisp rhythms, and crystalline phrasing creat[ing] powerful forward momentum” (Carla DeFord).


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Chris Younghoon Kim     
Cornell Chamber Orchestra
    Ithaca NY
Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Chris Younghoon Kim, present multiple concerts during each academic school year.  The membership of the orchestra is formed from students of all colleges and departments across the university-wide community.  It is the only non-music major orchestra to win first place among collegiate orchestras the ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary music during the 2008-2009 season. It has won the Adventurous awards for 6 years in a row from 2008-2014. For the last seven seasons Cornell Orchestras have been jointly producing the Ithaca International conducting masterclasses with Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra. This performance is a live performance without edits from the College Orchestra Director's Association's National conference in Salt Lake City, UT, in January, 2016.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Ricardo Averbach
    Miami U. Symphony Orchestra
    Oxford OH
Ricardo Averbach
Ricardo Averbach is a native of Brazil. Prior to his coming to Miami University in 2002, he was Music Director of the Echternach Festival Chamber Orchestra in Luxembourg, Music Director of the University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble in Philadelphia and Acting Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de São Paulo in Brazil. After only three years under his leadership at Miami University, the symphony orchestra was selected in one single year and by competitive audition to three major conferences: MENC, ASTA and OMEA. In 2005 he organized the first international tour of the ensemble, creating the Russian-American Orchestra Institute, in collaboration with the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. His discography includes several world premiere recordings, which have sold more than half a million copies around the globe. Dr. Averbach conducts regularly in South and North America, Asia and Europe.


3rd Place:
Kevin Sutterlin     
University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra
    Memphis TN
Kevin Sutterlin    
Kevin Sütterlin has recently been appointed Director of Orchestral Activities at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Prior to that, Sütterlin served as Acting Music Director and Chief Assistant Conductor of the Orchestras and Acting Music Director of Opera at the University of Memphis. He received the school’s Creative Achievement Award and is an awardee of the Hirschmann Foundation scholarship. As Co-Music Director of Sinfonietta Memphis, he strives to present historically-informed performances of Viennese Classics in innovative ways.

He has taught and performed in many countries, including Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland. Sütterlin holds a Bachelor in Conducting from the Hochschule Luzern – Musik, Switzerland and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Memphis, where he is also currently finishing his DMA in Orchestral Conducting. Kevin is grateful for the continuous guidance of his teachers Pu-Qi Jiang, Mark Ensley, Christoph Rehli, Douglas Bostock, and Michael Stern.


HONORABLE MENTION:
Jeffrey Klefstad
    All University Orchestra
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Pittsburgh PA
Jeffrey Klefstad
Jeffrey Klefstad is Music Director and conductor of the All University Orchestra at Carnegie Mellon University and assistant conductor for Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. While off the podium, Klefstad is board member, chair of the Community Engagement and Outreach Committee, and member of the artistic committee for Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. Previously Klefstad has been cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra and The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Additionally he has been Music Director for Undercroft Opera (Pittsburgh). Conducting teachers and mentors have included Diane Wittry, Kenneth Kiesler, Robert McCashin, and Bruce Houglum, respectively. In addition, he has worked with such influential conductors and composers as Kurt Masur, Keith Lockhart, Victor Yampolsky, Steve Reich, Jennifer Higdon, Robert Sierra, Victoria Bond, and Samuel Jones. Additionally, he has been coached by Paul Vermel, Jorge Mester, Peter Jaffee, and Donald Portnoy.


The American Prize in Conducting—orchestra, 2016-17,  community division:

The American Prize winner:
Matthew Cody
    Oneota Valley Community Orchestra
    Decorah IA
Matthew Cody
Matthew Cody is a conductor and music educator based in Northeast Iowa.  Along with teaching instrumental music in the public school system, Matt is also the founder and conductor of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra.  The OVCO is a full symphonic orchestra that serves communities in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin.

Matthew graduated from Simpson College with a Bachelor of Music specializing in music education.  In 2014 he earned his Master of Music degree from Colorado State University with music education and conducting specialties.  Additionally he was invited to be the Conducting Fellow for the 2011 season of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and a guest conductor for the 2013 Iowa Bandmasters Conference and 2014 Iowa Band Conductors Forum. His principal conducting mentors include: Dr. Robert L Larsen, Founder Des Moines Metro Opera, Jason Weinberger, Music Director, Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony, Wes Kenney, Music Director, Fort Collins Symphony.


2nd Place:
Lois Ferrari
    Austin Civic Orchestra
    Austin TX
Lois Ferrari
Lois Ferrari is Professor of Music at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and has been a member of the faculty since 1993. Dr. Ferrari conducts the SU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting classes, and serves as host and clinician for the bi-annual SU Conductors' Institute. As ACO Music Director, Dr. Ferrari was named 1st Runner-Up for the 2012 American Prize in Community Orchestra Conducting. In 2014, Dr. Ferrari was honored to be named finalist for the same contest. In 2010 and 2016, Dr. Ferrari conducted all-state ensembles at the Washington State music educators conference.

An enthusiastic champion of new music, Dr. Ferrari founded the bi-annual ACO Composition Contest and is proud to have premiered more than twenty works during the course of her career. One such work was nominated by the Austin Critics Table for Best Symphonic Performance of 2009. In 2012, Ferrari and the ACO were commissioned by composer David Amram to present the Texas premiere of his “Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie.”

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting, Dr. Ferrari received a full doctoral fellowship and was appointed Assistant Conductor of the renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble. She also earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree with a double major in Performance and Music Education from the Ithaca College School of Music. Her principal teachers were Donald Hunsberger, Rodney Winther, David Effron, and Donald Neuen. http://loisferrari.wix.com/maestra-lois-ferrari


3rd Place:
Zachary D. McCoy
    Balmoral Chamber Orchestra
    Memphis TN
Zachary D. McCoy
A native of Tennessee, Zachary D. McCoy has studied conducting with Maestro Pu-Qi Jiang and percussion with Drs. Julie Hill and Frank Shaffer. In 2010, McCoy became the founding music director and conductor of the 7AM Marimba Choir. In 2011, he became the founding music director and conductor of the Balmoral Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble dedicated to the charitable service of a variety causes and organizations both domestically as well as internationally. As conductor of BCO, McCoy has premiered a number of compositions and arrangements by composers from around the world. As a soloist, McCoy has been featured as a concerto competition winner under the baton of Maestro Michael Gilbert. McCoy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with both a Bachelor of Music in performance and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. Currently and in addition to serving as the conductor of BCO, McCoy lives in San Francisco with his wife while teaching both music and science. In the fall of 2017, McCoy will attend the University of Tennessee College of Medicine as a medical student.

The American Prize in Conducting—orchestra, 2016-17,  youth & school division:

The American Prize winner: 
Orlando Cela
    North Carolina Governor's School Orchestra
    Winston-Salem NC
Orlando Cela
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.


2nd Place:
Michael Webster
    Houston Youth Symphony
    Houston TX
Michael Webster
A multifaceted musician, Dr. Michael Webster is known as clarinetist, conductor, composer, arranger and educator. Professor of music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, he has been artistic director of Houston Youth Symphony since 1997. He led the Symphony at the inauguration of Houston Mayor Lee Brown, at Carnegie Hall, and at the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival in Sarasota, Florida, as one of six orchestras selected from applicants nationwide. Rarely featuring an orchestra, NPR’s national radio show “From the Top” invited HYS to perform in September 2012.

Dr. Webster served as assistant conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin, music director of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, and director of the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has held faculty positions in clarinet and conducting at the University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, Boston University, and Eastman School of Music, where he had earned his three degrees.


3rd Place:
Carolyn Watson
    Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra
    Interlochen MI
Carolyn Watson
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


HONORABLE MENTION:
Ryan Murray
    Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra
    Modesto CA
Ryan Murray
Ryan Murray’s dynamic conducting, engaging persona and deeply held passion for the arts have allowed him to steadily build a robust career since his professional debut at the age of just 22. Ryan was a winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors and previously studied at the Eastman School of Music's Summer Conducting Institute featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; he has participated in the Aurora Conducting Seminar with Kurt Masur, as well as the Lucerne Festival Academy Conducting Masterclass. Ryan is currently the Music Director of Townsend Opera, the Associate Conductor for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Music Director for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra and Resident Conductor of the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival. Ryan previously served as a Conductor for the BASOTI, and the Opera Academy of California. Visit www.ryanjmurray.com for news and upcoming engagements.


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