Tuesday, October 21, 2014

STAGE DIRECTOR WINNER, RUNNERS-UP

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Directing, 2014. Congratulations! All finalists 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 make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Directing

The American Prize winner:
LINDA LISTER, director
for "Sancta Susanna" and "Suor Angelica"
UNLV Opera
Las Vegas, NV
LINDA LISTER
Linda Lister is Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College and the Eastman School of Music. She has directed UNLV Opera Theater’s productions of La Canterina, The Impresario, Carmen, The Fairy Queen, L’elisir d’amore, Suor Angelica, Sancta Susanna, and Ariadne auf Naxos. She has also directed productions of The Merry Widow, Hansel and Gretel, Cendrillon, The Medium, The Old Maid and the Thief, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Orpheus In the Underworld, Gianni Schicchi, Dido and Aeneas, Roman Fever, Orpheus and Eurydice, Bastien and Bastienna, and The Gondoliers. Also a composer, she has written several one-act operas, including How Clear She Shines! about the Brontë sisters. Dr. Lister serves on summer faculty of the Druid City Opera Workshop, and is the Opera Director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A certified CorePower Yoga instructor, Dr. Lister is author of Yoga for Singers: Freeing Your Voice and Spirit through Yoga (2011).

Among judges' comments: "…this is a riveting production that gets to the core of the opera…"


2nd Place:
KRISTINA KEENER IVY, director
for "The Music Man"
Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy
Covina, CA
KRISTINA KEENER IVY
Kristina Keener Ivy, producer and director, is a former high school choir director turned professional performer and private music instructor. She has performed with various jazz bands, as a member of various church worship teams, on three film soundtracks, and in numerous musical theater productions throughout the Southwest. She has also worked as a musical director for over 20 local productions including Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical and High School Musical. Four years ago she founded Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy and their first two productions were nominated for 12 National Youth Arts Awards and won three. She is looking forward to producing many more main stage productions and touring shows with Top Billing Entertainment.

Among judges' comments: "No time lags at any point. Excellent throughout."

 
3rd Place:
DANIEL ELLIS, director
for "Griffelkin"
Project Opera
Minneapolis, MN
DANIEL ELLIS
Stage Director Daniel Ellis continues to garner wide attention for developing new work with renowned artists while bringing innovative theater and opera to wider audiences.   A graduate of The New School for Drama in New York City, Daniel has directed over 10 world premieres including the Off-Broadway production of Frank Gagliano's, Dancing with Joy. His co-directed production of Scarlet Woman received the 2011 Best of Fest Award at the Winnipeg Fringe and Edmonton International Fringe Festivals. Stay Tuned, featuring the vocal ensemble Five By Design, premiered with the Arkansas Symphony and has been performed with over 25 symphony orchestras. Daniel was named Artist in Residence for the Minnesota Opera 2012-2014 seasons collaborating with artists including Kevin Newbury on the world première of Doubt, Thaddaeus Strassberger, and Eric Simonson on a new production of The Dream of Valentino. Daniel is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
 

Among judges' comments: "….a balanced piece…clear direction throughout."

***
Congratulations!

MUSICAL THEATER WINNERS, RUNNERS-UP

Ziegfeld Girl Marilyn Miller
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

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

The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance

The American Prize winner:
TOP BILLING ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE ACADEMY
for "The Music Man"
Kristina Keener Ivy, director
Covina, CA
TOP BILLING ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE ACADEMY
It had been a life-long dream of Kristina Keener Ivy's to start a performing arts group. After performing all over the country and heading a similar program at West Covina High School for five years, she decided to found her own 501(c)3 nonprofit where she could ensure that each performer is treated with respect, given professional instruction, and given the opportunity for a featured solo. For Top Billing Entertainment's first two shows ever, we received 12 National Youth Arts nominations and three wins. In the future we plan to expand to a year round, full service performance academy which offers private instruction, group classes, and public performances in acting, on camera acting, dance, voice, all instruments, and anything else that interests our students that relates to the performing arts.

Among judges' comments: "You can tell that extensive time has been spent on acting, singing, and dancing equally." 


2nd Place:
DAVIDSON FINE ARTS MAGNET SCHOOL
for "The Music Man"
Heather Davidson, Betty Walpert, directors
Augusta, GA

DAVIDSON FINE ARTS MAGNET SCHOOL
Established in 1981, Davidson Fine Arts is a public magnet school in the Richmond County School System serving 791 students in Grades 6-12.  The population is equally balanced between middle and high school and between minority and non-minority status. Students are admitted on selective criteria based upon prior school record, good character, and an audition in five fine arts.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS:
    •    US News & World Report- One of the top 100 Schools in the Country 2007-2013 .
    •    Ranked 43rd Best Public School in United States by bestschools.org for 2013.
    •    American Prize in Choral Performance – Davidson Chorale/2012.
    •    National Grammy Signature School for the music programs 2004 and 2005.
    •    Award winning Drama Department  productions : One Act Play Competition(Regional and State), SETC, and the Georgia State Thespian Conference.

Our “Music Man” ensemble involved over 180 student participants including actors, crew, orchestra and marketing and played to over 2000 people in our community.

Among judges' comments: "Great dancing in 76 Trombones and Marian the Librarian and in act 2. Great sets throughout."


3rd Place:
YOUNG ARTISTS of AMERICA
for "Phantom of the Opera"
Rolando Sanz, director
Bethesda, MD
YOUNG ARTISTS of AMERICA
Young Artists of America was founded in 2011 to provide talented young instrumentalists and vocalists with exceptional opportunities to perform, train with, and be mentored by professional artists and educators in fully orchestrated performances, including large scale works of opera, musical theatre, oratorio and dance. Young Artists of America is the first known program of its kind in the nation to bring together high school aged instrumentalists and vocalists to specialize in, study and perform large scale vocal works, and specifically opera. The cornerstone of our organization is our Mentoring Program, in which students are not only coached by professional instrumentalists and singers, but also perform alongside them. Recent productions include fully orchestrated performances of The Phantom of the Opera, Madama Butterfly & Miss Saigon, and most recently Songs for a New World conducted by the Tony-award winning composer, Jason Robert Brown.

Among judges' comments: "Great balance between orchestra and singers."


***
Congratulations!

Monday, October 20, 2014

PROFESSIONAL ORCHESTRA WINNER, RUNNERS-UP

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the professional orchestra division of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

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

The American Prize in Orchestral Performance
—professional orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Diane Wittry, music director 
Allentown, PA
ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Allentown Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1951 to provide music to the Lehigh Valley.  For 63 Seasons, the orchestra has brought inspiring music, outstanding guest artists, unique productions, and unforgettable performances to the region. From 1951 to 1983, founding conductor, Donald Voorhees (NBC’s Bell Telephone Hour) showcased legends such as Placido Domingo, Benny Goodman, Carol Channing, and Phyllis Diller. William Smith, the conductor from 1986 to 1990, simultaneously served as the assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Diane Wittry was appointed Music Director in 1995 after a national search. Through her tenure, the orchestra has grown in quality level and in the number and types of concerts presented.  The ASO currently performs 5 Classical concerts (Sat/Sun), 4 Pops concerts, Educational and Family concerts, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, and a chamber music series. Diane Wittry brings an original programming style, creating innovative concert experiences that excite audiences.

Among judges' comments: "…demonstrates a confidence and finesse in major repertory."


2nd Place:
ODYSSEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Jason Lim, music director  
McKinney & Frisco, TX
ODYSSEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Founded in 2012, Odysseus Chamber Orchestra consists of professional classical musicians from Denton, Frisco and surrounding areas. In its short history the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra 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. Furthermore, OCO pioneered the Mentorship Program. The brainchild of Artistic Director, Jason Lim, this program provides high school orchestra students the opportunity to rehearse and perform side-by-side with members of OCO. Most recently, The Odysseus Chamber Orchestra was awarded third place in the American Prize Competition, distinguishing it as a premier emerging ensemble.

Among judges' comments: "…has much potential especially playing contemporary works…"



3rd Place:
MICHIGAN PHILHARMONIC
Nan Harrison Washburn, music director
Plymouth, MI
MICHIGAN PHILHARMONIC
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 Place honors from The American Prize, professional orchestra division. Nan Washburn, Music Director and Conductor since 1999, has won 18 ASCAP Awards for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music from the League of American Orchestras. Michigan Phil is bringing its events into an ever-expanding roster of Michigan communities, including Plymouth, Canton, Birmingham-Bloomfield, the Grosse Pointes, Downtown Detroit, and many others. The organization is committed to reaching out to a broad and diverse array of audiences and providing enjoyable cultural and social experiences. Currently in its 68th 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.

Among judges' comments: "…strong playing by the entire orchestra along the Appian Way."


***
Congratulations!

CONDUCTOR WINNER, RUNNERS-UP: community orchestra

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—community orchestra division. Congratulations! All finalists 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 make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Conducting
—community orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
ANNA EDWARDS, music director
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle, WA
ANNA EDWARDS
Anna Edwards, conductor, founder and music director of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, holds many positions as an artist/teacher in the Seattle area conducting the Seattle Festival Orchestra as interim Music Director and in the Spring of 2014, conducting the Saratoga Chamber Orchestra as one of three finalists in their Music Director search. Currently, Anna is a DMA conducting candidate at the University of Washington where she studies with Ludovic Morlot and David Rahbee. Previously, Edwards has studied conducting at the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music where she studied conducting with Michael Jinbo, Gustav Meier, and James Ross.  Ms. Edwards is currently a member of the Auburn Symphony and has been a freelance violinist in the Seattle Metro area playing with such groups as the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Northwest Sinfonietta, and multiple chamber ensembles for the past 22 years.

Among judges' comments: "clear, musically and emotionally involved, expressive…Higdon especially impressive."



2nd Place:
DAVID BERNARD, music director
Park Avenue Chamber Symphony
New York, NY 
DAVID BERNARD
Known as the energetic and incisive Music Director of New York City’s Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, David Bernard has performed in more than 20 countries on four continents, including a nine-city tour of the People's Republic of China with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and guest conducting appearances with the China Conservatory Orchestra, the Long Island String Festival, the Massapequa Philharmonic, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble, the Putnam Symphony and the South Shore Symphony.   A two-time First Prize Winner of the Orchestral Conducting competition of The American Prize, David Bernard’s discography includes 17 albums spanning music from Vivaldi to Copland, including a recently released album of the Complete Beethoven Symphonies, available on Amazon.com, iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody.  Of these recordings, Fanfare Magazine reviewers acclaimed "David Bernard's interpretations are splendidly proportioned; from the first note to the last the listener feels that this is the way the whole work must go...balances are expertly judged and wonderfully blended...overall, distinguished and elegant music making."

Devoted to the music of our own time, Bernard has presented world premières of scores by Bruce Adolphe, Chris Caswell, John Mackey and Ted Rosenthal, while distinguished concert collaborators include Carter Brey, David Chan, Catherine Cho, Pedro Díaz, Bart Feller, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Ingolfsson, Christina Jennings, Jessica Lee, Jon Manasse, Todd Phillips and James Archie Worley.

Prior to the 1999 founding of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, David Bernard served as Music Director of the Stony Brook University Orchestra, the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island and Theater Three. He also held the post of Assistant Conductor of both the Jacksonville and Stamford symphony orchestras.

Bernard is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Stony Brook University, Tanglewood and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and studied with Sergiu Celibdache, David Lawton, Roger Nierenberg and Arthur Weisberg.

Among judges' comments: "The entries of orchestral ‘solos’ were clear and their character was matched by the conductor who was able to ‘accompany’ the soloists and then take charge of new aspects of the work."

 
3rd Place:
REUBEN BLUNDELL, conductor
The Chelsea Symphony
New York, NY 
REUBEN BLUNDELL
In his first season as a conductor with The Chelsea Symphony, Reuben Blundell is in his fifth year at the City University’s prestigious Hunter College.  As the Hunter Symphony’s Music Director, he has launched new-music programs, worked with choreographers and museums, and raised the orchestra’s profile through performances in new spaces. Blundell is active as a freelance conductor: recent engagements include concerts with the South Orange Symphony (NJ) and the Lansdowne Symphony (PA).  In 2013 he also conducted the New World Symphony (FL) alongside Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and he also conducted and taught in Iraq during the summer, for American Voices in a project supported by the US State Department. Continuing to perform as a violinist, Reuben plays regularly in The Chelsea Symphony, and is a former fellow of the New World Symphony and Tanglewood Music Center, and received his DMA from the Eastman School of Music in 2010.

Among judges' comments: "Watching the conductor at rehearsal showed The Chelsea Symphony’s desire to get it right while in a respectful but ‘easy going’ manner."

***
Congratulations!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA WINNER, RUNNERS-UP

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the community orchestra division of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

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

The American Prize in Orchestral Performance
—community orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
VALDOSTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Howard Hsu, music director
Valdosta, GA

VALDOSTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Created in 1990, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra serves both the cultural life of Valdosta and the regional academic mission of Valdosta State University. The high standard of performance of the orchestra enables it to attract guest soloists of national and international renown to the Valdosta community. The orchestra's membership is a unique blend of resident artist-faculty, students studying professional music disciplines, talented community performers, and carefully selected professionals from a five-state region. Supported by an Advisory Board of Directors, the Valdosta Symphony Guild, Valdosta State University, corporate sponsors, and hundreds of individual patrons, the orchestra has become an important part of the cultural life of the entire region.    

Among judges' comments: "The ensemble plays with excellent intonation and balance. The individual wind and brass players are of high quality and play with lovely tone."



2nd Place (there was a tie):
PARK AVENUE CHAMBER SYMPHONY
David Bernard, music director
New York, NY

PARK AVENUE CHAMBER SYMPHONY
Since its founding in 1999, the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony has built a loyal following, both in New York City and worldwide through its extensive catalog of recordings on iTunes, Naxos/ClassicsOnline, Amazon and Spotify.  In 2011 the orchestra toured the People’s Republic of China performing in 9 cities including Beijing, Qingdao, Dalian, Chaoyang, Jinzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang and Xi’an. The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony’s performances are acclaimed by New York Critics as “Triumphant...polished…exquisite…with a strong sense of style and commitment…with the depth and fervor of the old school European orchestras.” The ensemble regularly features important soloists including Carter Brey (principal cellist, New York Philharmonic), David Chan (concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Jon Manasse (clarinet soloist) and Whoopi Goldberg (Oscar-winning actor and entertainer), as well as emerging artists from Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music and Mannes. The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony performs at All Saints Church on the Upper East Side of NYC, with additional performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.  Through its fundraising efforts, the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony has helped establish a new Scholarship Fund for students at the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, as well as support The Harmony Program—a New York City organization that provides music lessons to economically disadvantaged children and is modeled after Venezuela’s world-famous model of music education, “El Sistema”.

Among judges' comments: "This is an excellent orchestra with many experienced players of quality, especially in the string sections."


2nd Place (there was a tie):
SEATTLE COLLABORATIVE ORCHESTRA
Anna Edwards, music director
Seattle, WA

SEATTLE COLLABORATIVE ORCHESTRA
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra is an intergenerational, semi-professional community orchestra with a strong educational component based in collaboration. Musicians of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra largely consist of members or alumni of Seattle high schools and University of Washington music students, in addition to members of professional music ensembles in the Seattle area (i.e. Seattle Symphony and Pacific Northwest Ballet). It is our aspiration to spread musical enjoyment to our Seattle metropolitan community.

Among judges' comments: "…sensitive ensemble playing, very accurate and musical. There are exceptional individual players in the orchestra."


3rd Place:
WAYNESBORO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Charles Salembier, music director
Waynesboro, VA
WAYNESBORO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

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.

Among judges' comments: "...very intense opening; deeply felt; strings very good. As a whole, a very moving and musical performance."

***
Congratulations!

CONDUCTOR WINNERS, RUNNERS-UP: youth/high school orchestra

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—youth/high school orchestra division. Congratulations! All finalists 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 make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Conducting
—youth/high school orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
ANGEL VELEZ, student teacher
Santa Monica High School Symphony
Santa Monica, CA
ANGEL VELEZ
Originally from Indiana, Angel Velez currently works in Los Angeles as a conductor and orchestrator while completing graduate studies at the University of Southern California and working with the renowned Santa Monica High School orchestra program. Velez has worked on projects such as Family Guy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, James Bond: Goldeneye for Wii, Rouge Bresil, Madison, and others. He has extensive experience as an orchestral conductor, working with orchestras such as the Berlin Sinfonietta, Yakima Symphony Chamber, Opus Orchestra of Indianapolis, and many others. He has held positions at Taylor University (Indiana) and most recently Marian University (Indiana) where he was the director of bands and head of the percussion department. Velez is a student of conducting pedagogues, Donald Thulean and Kenneth Kiesler, and holds degrees from Butler University, Berklee College of Music, and the University of Southern California.

Among judges' comments: "His technique is clear and rehearsal style relaxed yet focused and productive."


2nd Place:
MICHAEL WEBSTER, director
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston, TX
MICHAEL WEBSTER
Michael Webster is Professor of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Artistic Director of Houston Youth Symphony.  Formerly Principal Clarinet with the Rochester Philharmonic and Acting Principal Clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony, Webster has been soloist with many orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra with Aaron Copland and the Boston Pops with John Williams.  A winner of Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Tokyo, Cleveland, Ying, Muir, Chester, and Enso String Quartets, and festivals such as Marlboro, Santa Fe, Norfolk, Chamber Music Northwest, Victoria, Stratford, Domaine Forget, Angel Fire, Sitka, Maui, Steamboat Springs and Park City. He has also performed and taught in South and Central America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China.  Webster has been on the clarinet and conducting faculties of Eastman, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan.

Among judges' comments: "...an experienced conductor conducting a superb group of musicians through difficult repertory."

 
3rd Place:
ALYZE DREILING, director
YPO Soloist Ensemble
San Diego, CA

ALYZE DREILING
Presently Ms. Dreiling is on the adjunct faculty at University of San Diego and faculty for the USD Chamber Music Festival and is adjunct faculty at Grossmont College. She is the violinist with Trio Licenza, the piano trio, in residence at USD, and she also performs as violist with Grossmont Symphony String Quartet. She is the violinist with The California Consort, founded by legendary contrabassist, Bertram Turetzky. Alyze Dreiling was born in Detroit, Michigan. She began her studies with Mischa Mischakoff. Ms. Dreiling graduated from Indiana University where she studied with Josef Gingold. Since then she has appeared as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Philharmonica Hungarica at the Vienna Summer Festival, the Florida Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony, Knoxville Chamber Orchestra to name a few. Ms. Dreiling was founding Artistic Director/ Conductor of Classics for Kids. Alyze also served as the Violinist/Conductor of the International Chamber Players at USIU. She has played concertmaster for Donna Summers, Smoky Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Tom Scott, and for shows at the Old Globe, Civic Auditorium, LaJolla Playhouse, Lawrence Welk and Starlight Theater. She has also played with San Diego Symphony, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and Hutchins Consort.

Among judges' comments: "…a very effective conductor…"

***
Congratulations!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CONDUCTOR WINNER, RUNNERS-UP: college/university chorus

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—college/university chorus division. Congratulations! All finalists 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 make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Conducting
—college/university chorus division

The American Prize winner:
KEVIN L. BAKER, director
Southern Utah University Concert Chamber Choir
Cedar City, UT
KEVIN L. BAKER
Kevin L. Baker holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southwest Baptist University, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and the Ph.D. in music Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He spent 7 years as a high school choral director, and has held the position of Director of Choral Activities at Mineral Area College, St. Norbert College, Culver-Stockton College and Southern Utah University.  He has been awarded tenure at the high school and collegiate levels and is highly active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator, having led nearly 100 such events.  He has championed community engagement and the choral/orchestral genre, starting multiple Music Masterworks programs that bring together community singers, instrumentalists and collegiate musicians.  He has held membership in professional organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Among judges' comments: "...clear and expressive, reflecting the musical style of each piece...a conductor easy to sing for..."


2nd Place:
DEANNA JOSEPH, director
Georgia State University Singers
Atlanta, GA
DEANNA JOSEPH
Dr. Deanna Joseph is director of choral activities at the Georgia State University School of Music, where she conducts the University Singers and leads the master's program in choral conducting. She is also the artistic director of the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute (ASCI), a weeklong masterclass for conductors that takes place annually in June. In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tours where they placed second overall in the mixed choir category and Dr. Joseph was honored with the Prix du chef de chour. Additional honors from 2013 include an invited performance at the Georgia Music Educator's Association annual conference and the North American premiere of David Bintley's Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet.

Dr. Joseph is an active guest conductor and clinician and has conducted all-state and honor choirs in more than ten states. She is a frequent conductor of choral-orchestral repertoire, and has led performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah, Beethoven Mass in C, Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert's Mass in A-flat and Bruckner's Mass in D Minor. Dr. Joseph's research in the area of 19th century choral-orchestral performance-practice has led to invited presentations on the topic at several division conferences of the American Choral Director's Association and at the national convention for the National Collegiate Choral Organization. Dr. Joseph holds conducting degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize.  She was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator Award in 2014.

Among judges' comments: "Ease and naturalness, comfort and musicality...and a name to remember."

 
3rd Place:
TIMOTHY S. MCDONNELL, director
Ave Maria University Combined Choirs 
Naples. FL
TIMOTHY S. MCDONNELL
Timothy McDonnell is conductor of the Ave Maria University Chamber Choir, as well as director of choral activities for the University.  Since 2011, Maestro McDonnell has also been the director of the Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida.  Dr. McDonnell founded the chamber choir upon assuming his post at Ave Maria University in 2007.  Previous to this he served as the chapel master at the Pontifical North American College, located in Vatican City, Rome.  In this capacity, he led the 38 members of the men’s choir in several liturgical services per week as well as special concert performances in the city of Rome.  From 2002-2005, Dr. McDonnell served as the founding director of the ensemble Schola Nova in Philadelphia, which specialized in performing chamber and choral works from across the centuries.  Dr. McDonnell is active as a composer and arranger and teaches music theory in addition to choral music at Ave Maria University.

Among judges' comments: "The conducting is clear and cues are given so that the orchestra and choir are comfortably together."

***
Congratulations!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CONDUCTOR WINNER, RUNNERS-UP: community chorus/youth chorus

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—community/youth chorus division. Congratulations! All finalists 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 make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Conducting
—community chorus/youth chorus division

The American Prize winner:
TOM HALL
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Baltimore, MD
TOM HALL
Tom Hall was appointed Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in 1982.  An Emmy Award winner in 2006 for a special on WMAR Television, he has also appeared with Choral Arts on PBS, NPR, and local public radio stations, where he hosts Choral Arts Classics, and is the co-host of Maryland Morning. Mr. Hall has appeared as a guest conductor with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Musica Sacra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the Three Choirs Festival in Chicago, and the Midwest Choral Festival in Iowa.  Mr. Hall has prepared choruses for Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw and Helmuth Rilling, and he served for ten years as the Chorus Master of the Baltimore Opera Company.

Among judges' comments: "The energy and enthusiasm was contagious...one of the best recorded performances of Christmas music I have seen in many years."


2nd Place:
ROBERT BODE
Choral Arts
Seattle, WA
ROBERT BODE
Robert Bode is on the faculty at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, where he is the Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities. Prior to receiving his doctorate in choral conducting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Bode studied opera conducting with Fiora Contino at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and was awarded a Conducting Fellowship at the University-College of Music in Cardiff.

Bode made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 1990 and has conducted nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. His choirs have been consistently featured in performances for the ACDA National and Regional Conventions, as well as the most recent Chorus America National Conference. Bode has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle-based Choral Arts since 2007, winning the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and The American Prize for best choral performance (community division).

Among judges' comments: "expressive, extremely musical, in tune with the singer's needs."



3rd Place
SUSAN MCMANE
Young Women's Chorus of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

SUSAN MCMANE
Susan McMane is the founding director of the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco, where she conducts the auditioned chorus of young women from grades 7-12 and oversees a training program for younger girls. From 2001- 2012, Dr. McMane was the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus where she achieved international acclaim for its concert chorus. She has served on college music faculties of Saint Louis University and the University of North Dakota, and was Founding Conductor of the St. Louis Women’s Chorale.

Dr. McMane has prepared her choirs for performances with leading symphonic conductors, and is responsible for commissioning over 20 new works from prominent composers. Her choirs have performed at the prestigious World Choral Symposium, and for the celebrated European competition, Let the Peoples Sing. Among her many honors, are three GRAMMY® awards with the San Francisco Symphony and two ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming.

Among judges' comments: "she seems to have an electric connection to these young women."


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Congratulations!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Community Division: The VYTAUTAS MARIJOSIUS MEMORIAL AWARD in ORCHESTRAL PROGRAMMING, 2014

Maestro Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce the winners and runners-up for The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award, 2014. Awards will be made in two divisions this year: collegiate and community. Here are results in the community division.

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
—Community Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Andrew Koehler, music director  
Kalamazoo Philharmonia
Kalamazoo  MI

Andrew Koehler
Andrew Koehler is currently the music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, which he leads as part of his position as an associate professor of music at Kalamazoo College. In recent seasons, he has appeared as a guest with the West Michigan Symphony; the Lyatoshynsky Chamber Orchestra in Kyiv, Ukraine; and the Festival South Chamber Orchestra in Mississippi, among others. Recently, he took part in the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conductor’s Competition in Katowice, Poland, where he won First Distinction and the Youth Jury Prize. Andrew is a graduate of Yale College, where he completed a B.A. in Music and German Studies (graduating with honors and distinction in both majors).  He holds a certificate in conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he studied for two years as a Fulbright scholar, as well as a Masters degree from Northwestern University.


2nd Place:
Robert W. Boardman, music director
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra
South Bend  IN
Robert W. 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 in 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.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Donald Appert, music director
Oregon Sinfonietta
Portland  OR
Donald Appert
Donald Appert has been Music Director/Conductor of the Oregon Sinfonietta since 2000. 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 Artistic Director and Conductor of the Jewish Community Orchestra in Portland, Oregon.  He received The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Vytautas Marijosius  Memorial Award in 2011 for his work with the Oregon Sinfonietta and an Honorable Mention in 2012. 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.maestroappert.com.  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Nan Harrison Washburn, music director
Michigan Philharmonic
Plymouth  MI
Nan Harrison Washburn
Nan Washburn, winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, professional division, in 2013, and recipient of 18 ASCAP awards, is in her 15th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Michigan Philharmonic. She has guest conducted the symphonies of Richmond, Sacramento, Wyoming, Eugene, Berkeley, Marin, Cheyenne, Dubuque, Stockton, Napa and the University of Michigan Philharmonia. Prior positions include Music Director of West Hollywood Orchestra, Orchestra Sonoma, Camellia Symphony, SF State University Orchestra and Channel Islands Symphony and the American Jazz Theater. Washburn studied at Music Academy of the West, U.C. Santa Barbara, New England Conservatory, Aspen Music Festival and the Conductors Institute. She has received the New York Women Composers’ Distinguished Service Award, Sonoma County Independent Indy Award, Girl Scout Role Model Award, KQED, San Francisco’s Outstanding Local Hero Award, City of West Hollywood Women in Leadership Award and recognized as an Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Associate.

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Congratulations!

Collegiate Division: The VYTAUTAS MARIJOSIUS MEMORIAL AWARD in ORCHESTRAL PROGRAMMING, 2014.

Maestro Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce the winners and runners-up for The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award, 2014. Awards will be made in two divisions this year: collegiate and community. Here are results in the collegiate division.

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
—Collegiate Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Chris Younghoon Kim, music director
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca, NY
 
Chris Younghoon Kim
Passionate about working with young musicians and music education, Chris  Younghooon Kim is the Director of Orchestras at Cornell University and is an active adjudicator, guest clinician, and masterclass teacher. The  League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. Before coming to Cornell, Chris was active in the new music scene in Boston conducting the Firebird Ensemble and the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra. Since 1997 he has been the Artistic Director of the new music ensemble Brave New Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of America’s most innovative and progressive ensembles. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria, based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, International Bartok Festival in Szaombarthely, Hungary, among others. He is an active promoter of music of our time, and has collaborated with dozens of composers, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works. He was recently chosen to be one of three young conductors to appear at the Ensemble Moderne Academy in Innsbruck, Austria being mentored by members of Ensemble Moderne at the 2012 Klangspuren new music festival. He has also been chosen as the first wave of conductors to take part in the College Orchestra Directors Association’s Ibermusicas initiative in 2014, and will guest conduct Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina.


2nd Place:
Tian Hui Ng, music director
Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra   
South Hadley  MA 

Tian Hui Ng
Ng Tian Hui is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Lecturer in Music at Mount Holyoke College, where he conducts the Orchestra, and teaches courses in conducting, musicianship and performance practice. An enthusiastic advocate of new music, he has commissioned and conducted premieres of music by Colin Britt, Curt Cacioppo, Zhangyi Chen, Reena Esmail, Americ Goh, Robert Honstein, Emily Koh, Joan Tower and Wong Kah Chun. He is particularly proud of the commission “Ariadne’s Lament” by Zhangyi Chen which won the Eric Whitacre Prize given away by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Eric Whitacre Singers.

Known for his inter-disciplinary work, Mr.Ng’s most recent creation was entitled “Midwinter Dreams” in which he served as both director and conductor. The production utilized the complete Incidental Music to a Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn in a reshuffled order, intermixed with a new commission by Robert Honstein. The music created an emotional contour, onto which award winning choreographers Terese Freedman and Dahlia Nayar created dance in combination with performance art and paper sculptures by Rie Hachiyanagi, to explore the dreams of the local community.

Mr Ng received the Bachelor of Music from the University of Birmingham, UK where he studied composition with Vic Hoyland and orchestral conducting with Andrew Constantine. He holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, with Marguerite Brooks, Simon Carrington, Jeffrey Douma and Masaaki Suzuki. He has participated in conducting master classes with Leon Fleisher, Simon Halsey, Paul Hillier, Peter Jaffe, Nicholas McGegan, Gustav Meier, Maurice Peress, Donald Portnoy, Helmuth Rilling, Dale Warland, and Paul Vermel among others.

In 2013-14, Mr. Ng looks forward to a season of music including the premiere of a new opera by Mary D. Watkins titled “Dark River”, a new performance edition of “A Folk Symphony” by Fela Sowande, the father of Nigerian Western Classical Music, paired with new commissions by Hoh Chung Shih and David Sanford, exploring the connections between Music and ethnic diasporas.

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Congratulations!

Friday, October 10, 2014

CHORUS WINNER, RUNNERS-UP: high school & youth choir

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up in the high school/youth choir division of The American Prize in Choral Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

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

The American Prize in Choral Performance
—high school/youth choir division

The American Prize winner:
Young Women's Chorus of San Francisco
Susan McMane, director
San Francisco  CA


Young Women's Chorus of San Francisco
The Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco (YWCP) was founded in 2012 with a mission to transform the lives of young women through exceptional artistry in choral performance and bring the expressive power of their music to the community, the nation, and the world.
YWCP consists of three ensembles whose members range in age from seven to eighteen and who represent the socio-economic diversity of the Bay Area. Singers rehearse twice weekly, and the advanced Young Women’s Chorus presents a six-concert season in the Bay Area, and annually tours nationally or internationally. With a repertoire that spans early music to contemporary compositions, YWC has already received accolades in Italy, on the SF Opera stage, and with the Kronos Quartet, whose founder David Harrington stated, “this is an incredible group of young musicians whose passion, and commitment to excellence are so clearly at the heart of every note they sing.”  
 

Among judges' comments: "...    warm, rich, open resonance throughout range…"


2nd Place:
THE DELPHIAN CHOIR
Great Falls High School   
Patrick Ryan, director
Great Falls  MT


THE DELPHIAN CHOIR
The Delphian Choir is one of seven choral ensembles at Great Falls High School, in Great Falls, Montana.  The group consists of forty sophomores through seniors, and membership is by audition.  Delphian is dedicated to building quality of character in its members through experiences in music.

Among judges' comments: "…. wonderful maturity, connectivity, and sensitivity…evident in this submission."


3rd Place:
ACCIDENTALS
Longmeadow High School
Kayla Werlin, director
Longmeadow  MA

ACCIDENTALS
Founded in 2004, The Accidentals are a 31-voice select women’s ensemble from Longmeadow High School. The group includes students in grades 9-12, and all singers in the group participate in one or more of LHS’ curricular musical ensembles, instrumental or vocal. The Accidentals rehearse one evening a week for two hours. In addition to performances at Longmeadow High School, The Accidentals have performed for the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association, the Eastern Division of the National Association for Music Education, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. Outside appearances have also included performances at Harvard University, Mt. Holyoke College and Carnegie Hall.

Among judges' comments: "…good sense of ensemble within rubato passages, great blend on vowels!"

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Congratulations!

CHORUS WINNER, RUNNERS-UP: community

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up in the community chorus division of The American Prize in Choral Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

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

The American Prize in Choral Performance
—community chorus division

The American Prize winner:
CHORAL ARTS INITIATIVE
Brandon Elliott, music director
Orange County  CA

CHORAL ARTS INITIATIVE
The Choral Arts Initiative believes that fostering and embracing the music of emerging composers is critical to our choral art form, and that passion and sincerity should be at the forefront of all musical endeavors.  Currently ranked as one of Orange County’s (California) “Best Choirs” according to CBS Los Angeles, Choral Arts Initiative has garnered both local and national attention.  Founded in 2013 by conductor Brandon Elliott, the ensemble is comprised of passionate and talented choral artists from throughout Southern California.  The organization has commissioned choral works, and has premiered over a dozen pieces by emerging choral composers since its inaugural performance in June 2013.  In addition to its dedication to offering stunning performances of choral music to the community, Choral Arts Initiative also offers a wide palate of education and community outreach programs to foster creativity, and to empower the next generation of music contributors and consumers.

Among judges' comments: "I found myself wishing I could be a part of this musical family."


2nd Place:
BALTIMORE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY
Tom Hall, music director
Baltimore  MD

BALTIMORE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY
Now in its 48th season, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society is one of Maryland's premier cultural institutions.  The Symphonic Chorus, Full Chorus, Orchestra, and Chamber Chorus perform throughout the mid-Atlantic region, in Washington, D.C., New York, and in Europe.

Choral Arts is featured in an annual television special that won an Emmy Award in 2006.  The chorus was also featured in a PBS documentary called Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith, broadcast nationwide, and on NPR’s Special Coverage. The ensemble has also been featured nationally on The First Art, Performance Today, and VOX.  In Europe, it was featured on Radio Suisse Romande.

Choral Arts has four recordings in current release, including Christmas from America’s First Cathedral on Gothic and The Gates of Justice on NAXOS.  Choral Arts has appeared with the National Symphony, and it makes regular appearances with the Baltimore Symphony.

Among judges' comments: "Dynamics.  Lyric articulation.  Blended vowels.  Balanced parts.  Musical excellence."


3rd Place:
CHORAL ARTS
Robert Bode, music director
Seattle  WA

CHORAL ARTS
Seattle-based Choral Arts is a thirty-member auditioned choral ensemble led by Artistic Director/Conductor, Robert Bode dedicated to performing high-quality choral music, commissioning and recording new works by American composers, and offering innovative education programs.

For twenty-one years Choral Arts has distinguished itself as a significant contributor to the art of choral music and has consistently achieved artistic excellence in its music and programs. In drawing singers exclusively from the Seattle region, Choral Arts has maintained its community-based roots while reaching a level of excellence in musicianship and performance that has earned them national recognition and critical acclaim. In 2010 Choral Arts was awarded the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the American Prize for best choral performance (community division), and placed second in the 2013 American Prize for choral performance (community division). Choral Arts currently has five CD released under the Gothic record label.

“Above all, we hope to bring people together through the unmatched power of singing, to express those things that define and particularize us, and to celebrate all that we share.”  - Robert Bode, Artistic Director

Among judges' comments: "...exquisite phrasing and dynamic control…"

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Congratulations!

CHORUS WINNER, RUNNERS-UP: college/university

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up in the college/university division of The American Prize in Choral Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

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

The American Prize in Choral Performance
—college/university division

The American Prize winner:
UNIVERSITY of NORTH DAKOTA CONCERT CHOIR
Joshua Bronfman, director
Grand Forks  ND

UNIVERSITY of NORTH DAKOTA CONCERT CHOIR
The University of North Dakota Concert Choir is a nationally recognized choral ensemble consisting of the most talented vocalists at the University of North Dakota. Founded by Dr. James Fudge, the Concert Choir has been representing UND throughout the United States and around the world since 1961. In 2012, the UND Concert Choir was selected to perform at the North Dakota and North Central American Choral Directors Association conferences, receiving standing ovations at both. In 2014, the Concert Choir will travel to Cuba where they will perform with the National Choir of Cuba and Coro Exaudi. The UND Concert Choir is directed by Dr. Joshua Bronfman.

Among judges' comments: "The Concert Choir’s consistency and ability to so perfectly maneuver a series of complex cluster-chords with such grace and poise is a testament to their musicianship."

2nd Place:
USC THORNTON CHAMBER SINGERS
Jo-Michael Scheibe, director
Los Angeles  CA


USC THORNTON CHAMBER SINGERS
The USC Thornton Chamber Singers are one of twenty-four choirs invited to the 2014 World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, Korea. They will also represent the American continent at the 12th Annual International China Choral Festival in Beijing. This year, they performed at the Western Division Convention of ACDA in Santa Barbara, California and sang with Sir Elton John at the 2013 Emmy Awards. Previously, Chamber Singers has sung with Barry Manilow, The Rolling Stones, and Andrea Bocelli. They performed Mozart’s Requiem with Helmuth Rilling and the LA Chamber Orchestra. Recent performance highlights include: choir-in-residence for the New Zealand Choral Federation Conference “ChoralConnect” in Wellington; the West Coast premiere of Heinz Werner Henze’s Muses of Sicily with Robert Reynolds; Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Maestro Rilling; USC Visions and Voices with Dale Warland; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; and with Jennifer Hudson at a Shoah Foundation Gala.

Among judges' comments: "The warmth and consistent balance throughout the selections invited the listener to immerse in each song, as the musical elements were so refined."


3rd Place (there was a tie):
WESTMINSTER KANTOREI
Amanda Quist, director
Princeton  NJ

WESTMINSTER KANTOREI
Founded in 2004, Westminster Kantorei is an auditioned chamber choir from Westminster Choir College specializing in early music. The ensemble, which is composed of approximately 24 undergraduate and graduate students, performs regularly with some of America’s leading specialists in early music including collaborations with violinists Owen Dalby and Nancy Wilson, and British vocal ensemble Tenebrae.

The ensemble was selected to appear at the ACDA Eastern Division Conference this spring in Baltimore, MD, and will present Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 later this year.  Last season included a workshop with Tenebrae, a collaboration with La Spirita (viola da gamba consort), and an invitation to perform for the American Handel Festival at Princeton University. Recent seasons have included performances of major works by Handel, Byrd and Bach, including his St. Matthew Passion at Avery Fisher Hall, with the Westminster Choir and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Kurt Masur."

Among judges' comments: "What is remarkable about this recording is the finely-measured and delicate balance of voices, and the mastery of stylistic performance practice."


3rd Place (there was a tie):
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY SINGERS
Deanna Joseph, director
Atlanta  GA
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY SINGERS
The Georgia State University University Singers is the School of Music’s premier vocal ensemble conducted by Dr. Deanna Joseph. Selected by competitive audition, the choir is comprised of music majors and non-majors, undergraduate and graduate students and represents the diverse population of Georgia State University. In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tours where they placed second overall in the mixed choir category and Dr. Joseph was honored with the Prix du chef de chour.  Additional recent honors include performing Walton's Belshazzar's Feast under the baton of Simon Halsey, an invited performance at the Georgia Music Educator's Association annual conference, a performance with Andrea Bocelli during his 2013 tour, and Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet. The University Singers have toured throughout much of the United States, including Carnegie Hall on two occasions, and seven international tours with stops in France, Belgium, Italy, Yugoslavia, Finland, Russian, Estonia, Canada and Great Britain.

Among judges' comments: "a marvelous recording of twentieth and twenty-first century choral pieces."


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Congratulations!