Friday, December 31, 2010

SEMI-FINALISTS (MEN) in OPERA

The American Prize is pleased to announce the semi-finalist men in the Opera division in both professional and college/university categories. Finalists will be chosen from this list, from which the final winners of The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards will be chosen. In addition to this blog listing, semi-finalists and their media contacts will be emailed this information after the first of the year.

If you were not chosen as a semi-finalist, the competition is not yet over. The judges reserve the right to award Honorable Mentions, Citations, and other recognition to praiseworthy applicants later in the process. Non-semi-finalists will also receive certificates.

Semi-finalist men in the Art Song category were announced earlier this afternoon. (See blog post, below.) Semi-finalist women will be announced after the holiday weekend. Happy new year to all contestants.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards semi-finalists in Opera (men) in no order are: 

PROFESSIONAL DIVISION: 

Jeffrey Ambrosini, Norman, OK
Jonathan Beyer, Philadelphia, PA
Jonathan Blalock, Sunnyside, NY
John Concepcion, Homewood, IL
Andrew Costello, New York, NY
Blake Friedman, New York, NY
David Salsbery Fry, New York, NY
Morton Hyson, Las Vegas, NV
Victor Khodadad, Brooklyn, NY
Marcus McConico, Duluth, MN
Kevin Nickorick, St Petersburg, FL
Yohan Yi, Los Angeles, CA

COLLEGE DIVISION: 

Philip Stoddard, New York, NY
Luke Scott, West Hartford, CT
Casey B. Finnigan, Houston, TX
Jonathan Story, Rensselaer, NY

Congratulations!

SEMI-FINALISTS (MEN) in ART SONG

The American Prize is pleased to announce the semi-finalist men in the Art Song division in both professional and college/university categories. Finalists will be chosen from this list, from which the final winners of The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards will be chosen. In addition to this blog listing, semi-finalists and their media contacts will be emailed this information after the first of the year.

If you were not chosen as a semi-finalist, the competition is not yet over. The judges reserve the right to award honorable mentions and other recognition to praiseworthy applicants later in the process. Non-semi-finalists will also receive certificates.

Semi-finalist men in the Opera category will be announced later this afternoon. Semi-finalist women will be announced after the holiday weekend. Happy new year to all contestants.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards semi-finalists in Art Song (men) in no order are: 

PROFESSIONAL DIVISON:

Timothy Ballard, Gaithersburg, MD
Jonathan Beyer, Philadelphia, PA
Mischa Bouvier,  Shirley, NY
Darren Chase, New York, NY
Blake Friedman, New York, NY
Kenneth Harmon, Jackson Heights, NY
Craig Philip Price, Lexington, KY 

COLLEGE DIVISION: 

Philip Stoddard, New York, NY
Sergio A. de M. Miranda, Grand Forks, ND
Steven Linville, Bloomington, IN
Jeffrey Hill, Annandale on Hudson, NY
Jeffrey Grayson Gates, Oklahoma City, OK
Thomas Florio, Bloomington, IN
Casey B. Finnigan, Houston, TX
Tre'Von J. Bray, Lanham, MD

Congratulations!

Friday, December 24, 2010

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!...and Piano DEADLINE reminder

Happy Holidays from the office of The American Prize!

Just a reminder that the postmark deadline for The American Prize in Piano Performance has been extended to Friday, December 31, 2010 in both the solo piano and concerto divisions, to provide opportunities to the largest number of applicants from throughout the U.S. There is no need to apply for an extension. Simply be sure the application is postmarked by the new date.

The competition also recently revised requirements in the solo piano division, eliminating the Beethoven/Mozart/Haydn sonata provision. For application forms and complete rules, please visit The American Prize. Although the deadline on the website and on the printed application form has not been changed, please be assured that all contestants who apply by the new postmark deadline date will be accepted.

Information about the announcement of semi-finalists in the vocal competitions is below.


Monday, December 20, 2010

SCHORR VOICE semi-finalists to be announced week of DEC 26th

Because of the deadline extension for contestants and the large number of applications, semi-finalists for The American Prize Schorr Awards in Voice should be announced beginning the week of December 26th.

To know in advance the exact day when a particular category will be announced, please subscribe to our twitter, blog or facebook pages. Many thanks and happy holidays. 

David Katz, chief judge, The American Prize

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

PIANO SOLO CONTEST repertoire requirements relaxed, deadline extended

We have heard from an number of piano contestants who have asked about waivers of the repertoire limitations for the tape in the solo piano contest. 

Since we desire The American Prize to provide opportunities to the largest number of applicants from throughout the U.S., we have modified the requirements, eliminating the Beethoven/Haydn/Mozart sonata provision

The new repertoire expectations are below. We hope it will prove a stimulus to attract the largest possible pool of applicants. If you have questions, please email David Katz, chief judge, at theamericanprz@aol.com

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE RECORDING: (revised)
The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo piano division): no fewer than 30 minutes of music, selected from the standard classical solo piano repertoire from any period. No pop music or improvisation. There are no other restrictions. Performers and works must be clearly identified on the disc, cover or video box. We prefer a DVD or VHS video of the applicant, but will accept CD (audio) recordings if no other format is available. No cassette tapes or other electronic media. There are no other restrictions.

You need not prepare a special tape for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a concert made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual limits eligibility, provided the general guidelines listed above have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of finalists and winners.

DEADLINE EXTENSIONS:
To provide more time for applicants who may now be better able to enter the contest, the postmark deadline for applications in both the solo piano and concerto competitions has been extended to Friday, December 31, 2010.  There is no need to request an extension. Simply be sure your application is postmarked by the new date. Although the deadline on the website and on the printed application may not change, be assured that all contestants who apply by the new deadline date will be accepted.

Questions? Please contact David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, at theamericanprz@aol.com


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Schorr Applications PROCESSED

This afternoon we completed processing all applications to The American Prize Schorr Voice Awards and sent email confirmations to all contestants. If you do not receive an email within 24 hours, please write to us at theamericanprz@aol.com

Semi-finalists will be notified according to the schedule printed with the competition guidelines. To know the exact day when semi-finalists, finalists and winners will be announced, and for additional information, subscribe to our facebook, twitter or blog pages.

The American Prize on TWITTER
The American Prize on FACEBOOK

Monday, November 29, 2010

Schorr Voice Award UPDATE

We anticipate that all applications received for the 2010 The American Prize Schorr Voice Awards will be processed and email confirmations sent by Wednesday morning this week. As noted on the website, if application fees were paid by credit card, look for a charge from Hat City Music Theater, Inc., administrators of the competition. Thanks to all contestants.

Monday, November 22, 2010

THE AMERICAN PRIZE welcomes additional JUDGES in PIANO

The American Prize is pleased to welcome additional judges in the areas of piano and piano pedagogy to assist in adjudicating upcoming competitions. These additional individuals bring a level of experience and excellence in performance and teaching as varied as we hope the winners of The American Prize will be.

Please welcome: 

Dr. Michael Benson, instructor in piano and piano pedagogy, Director of Choral Activities, The Ohio State University at Lima

Dr. Slawomir P. Dobrzanski,
Chair of Keyboard Studies, Department of Music, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Dr. Tamara Goldstein,
Associate Professor of Music, Director of Keyboard Studies, Metropolitan State College of Denver, CO

Dr. Linda Holzer,
Professor of Music, Coordinator of Classical Keyboard Studies, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR

Dr. Joann Marie Kirchner,
Coordinator of Secondary Piano, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

The postmark deadline for The American Prize in Piano Performance, with divisions in both solo piano and concerto, has been extended to Friday, December 31, 2010. Other competitions with December deadlines include orchestral programming, opera and musical theater performance and composition. Please visit the website for full details. www.theamericanprize.org


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Schorr applications closed...confirmations to be sent

The application deadline for The American Prize Schorr Awards in Vocal Performance has passed. In the next few days, all applications received will be processed and confirmation emails sent. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners will be announced according to the schedule published with the competition guidelines. For the latest information and to learn the exact day semi-finalists, finalists and winners will be announced, please subscribe to our facebook page or twitter feed. The next The American Prize Schorr Award competition will be announced on our website after the new year. Thanks to all contestants.

—David Katz, chief judge

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CONTESTANTS from 15 states and counting...

With about ten days until the postmark deadline for The American Prize Schorr Memorial Awards in Vocal Performance, we are delighted to announce that applications have already been received from fifteen states, from Rhode Island to Texas and Florida to Wisconsin, with more applications and inquiries arriving every day. It looks to be a very exciting contest.

The postmark deadline for applications was extended to November 15, 2010. Complete information on the website www.theamericanprize.org. The application forms may not all indicate the revised application postmark deadline, but be assured all who enter by that time will receive full consideration. 

"The American Prize is unlike any other competition, a valuable career builder in which all semi-finalists, finalists and winners derive benefit, regardless of who the final winners may be." David Katz, chief judge of the competitions, remarked.

"I think the competition has attracted so much interest, even in its first year, because it is the only contest that is judged solely through recorded performances, which practically every musician has access to already. There are no age limits (which can be so arbitrary) and no additional expenses for travel to some far-flung audition site, or for an accompanist when you get there.

"And because The American Prize provides written professional adjudication to all finalists, cash awards to winners, and regional, national and international visibility from semi-finalists on up, it may prove to be especially appealing."

A list of judges for the competition, including Jay White, eight-year veteran of the Grammy Award-winning solo vocal ensemble, CHANTICLEER, is listed below, in an earlier posting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dr. Carroll Lehman joins judging panel

Dr. Carroll J. Lehman, Director of Choral/Vocal Activities at Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire, has joined the choral/vocal judging panel for The American Prize. Welcome.

The postmark deadline for The American Prize Schorr Memorial Awards in Vocal Performance is now Monday, November 15, 2010.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

THE SCHORR VOCAL AWARDS—IN A NUTSHELL

The American Prize—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in Vocal Performance is a unique competition—a valuable career builder in which all semi-finalists, finalists and winners derive benefit, regardless of who the final winners may be. The competition is judged solely through recorded performances. There is no live competition. There are no age limits.

Semi-finalists, finalists and winners of The American Prize receive recognition and reward as a result of their selection. We announce semi-finalists, finalists and winners to the national media, and also directly to the contacts you provide—like local newspapers or radio stations, schools, teachers, conductors or managers, and publish the names on our blog; all semi-finalists, finalists and winners receive personalized certificates. Finalists also receive unbiased written evaluations of their performances, authored by noted professionals in the field, evaluations applicants may then utilize in any way that may be valuable to them. Winners receive certificates, evaluations and cash prizes and are profiled on our website with bios and photos, along with links to their winning performances uploaded to our You Tube channel. Cash prizes range from $100—$500.

Although the benefits of participating in The American Prize Schorr Awards are more than financial, the size of the cash awards in each division (opera/operetta or art song) is based on the categories in each particular competition (gifted high school, community, pre-professional, professional), and on the number of applicants, but in no case is the prize less than $100.

Applicants submit DVD, CD or VHS video recordings of their performances in either the Opera/Operetta or Art Song divisions, and select the category that best describes them—whether a professional, pre-professional, community or gifted high school vocalist. The Art Song and Opera/Operetta categories are judged separately: if you plan to apply for both, please be sure we receive all the required materials as if you were applying to two separate competitions. Applications must be postmarked by the extended deadline date of November 15, 2010. No materials will be returned.

Complete rules, requirements
for the recordings, plus application forms, fee and prize information may be found on our website: www.theamericanprize.org. The most up-to-date information about deadlines, judges and more may be found here on our blog: www.theamericanprize.blogspot.com.

The American Prize competitions are open to U.S. citizens living here or abroad, or to non-citizens currently living, working or studying in the U.S.A. The American Prize follows strict timelines for the announcement of semi-finalists, finalists and winners. Please see the website. There are no refunds unless a competition is canceled, in which case application fees will be returned. The decisions of the judges are final.

You need not prepare a special tape
for The American Prize. Previous recordings, either made in front of an audience or in a studio session, are acceptable, provided they include the minimum requirements for the competition as stated in the rules.

For any questions the website or blog do not seem to address, please email David Katz, chief judge, at theamericanprz@aol.com or theamericanprize@gmail.com.

Founded in 2009, The American Prize, a series of national, nonprofit competitions in the performing arts unique in scope and structure, was first awarded this past spring to orchestras, choruses and conductors nationwide. Profiles of past winners may be found on the website. More than $2000 in cash prizes were awarded.

The Schorr Awards honor the memory of Friedrich Schorr, the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, and his wife, Virginia, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan and Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. Among their students were MET opera stars Cornell MacNeil, Ezio Flagello and Arthur Thompson. For more about the long history of the Schorr voice competitions, please visit the blog: http://friedrichschorrprize.blogspot.com/

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.

Friday, October 1, 2010

JAY WHITE, 8-year CHANTICLEER veteran, joins TAP judging panel

The American Prize is honored to welcome countertenor Jay White, the Grammy Award-winning eight year veteran of the acclaimed solo vocal ensemble, CHANTICLEER, to our vocal judging panel. Mr. White is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Photos and bios of Mr. White and all our new judges will be added to the website shortly. Additional new judges in vocal music, vocal pedagogy, and choral music can be found below.

The SCHORR AWARDS—unique career builder for singers

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Awards is a competition unique in scope and structure, an inexpensive and valuable career builder in which all semi-finalists, finalists and winners derive benefit, regardless of who the final winners may be.

The postmark deadline for applications is October 26, 2010.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. Among their many notable students were Cornell MacNeil, Ezio Flagello and Arthur Thompson. The Award recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2010, based on applications submitted in two divisions—art song and opera/operetta. There are no age limits.

There are no expenses relating to travel for the Schorr Awards. The competition is judged solely through submitted recordings, whether on DVD, CD of VHS. You need not prepare a special tape for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a concert made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual limits eligibility,  provided the general guidelines listed for each competition have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of semi-finalists, finalists and winners. Specific requirements for the tapes in each category may be found on the website: www.theamericanprize.org

Semi-finalists received personalized certificates recognizing their selection and are announced by the competition office to the national media, to professional contacts you provide (including local media, schools, managers and conductors, if you wish) and on our blog, where we will include links to personal websites, when provided. (A sample of a winning certificate—from our spring 2010 choral competitions—is posted above.)

Finalists receive the same benefits, and also get written, unbiased evaluations of their performances, authored by noted professionals in the field, evaluations applicants can then utilize in any way that may be valuable to them.

Winners additionally receive cash awards of between $100—$500, are profiled on our website, with bios, photos and weblinks, and on YouTube, where excerpts of winning performances are uploaded.

Although the benefits of participating in The American Prize Schorr Awards are more than financial, the size of the cash awards in each division (opera/operetta or art song) is based on the categories in each particular competition (gifted high school, community, pre-professional, professional), and on the number of applicants, but in no case is the prize less than $100. The decisions of the judges are final.

Eligibility is open to all U.S. citizens, whether living here or abroad, and to non-citizens working, living or studying in the U.S. at the current time.

The art song and the opera competitions are judged separately. The application fee is $35 per competition, so a vocalist skilled enough to wish to enter both the opera and art song competitions should send two copies of each recording for each competition, two copes of each application form and both fees.

All applications will be acknowledged by email. The American Prize follows a strict timeline for the announcement of semi-finalists, finalists and winners. The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.

The American Prize
was founded in 2009 and awarded its first prizes, which included more than $2000 in cash awards to orchestras, choruses and conductors, in spring 2010.

If you have any questions about The American Prize that do not seem to be addressed in our blog or our our website, please email David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, at theamericanprz@aol.com or theamericanprize@gmail.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010

THE AMERICAN PRIZE welcomes judges in voice/opera/choral

The American Prize is pleased to welcome additional judges in the areas of voice and vocal pedagogy, opera, and choral conducting to assist in adjudicating upcoming competitions. These individuals, whose combined expertise includes studio teaching, high school, college and university instruction, artist management, as well as professional performance, hail from the West Coast, New England, the Midwest and South, bringing a level of experience as varied as we hope the winners of The American Prize will be.

Please welcome: 

Dr. Anne Harley, Assistant Professor, Scripps College, Claremont, CA, Instructor of Voice and Opera, Boston University Tanglewood Institute

Dr. Daniel Farris, Assistant Professor of Choral/Vocal, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Thomas, OK

Dr. Donald Freed,
Associate Professor of Vocal Music, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX

Dr. Sandra Howard, Assistant Professor of Music Education, Keene State College, Keene, NH

Dr. Dean FH Macy, noted author, vocal coach, artist manager and pedagogue, Peterborough, NH

Mr. Brian O’Connell faculty Boston Conservatory/UMass-Lowell, vocal pedagogy, choral methods, Boston, MA

Dr. Bonnie Borshay Sneed, Director of Choral Activities/Associate Professor, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, OK

Mr. Kyle Weary, Dept. Head for Voice, Ingram School for the Arts, Washington County BOE, MD

Dr. Jay White, Grammy Award-winning eight year veteran of the acclaimed solo vocal ensemble, CHANTICLEER, Assistant Professor of Voice at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

THE AMERICAN PRIZE in PIANO PERFORMANCE

THE AMERICAN PRIZE announces
NEW COMEPTITIONS in PIANO PERFORMANCE: Solo & Concerto
DEADLINE December 15, 2010


Cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition will be awarded to the first winners of The American Prize in Piano Performance, a series of new, non-profit performing arts competitions now accepting applications in the form of recorded performances.

Classical pianists at the professional, college/university, community and secondary school levels are eligible to apply by submitting recordings. There are separate divisions for solo piano and for concerto performance, with few repertoire restrictions and no age limits. The postmark deadline for the first round of The American Prize in Piano Performance is December 15, 2010. Winners will be announced in March 2011. Complete information, including competition guidelines and application forms, is available on the competition website: www.theamericanprize.org

Founded in 2009, The American Prize grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians. With the performing arts in America now virtually ignored by the national news media, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves many excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize will recognize and reward the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known. 

The American Prize was first awarded this past spring, when choruses, orchestras and conductors nationwide were singled out for their excellence. A complete list of winners may be found on the competition website.  Additional competitions in vocal performance, opera and musical theater production, band/wind ensemble performance and composition are also scheduled. Please see the website.

David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize. Professional conductor, award-winning composer, playwright, actor and arts advocate, Katz was the founder and for twelve years chief judge of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice international competition and has adjudicated for the Music Educators National Conference, the American Choral Directors Association and the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, among many others.

Joining Katz in selecting winners of The American Prize is a panel of judges as varied in background and experience and as geographically diverse as Katz hopes the winners of The American Prize in Piano Performance to be. Made up of distinguished musicians representing a dozen states from every region of the country, the group includes individuals associated with professional, university, community and secondary school music-making, including distinguished performers and tenured professors.

 Application fees for The American Prize are $35 for individuals, far less than the costs associated with traveling to adjudicated music festivals. Financial awards range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the category and the number of applicants. In addition to cash prizes and commentary from judges, winners will be profiled on The American Prize website, with video and audio links to winning performances.

“Winning prize money is good, of course,” Katz said, “but the rewards of The American Prize are more than financial. By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize in Piano Performance receive visibility and world-class attention to help build or sustain careers. Any musician worthy of the name knows excellence when he hears it, regardless of its pedigree,” Katz said, “The American Prize will tell you about it.”

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut. Complete information, including competition guidelines, application forms and judges’ bios may be found on the website: www.theamericanprize.org.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

FRIEDRICH & VIRGINIA SCHORR MEMORIAL AWARD in VOCAL PERFORMANCE

THE AMERICAN PRIZE announces
FRIEDRICH & VIRGINIA SCHORR MEMORIAL AWARD
in Vocal Performance. 


DEADLINE October 26, 2010

Cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition will be awarded to the first winners of The American Prize FRIEDRICH & VIRGINIA SCHORR MEMORIAL AWARD in Vocal Performance, a series of new, non-profit performing arts competitions now accepting applications in the form of recorded performances.

The Schorr Award honors the memory Friedrich Schorr, the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, who sang at the Metropolitan Opera for nineteen seasons, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Hartt and Manhattan Schools of Music for nearly fifty years.

Classical vocalists at the professional, college/university, community and secondary school levels are eligible to apply by submitting their recordings. There are separate divisions for opera/operetta and for art song, with few repertoire restrictions and no age limits. The postmark deadline for the first round of The American Prize Schorr Memorial Awards is October 26, 2010. Winners will be announced in March 2011. Complete information, including competition guidelines and application forms, is available on the competition website: www.theamericanprize.org

David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize. Professional conductor, award-winning composer, playwright, actor and arts advocate, Katz was the founder and for twelve years chief judge of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice international competition. Katz studied with Virginia Schorr at the Hartt School and gained her permission to name the original competition in her husband’s honor. “With the renewal of the Schorr competition under the banner of The American Prize, we are again able to honor of the legacy of two important musicians from the past while encouraging vocal excellence among those currently studying and performing,” Katz said.

Joining Katz in selecting winners of The American Prize is a panel of judges as varied in background and experience and as geographically diverse as Katz hopes the winners of The American Prize Schorr Memorial Awards to be. Made up of distinguished musicians representing a dozen states from every region of the country, the group includes individuals associated with professional, university, community and secondary school music-making, including distinguished performers and tenured professors.

Application fees for The American Prize are $35 for individuals, far less than the costs associated with traveling to adjudicated music festivals. Financial awards range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the category and the number of applicants. In addition to cash prizes and commentary from judges, winners will be profiled on The American Prize website, with video and audio links to winning performances.

“Winning prize money is good, of course,” Katz said, “but the rewards of The American Prize are more than financial. By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award get visibility and world-class attention to help build and sustain careers. Any musician worthy of the name knows excellence when he hears it, regardless of its pedigree,” Katz said, “The American Prize will tell you about it.”

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut. Complete information, including competition guidelines, application forms and judges’ bios may be found on the website: www.theamericanprize.org.

Friday, September 10, 2010

NEW JUDGES—Thanks

Thanks to the many who responded to the call to round out the roster of judges for upcoming competitions. Contestants will benefit from your wisdom and expertise. New judges will be announced on the website shortly.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CALL FOR JUDGES—The American Prize

The American Prize seeks additional qualified judges to complete our roster for upcoming competitions including the Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in vocal performance (separate categories for art song and opera), competitions in piano performance (both solo and concerto), opera, musical theater production and band/wind ensemble.

If you are interested in being considered, please send your C.V. to my attention via theamericanprz@aol.com or theamericanprize@gmail.com

Full information on our website, www.theamericanprize.org. Look for “Call for Judges” on the home page. There is a modest honorarium.

We hope to make final decisions within the next two weeks.

Many thanks. David Katz, chief judge
The American Prize

Saturday, September 4, 2010

INTERNATIONAL ELIGIBILITY for competitions of THE AMERICAN PRIZE

As the fall contests of The American Prize start to attract notice from around the world, we wanted to share our official eligibility statement, from the website:

The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories.

Please do contact us with any questions about the prize.

Monday, August 30, 2010

THE AMERICAN PRIZE GIFT CATALOG now ONLINE

Our exclusive collection of The American Prize specialty merchandise has been added to our website. These gifts "to celebrate excellence" are only available to quarter and semi-finalists, finalists, runners-up, citation recipients and winners of The American Prize (including conductors and administrators, board and ensemble members, colleagues, friends and families.) Featuring 2010 The American Prize Signature Batons, Golf Shirts, Music Totes, Tees, Latte Mugs and more, please visit: The American Prize Gifts.

All proceeds from the sale of The American Prize merchandise directly supports the national non-profit competitions.

WINNERS PAGE COMPLETED!

Winners of the spring 2010 competitions of The American Prize were announced here in spring and early summer; now the WINNERS page has been built on our website. Visit www.theamericanprize.org to see photos of winners, runners-up and citations recipients, with  links to many of their websites. A downloadable file of all finalists with bios, photos and final rankings will be available soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

TWATAP: THIS WEEK at THE AMERICAN PRIZE

1. SEMI-FINALISTS: Certificates and evaluations are being sent this week to The American Prize Spring 2010 competition semi-finalists. Quarter-finalists to follow to complete the process. 

The WINNERS page of the website is being tweaked. Until it is fully functional, the complete list of winners of our spring 2010 competitions, including photos and bios, is available on this blog.

2.  NEW YouTube CHANNEL: A new channel has been built on YouTube to display excerpts of winning performances. We will start to upload clips soon to http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAmericanPrize 

3. NEW COMPETITIONS: Applications are available for download for all the upcoming 2010 competitions of The American Prize, including new contests for singers and pianists, concert bands, opera and musical theater companies, composers and conductors. (Deadlines in October, November and December 2010—see website for details.) Applications are also available for the 2011 competitions in choral and orchestral music and conducting. (Deadline March 2011.) Visit www.theamericanprize.org

4. CALL for JUDGES: We welcome resumes from potential judges for all upcoming competitions. Please see the CALL FOR JUDGES link at the bottom of the home page of the website. http://www.theamericanprize.org/news.html

5. NEW LINKED WEBLOG: A new weblog highlighting the long history of The Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice has been created. It will provide background for classical singers and singing teachers interested in the new Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award for vocalists in art song, opera and operetta, being offered for the first time by The American Prize this fall. http://friedrichschorrprize.blogspot.com/
6. NEW LINKED WEBLOG: A new weblog highlighting the distinguished career of conductor Vytautas Marijosius has been created. It will provide background for conductors interested in the new Vytautas Marijosius Award in Orchestral Programming, being offered for the first time by The American Prize this fall. www.rememberingmarijosius.blogspot.com
 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LATEST NEWS

Certificates and evaluations have now been sent to all winners, citation recipients, runners-up, finalists and some semi-finalists in the Spring 2010 competitions of The American Prize. The last of the semi-finalists and then quarter-finalists will be sent next.

For how some winners are celebrating their achievement, see the previous blog post, below.

Monday, August 9, 2010

PHOTOS posted to FACEBOOK

Albums of photos of all Spring 2010 The American Prize award-winners and citation recipients have been added to our Facebook pages. You can find them by clicking on this link: The American Prize on Facebook

MORE EVALUATIONS, CERTIFICATES have been sent

Ensemble and conductor evaluations have been sent to all Spring 2010 The American Prize Citation recipients. More tomorrow.

New competitions and applications have been posted to our website in solo vocal and piano performance, for concert bands/wind ensembles, opera and musical theater companies, conductors and composers. Visit our website: theamericanprize.org

Monday, August 2, 2010

WINNING CERTIFICATES have been sent

Certificates, prizes and evaluations have been sent to all the winners of the spring 2010 The American Prize competitions. (An example of the certificate can be seen above—sent without the baton!) Citation recipients and runners-up are next, all other finalists to follow, then semi-finalists. Please be patient, as each packet is prepared with care.

To read how one ensemble is making the most of its winning performance in The American Prize competitions, see the post below.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

LANCASTER FESTIVAL makes the most of its AMERICAN PRIZE win.

Lancaster, Ohio's Lancaster Festival Orchestra and music director Gary Sheldon are making the most of recent wins in The American Prize Orchestral Performance and Conducting categories.

David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, has been interviewed no fewer than three times by Ohio media concerning the Lancaster Festival and Maestro Sheldon's awards, most recently for a special arts edition of Ohio Magazine. This week, the Festival purchased four The American Prize Signature Batons for use by Sheldon at festival concerts this summer. The batons will later be raffled off as a fund-raiser. The American Prize logo and official seal (above) feature prominently on the festival website and in printed materials, as do quotes from The American Prize judges and from the winners themselves. See the festival website: http://www.lancasterfestival.org/index.html

"We are delighted to see the Lancaster Festival make the most of their The American Prize win," said Katz. "We of course contact media on behalf of winners, post to our website, weblog and new YouTube channels, but when an ensemble such as the Lancaster Festival also trumpets their achievement to the media, to their subscribers and patrons, it makes winning The American Prize all the more valuable.

Here are some more ideas to make the most of your achievement as winner, runner-up or finalist:

1. Use The American Prize logo and official seal (sent recently by email) in your online and printed materials, including brochures, programs, posters and newsletters.

2. Be sure all the media in your area are aware of your success. Don't forget to highlight your win on facebook pages, websites and blogs. Feel free to link your site to the announcement of your prize here on this blog.

2. Consider purchasing exclusive The American Prize gifts for your members, to auction, or to sell at your performances. (An order form is available on our website). One ensemble bought tee-shirts for its entire membership, another, music totes for the office staff, a third purchased a baton to present to their music director. Individuals can of course purchase items for themselves as well. Remember that proceeds from the sale of all The American Prize merchandise directly supports the non-profit competitions.

3. Mr. Katz is always happy to give interviews to local media about winning performances and the importance of the competition. Just call the office (203) 746-2694 or email: theamericanprz@aol.com

4. Send us news of your success. We will soon publish a list of links to websites, newstories and blogs that feature winners, runners-up and finalists for The American Prize. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TWATAP: THIS WEEK at THE AMERICAN PRIZE

1. WINNERS: Certificates, evaluations and cash prizes have been prepared for winners of The American Prize Spring 2010 competitions, to be mailed this week. Certificates and evaluations will follow shortly to runners-up and finalists, then semifinalists and others.

The WINNERS page of the website is in preparation. Until it is uploaded, the complete list of winners of our spring 2010 competitions, including photos and bios, is available on this blog.

A new channel has been built on YouTube to display excerpts of winning performances. We will start to upload clips soon to http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAmericanPrize 

2. NEW COMPETITIONS: Applications are available for download for all the upcoming 2010 competitions of The American Prize, including new contests for singers and pianists, concert bands, opera and musical theater companies, composers and conductors. (Deadlines in October, November and December 2010—see website for details.) Applications are also available for the 2011 competitions in choral and orchestral music and conducting. (Deadline March 2011.) Visit www.theamericanprize.org

3. JUDGES: We welcome resumes from potential judges for all upcoming competitions. Please see the CALL FOR JUDGES link at the bottom of the home page of the website.

4. NEW LINKED WEBLOG: A new weblog highlighting the long history of The Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice has been created. It provides background for classical singers and singing teachers interested in the new Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award for vocalists in art song, opera and operetta, being offered for the first time by The American Prize this fall. http://friedrichschorrprize.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 18, 2010

PRIZEWORTHY: All the winners.

The American Prize celebrates the winners of its spring 2010 competitions. For photos and bios of all prizewinners, please see their separate blog entries, below (published earlier).


PERFORMANCE PRIZES (orchestras):

The American Prize in Orchestra Performance (professional division)
LANCASTER FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, Lancaster, OH
Gary Sheldon, music director

2nd place: Annapolis Symphony Orchestra,  
Jose-Luis Novo, conductor, Annapolis, MD

3rd place: Western Piedmont Symphony,  
John Ross, conductor, Hickory, NC


The American Prize in Orchestra Performance (community division)
MERCURY ORCHESTRA, Cambridge, MA
Channing Yu, music director

2nd place: Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, 
Chiu-Tze Lin, conductor, West Windsor, NJ

3rd place: Auburn University/Community Orchestra, 
Howard Goldstein, conductor, Auburn, AL


The American Prize in Orchestra Performance (college/university division)
TEXAS CHAMBER GROUP ORCHESTRA, Austin, TX
Wesley Schulz, conductor

2nd place: Oxford Chamber Orchestra,
Ricardo Averbach, conductor, Miami, OH

3rd place: Cornell Symphony Orchestra,
Chris Kim, conductor, Ithaca, NY


The American Prize in Orchestra Performance (youth orchestra division)
HOUSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY, Houston, TX
Michael Webster, conductor

2nd place: Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra,
Daniel Black, conductor, Rockford, IL
 

The American Prize in Orchestra Performance (high school division)
LONGMEADOW HIGH SCHOOL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Longmeadow, MA
Michael Mucci, conductor

2nd place: Stevenson H.S. Patriot Orchestra,
Clark Chaffee, conductor, Lincolnshire, IL 



PERFORMANCE PRIZES (choruses):

The American Prize in Choral Performance (professional division)
ROOMFUL of TEETH, Williamstown, MA
Brad Wells, founder and artistic director

2nd place: VOX—The Rob Seible Singers,
Rob Seible, conductor, Houston, TX


The American Prize in Choral Performance (community division)
CHORAL ARTS, Seattle, WA
Robe Bode, music director

2nd place (tie): Seattle Pro Musica, 
Karen Thomas, conductor, Seattle, WA

2nd place (tie): Atlanta Sacred Chorale,
Eric Nelson, conductor, Atlanta, GA

3rd place (tie): Sacramento Choral Society,
Donald Kendrick, conductor, Sacramento, CA

3rd place (tie): Calvin College Alumni Choir,
Pearl Shangkuan, conductor, Grand Rapids, MI


The American Prize in Choral Performance (college/university division)
WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE CAMERATA SINGERS, Washington, PA
Susan Medley, conductor

2nd place: LBCC Re-Choired Element Chamber Choir,
James Reddan, conductor, Albany, OR

3rd place: NW Oklahoma University Chorale,
Stephen Kingsbury, conductor, Alva, OK


The American Prize in Choral Performance (youth choir division)
NEW WORLD SINGERS, Columbus, OH
Sandra Mathias, director

2nd place: Rhode Island Children’s Chorus Chamber Choir,
Christine Noel, director, Harrisville, R.I.

3rd place: Salem Youth Chorus,
Jon Simsic, director, Salem, OH


The American Prize in Choral Performance (high school division)
HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS, Houston, TX
Rob Seible, director

2nd place: Traverse City West Senior High School Chorale,
Russ Larimer, conductor, Traverse City, MI

3rd place: Burley Middle School Young Women’s Chorus,
Craig Jennings, conductor, Charlottesville, VA

4th place: Olympia High School Chorale,
Debbie Aurelius-Muir, director, Stanford, IL


CONDUCTING PRIZES:

The American Prize in Conducting (professional division)
GARY SHELDON,
Lancaster Festival Orchestra, Lancaster, OH


The American Prize in Conducting (college/university division)
RICARDO AVERBACH,
Oxford Chamber Orchestra, Oxford, OH



The American Prize in Conducting (community division)
CHANNING YU,
Mercury Orchestra, Cambridge, MA


The American Prize in Conducting (community division)
ERIC NELSON,
Atlanta Sacred Chorale, Atlanta, GA


The American Prize in Conducting—Career Incentive Award
TONG CHEN



CONDUCTING CITATIONS:

The American Prize in Conducting: Excellence in Music Education Citation

CLARK CHAFFEE,
Stevenson H.S. Patriot Orchestra, Lincolnshire, IL (high school orchestra)


BEVERLY EVERETT,
Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Bemidji, MN (community orchestra)

JEREMY FAUST, 
International Orange Chorale, San Francisco, CA (community chorus)

HOWARD GOLDSTEIN,
Auburn University/Community Orchestra, Auburn, AL (community orchestra)

KATHLEEN MCGUIRE,
San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, San Francisco, CA (community chorus)

CHRISTINE NOEL,
Rhode Island Children’s Chorus Chamber Choir, Harrisville, R.I. (youth chorus)

JAMES REDDAN,
LBCC Re-Choired Element Chamber Choir, Albany, OR (college chorus)


The American Prize in Conducting: Young Conductor Citation

NADEZHDA POTEMKINA,
Memphis, TN (orchestra)

*****

Congratulations again to all winners, runners-up and citation recipients.

Monday, July 12, 2010

WHAT HAPPENS NOW...

With the designation of Maestro Yu's award, the announcement of prizes, runners-up and special citations for the spring 2010 competitions of The American Prize is now complete. Conductors and ensembles will not be further ranked beyond the current designations as winners, finalists, semi-finalists, and citation (honorable mention) recipients, or in the case of certain ensemble competitions, runners-up.

The complete list of winners is available on this blog and will soon be featured on our website: www.theamericanprize.org.

Cash awards, certificates and evaluations will be sent in the coming weeks, in this order: winners, then runners-up, citation recipients, finalists, semi-finalists and others. Please be patient, as each packet is prepared with care.

If you have any questions about these or future competitions of The American Prize, or if you wish to be considered as a judge for future seasons, please email us at theamericanprize@gmail.com or theamericanprz@aol.com

Many thanks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

CHANNING YU wins THE AMERICAN PRIZE

Maestro Channing Yu, of Cambridge, MA, has won The American Prize in Conducting in the community orchestra division. Congratulations.

American conductor Channing Yu is Music Director of the Mercury Orchestra in Cambridge, MA, a post he has held since 2008. Maestro Yu also serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Lowell House Opera, the oldest opera company in New England, where he has conducted over thirty fully staged opera performances with orchestra. He has appeared frequently as guest conductor with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in Greensburg, PA.   www.channingyu.com

Photo of Maestro Yu by Rick Peckham.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SEVEN CONDUCTORS receive EXCELLENCE in MUSIC EDUCATION Citations; YOUNG CONDUCTOR Citation is announced.

Excellence in music education is not confined to the classroom or to the applied music studio. Conductors, whether leading school ensembles, community or professional organizations, have a major role in education, not only of the performers they lead with such diligence, but also of audiences of all ages, of boards, donors, media, parents, and the community at large.

Everyone who comes in contact with an ensemble and its musical leadership benefits from the teaching and learning the conductor directs. As we witness more school music programs in peril, as the study of (and the knowledge of) music becomes more of an afterthought, the conductor assumes a greater role than ever before in bringing the value of this great art to the attention of American society.

This year, The American Prize is pleased to recognize seven conductors whose work on the podium is an exemplar of the conductor's vital role in music education. For the purposes of competition ranking, citations are a form of Honorable Mention. Winning Citations for Excellence in Music Education in The American Prize in Conducting, 2010 are:

Beverly Everett—Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Bemidji, MN (community orchestra division)
Howard Goldstein—Auburn University/Community Orchestra, Auburn, AL (college/university orchestra division)
Clark Chaffee—Stevenson High School Patriot Orchestra, Lincolnshire, IL (high school orchestra division)
Christine Noel—Rhode Island Children's Chorus Chamber Choir, Harrisville, RI (youth chorus division)
Kathleen McGuire—San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, San Francisco, CA (community chorus division)
Jeremy Faust—International Orange Chorale, San Francisco, CA (community chorus division)
James Reddan—Re-choired Element Chamber Choir, Albany, OR (college/university chorus division)

In addition, Nadezhda Potemkina is the recipient of a special Young Conductor citation from The American Prize. She is currently pursuring a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Memphis.

Congratulations.

TONG CHEN wins CAREER INCENTIVE AWARD from The American Prize

The American Prize is pleased to announce that Tong Chen has won a special Career Incentive award in Conducting. The judges commented about Maestro Chen's performance "the conductor showed an extraordinary command of the orchestra which followed superbly." 

Tong Chen, a native of Shanghai, China, has worked as an assistant conductor at the Shanghai Opera House since 2004 and is now working as the assistant and fellowship conductor under the tutelage of Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at The Peabody Institute. Ms. Chen has been an assistant conductor at the Central City Opera House, has worked at the Carbillo Festival with Marin Alsop and was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Institute.

The American Prize will today announce a series of "Excellence in Music Education" citations to conductors who displayed special skills in this area based on submitted applications.

Following the announcement of citations and winners, we will begin the process of sending prizes, certificates and evaluations. More on this procedure shortly.

If you have any questions about these or future The American Prize competitions, or wish to be considered as a judge, please email us at theamericanprize@gmail.com or theamericanprz@aol.com. Many thanks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ERIC NELSON wins The American Prize

Maestro Eric Nelson, of Atlanta, GA, has won The American Prize in Conducting in the community chorus division, one several conducting award-winners to be announced this week by The American Prize. Congratulations.

Eric Nelson: B.M.-Houghton College, M.M.-Westminster Choir College, D.M.-Indiana University. Currently Director of Graduate and Choral Studies at Emory University, Minister of Music at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church and Artistic Director of Atlanta Sacred Chorale. Recent past-president of Georgia ACDA and recipient of Emory’s Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. Emory’s Concert Choir and Atlanta Sacred Chorale have both performed at recent ACDA conventions. Memberships include ACDA, GMEA, AGO, and Chorus America.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

GARY SHELDON wins The American Prize

Maestro Gary Sheldon, of Lancaster, OH, has won The American Prize in Conducting in the professional orchestra division, one several conducting award-winners to be announced this week by The American Prize. Congratulations.

Gary Sheldon conducts the Lancaster Festival Orchestra which he founded in 1988. He is also principal conductor at the Festival at Sandpoint and he was recently appointed principal conductor of the Miami City Ballet. He is former music director of the Marin Symphony where he established the orchestra’s first educational concerts, symphony chorus, composers competition and annual composers symposium. He is a native of Bay Shore, New York and a graduate of the Juilliard School.

RICARDO AVERBACH wins The American Prize

Maestro Ricardo Averbach, of Oxford, OH, has won The American Prize in Conducting in the college/university orchestra division, one several conducting award-winners to be announced this week by The American Prize. Congratulations.

Ricardo Averbach, DMA is Director of Orchestral Studies at Miami University and President of the College Orchestra Directors Association, Northeast Division. Previously he was Music Director of the Echternach Festival Orchestra in Luxembourg, the University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble and the São Paulo Municipal Symphony Orchestra in Brazil. His discography includes several world premiere recordings, which have already sold more than half a million copies around the globe.

Additional conducting awards will be announced shortly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AWAITING ACCEPTANCES from Conducting Winners

We are awaiting acceptances from winners of The American Prize spring competitions in conducting (choral and orchestral) and are contacting additional winners today and tomorrow. As always, we will let you know when the announcements will be made, first via our twitter connection: americanprize

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"PHOTO FINISH" for CHORAL ARTS in the COMMUNITY CHORUS DIVISION

In a tightly contested race among some of the finest community choruses in the country, where the top three finishers were separated by mere percentage points and the top five by just inches, The American Prize is pleased to announce that Choral Arts, Robert Bode, conductor, of Seattle, WA, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance (community division.) Congratulations.

Seattle Pro Musica, Karen Thomas, conductor
and the Atlanta Sacred Chorale, Eric Nelson, conductor, tied for second.

Sacramento Choral Society, Donald Kendrick, conductor,
and the Calvin College Alumni Choir, Pearl Shangkuan, conductor, tied for third.

The American Prize judging panel commented on Choral Art's performance: "first-rate...great colors and impeccable intonation." 

Choral Arts was founded in 1993 and since then, has received local, national and international acclaim for its mastery of style, language, and genre. The ensemble performs up to four concert series each season in the Seattle area. Guest appearances have included: Mark Morris Dance Company, International Music Festival of Seattle, Northwest Sinfonietta’s 5th Anniversary Gala Concert, Arts West Music Series, Puget Sound Music Society, and Seattle Symphony’s Christmas Singalong Concert at Benaroya Hall. The choir participated in the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf Germany, where they placed fourth overall out of 300 international choirs and received a special recognition award. Choral Arts has four recordings available through the Loft/Gothic label. www.choral-arts.org

Congratulations to all five contestants: Choral Arts, Seattle Pro Musica, Atlanta Sacred Chorale, Sacramento Choral Society and Calvin College Alumni Choir for spirited, impassioned singing and for outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest community choirs in the country.

Bravi, tutti.

WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE CAMERATA SINGERS win THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE CAMERATA SINGERS, of Washington, PA, Susan Medley, conductor, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance (college/university division.) Congratulations.

The Re-Choired Element Chamber Choir of Albany, OR, placed second.
The NW Oklahoma University Chorale, of Alva, OK placed third.

The American Prize judging panel commented on selections by the Washington & Jefferson College Camerata Singers: "choir has a lovely sound...excellent sense of shaping and phrase in this performance."

The Washington & Jefferson College Camerata Singers is the premiere vocal ensemble at W&J.  The group is comprised of sixteen singers who, in the liberal arts tradition, represent a wide range of majors including biochemistry, psychology, biology, chemistry, economics, English, German, music, and theater.  The Camerata Singers have appeared at the state conference of the Pennsylvania Music Education Association, the MENC Eastern Division Conference, and as featured performers at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall.
 
Congratulations to the Washington & Jefferson College Camerata Singers, the Re-Choired Element Chamber Choir and the NW Oklahoma University Chorale for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest college/university choirs in the country.

Bravo.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally! COMMUNITY CHORUS and COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY CHORUS winners to be announced tomorrow.

Finally! Winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Choral Performance—Community Chorus division and College/University division will be posted to our blog by noon Saturday.

Congratulations to all winners, runners-up, finalists and semi-finalists.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: FRIDAY

1. We still await acceptances from the titular winners of The American Prize in Choral Performance (community chorus division) and The American Prize in Choral Performance (college/university division.) We will redouble our effort to make contact with these organizations today, the last two ensemble prizes outstanding, so winners and runners-up can be announced.

2. Conducting winners have been chosen and will be announced shortly.

3. We are in the midst of a major overhaul of our website (www.theamericanprize.org), adding new contests, revising returning contests, and creating our Winners pages. We will let you know when the update is completed.

Many thanks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TEXAS CHAMBER GROUP ORCHESTRA wins THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the TEXAS CHAMBER GROUP ORCHESTRA, of Austin, TX, Wesley Schulz, conductor, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (college/university orchestra division.) Congratulations.

The Oxford Chamber Orchestra of Oxford, OH, placed second.
The Cornell Symphony Orchestra of Ithaca, NY, placed third.

Other finalists are not ranked in order, but will receive official certificates and adjudicated comments.

In making their decision, the judging panel praised the TEXAS CHAMBER GROUP ORCHESTRA for a performance of Rite of Spring "excellent...astonishingly good...extremely impressive in almost every detail."

The Texas Chamber Group was founded in 2007 by conductor Wesley Schulz for the purpose of giving chamber sized orchestral concerts to the community of Austin, Texas. Featuring works from across the orchestral spectrum the ensemble has given successful performances of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Milhaud’s Creation of the World, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Torke’s Adjustable Wrench, and Stephen Frost’s Concerto for Bassoon, among others.
 

Congratulations to the Texas Chamber Group Orchestra, the Oxford Chamber Orchestra and the
Cornell Symphony Orchestra for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest college/university orchestras in the country.

Bravo.

AWAITING ACCEPTANCES

We are awaiting more acceptances and hope to have completed the announcement of The American Prize winning performances in our spring 2010 competitions as soon as possible.

Prizes, certificates and written evaluations will follow to contestants in the days ahead.

Thank you for a very stimulating and musically rewarding first round of The American Prize.

We anticipate that new competitions will be posted to website by the end of the month. www.theamericanprize.org

Monday, June 21, 2010

HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS win THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS, of Houston, TX, Rob Seible, conductor, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance (high school division.) Congratulations.

The Traverse City West Senior High School Chorale, of Traverse City, MI, placed second.
The Burley Middle School Young Women's Chorus of Charlottesville, VA, placed third.
The Olympia High School Chorale of Stanford, IL, placed fourth.

Among the Madrigal Singers' outstanding qualities to receive comment by The American Prize judging panel were "good core of well-trained voices...diction is almost always natural and well-controlled...good listening...attention to details..." 

The Madrigal Singers has been a top vocal ensemble at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas, since the school's inception 38 years ago. The 16 singers, all juniors and seniors, perform acapella music from all periods and are versatile in many musical styles. The Madrigal Singers are best known as representatives of the school during the Christmas season, when they perform innumerable concerts throughout Houston, dressed in Renaissance costume. http://hspva.org/dhtml/

Congratulations to the HSPVA Madrigal Singers, the Traverse City West Senior High School Chorale, the Burley Middle School Young Women's Chorus and the Olympia High School Chorale of Stanford, IL for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest high school choirs in the country.

Bravo.

NEW WORLD SINGERS win THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the NEW WORLD SINGERS, of Columbus, OH, Sandra Mathias, music director, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance (youth choir division.) Congratulations.

The Rhode Island Children's Chorus Chamber Choir placed second.
The Salem Youth Chorus of Salem, OH, placed third.

The American Prize judging panel commented on selections by the New World Singers: "most impressed with the choir’s intonation...with the uniformity of tone quality...diction is very clear...exceptional repertoire."

The New World Singers is the top ensemble of the Columbus and Central Ohio Children’s Chorus Foundation, formed as a non-profit foundation in 1995. The choir has toured in the U.S., Russia, Eastern Europe, and Canada. They have performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. In 2007 they were selected to perform at the national conferences of the American Choral Directors’ Association and the Organization of American Kodály Educators. www.columbuschildrenschoir.org

Congratulations to the New World Singers, the Rhode Island Children's Chorus Chamber Choir and the Salem Youth Chorus for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest youth choirs in the country.

Bravo.

LANCASTER FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA wins THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the LANCASTER FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, of Lancaster, OH, Gary Sheldon, music director, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (professional orchestra division.) Congratulations.

The Annapolis Symphony of Annapolis, MD, placed second.
The Western Piedmont Symphony of Hickory, NC, placed third.

Other finalists are not ranked in order, but will receive official certificates and adjudicated comments.

In making their decision, the judging panel praised the LANCASTER FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA for performances "excellently prepared interpretively and very well executed."  

The Lancaster Festival Orchestra was founded by conductor Gary Sheldon in 1988. With sixty musicians from around the world, the orchestra members perform symphony, opera, ballet and chamber music at Ohio University and other venues in Lancaster, Ohio every summer. Distinguished American composers in residence at the festival have included William Bolcom, Leslie Burrs, Kirke Mechem, Gang Situ, Augusta Reade Thomas and Joan Tower. www.lancasterfestival.org

Congratulations to the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony and the
Western Piedmont Symphony for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest professional orchestras in the country.

Bravo.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MORE WINNERS MONDAY

The American Prize will announce additional winners of its 2010 competitions on Monday.

The Professional Orchestra winner and runners-up will be announced here at 10 am.
The Youth Choir winner and runners-up will be announced here at 12 noon.

We continue to wait on some acceptances and may announce additional winners as the day progresses. (See previous post entitled "How winners will be announced" for more details.)


Congratulations to all winners and runners up.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

LONGMEADOW HIGH SCHOOL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA wins THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the LONGMEADOW HIGH SCHOOL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, of Longmeadow, MA, Michael Mucci, conductor, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (secondary school division.) Congratulations.

The Stevenson High School Patriot Orchestra of Lincolnshire, IL, placed second.

In making their decision, the judging panel praised the Longmeadow High School Orchestra: "strings play with confidence and beautiful sonority...intonation is extraordinarily good...an exciting, cohesive sound."

The Longmeadow High School Symphony Orchestra is comprised of the 55 strings of the String Orchestra and the 44 wind players of the select Wind Ensemble. The Symphony Orchestra has been invited to perform, on three occasions, at the National Orchestra Festival, held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Symphony Orchestra has also performed at the National Orchestra Gold Festival at Boston Symphony Hall and has appeared numerous times at the Massachusetts Music Educators All State Convention. The Longmeadow High School Music Department has recently received three Grammy Signature Awards from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.


Congratulations to the Longmeadow High School Symphony Orchestra and the Stevenson High School Patriot Orchestra for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest high school orchestras in the country.

Bravo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

MERCURY ORCHESTRA wins THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that the MERCURY ORCHESTRA, of Cambridge, MA, Channing Yu, music director and conductor, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (community orchestra division.) Congratulations.

The Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra of West Windsor, NJ, placed second.
The Auburn University/Community Orchestra of Auburn, AL, placed third.

Other finalists are not ranked in order, but will receive official certificates and adjudicated comments.

In making their decision, the judging panel praised the Mercury Orchestra for "obviously careful and thoughtful preparation...excellent interpretations."


Founded in 2008, the 97-member Mercury Orchestra (Channing Yu, Music Director and Conductor; Justin Albstein, General Manager) has a mission to bring great works of the symphony orchestra repertoire to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in live performances of the highest quality; to bring amateur orchestral musicians together in the Cambridge area to play challenging repertoire; and to educate new audiences about the rich traditions of classical music.
www.mercuryorchestra.org

Congratulations to the Mercury Orchestra, the Bravura Philharmonic and the Auburn University/Community Orchestra for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest community orchestras in the country.

Bravo.

More winners will be announced this weekend.

ROOMFUL OF TEETH wins THE AMERICAN PRIZE

The American Prize is pleased to announce that ROOMFUL OF TEETH,  of Williamstown, MA, Brad Wells, founder and director, is the 2010 winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance (professional division). Congratulations.

VOX: The Rob Seible Singers, of Houston, Texas, placed second.

In making their decision, the judging panel commented that ROOMFUL OF TEETH exhibited "accurate pitch/intonation...with seamless transitions...really unique...stunning."

Roomful of Teeth is an eight-voice vocal ensemble that embraces the full spectrum of vocal practices and, through an on-going commissioning project, develops new compositions using the fullest possible range of vocal techniques. Launched in 2009, the ensemble of young, classically-trained singers studies with international experts in vocal techniques ranging from Tuvan throat singing to yodeling. The ensemble commissions composers to write music utilizing their ever-expanding palette of vocal colors.
www.roomfulofteeth.org
 
Congratulations to both ROOMFUL OF TEETH and the VOX: The Rob Seible Singers, for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest professional choruses in the country.

Bravo.

The winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (community division) will be announced at 5 pm today.