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.