Thursday, July 28, 2011


The American Prize is pleased to announce the winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (youth orchestra division), 2011.

Houston Youth Symphony, Michael Webster, artistic director, Houston, TX 
Houston Youth Symphony was founded in 1947 and now serves over 300 student in four orchestras.  Michael Webster has been Artistic Director since 1997, and has led the Symphony, its most advanced orchestra, at the inauguration of Houston mayor Lee Brown, the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival and at Carnegie Hall.  HYS is the national first prize winner of Choice Music Events' Mark of Excellence competition in 2008/9/10 and The American Prize in 2010.

Maestro Webster wrote on accepting The American Prize for the Houston Youth Symphony: It is an honor for HYS to be selected for The American Prize, and I accept the  award on behalf of our organization, which consists of 300 students, 5 conductors, 3 office personnel, and a coaching staff of about 25 dedicated professionals.  I also must thank the dedicated public school music teachers of the Houston area who give their hearts and souls to their students in the face of continued budgetary pressures of extreme severity.  Without them or without the wonderful private teachers in the area, HYS could not achieve the standard that it has.

Vivace of the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley, Jonathan Handman, conductor and artistic director, of LaGrangeville, NY, placed second.

Philharmonic String Orchestra and Soloist Ensemble, Alyze Dreiling, conductor, San Diego, CA, placed third.


The American Prize is pleased to announce the winner of The American Prize in Conducting (youth orchestra division), 2011.

Michael Webster, Houston, TX 
Michael Webster is professor of clarinet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and artistic director of the Houston Youth Symphony. Formerly principal clarinetist with the Rochester Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, Webster has appeared with many orchestras, string quartets and festivals spanning North America, South and Central America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  He been on the clarinet and conducting faculties of Eastman, New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan.

Alyze Dreiling of San Diego, CA, placed second.
Nathaniel Meyer of Belmont, MA, placed third.


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