Friday, September 7, 2012


The American Prize is pleased to announce the WINNERS and runners-up for The American Prize in Conducting—Choral Division, and The American Prize in Conducting—Band/Wind Ensemble Division, 2012. (For other 2012 ensemble and conducting winners, please scroll up or down or use the archive feature to the right.)

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The American Prize in Conducting—Choral Division, Community Chorus

The American Prize Winner:
Richard Hynson, Music Director and Conductor, Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, WI
During his 24 years as Music Director, Dr. Richard Hynson has transformed Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee from a venerable community chorus to a vibrant, successful arts organization respected for its artistic excellence, innovative programming, and impactful outreach. Hynson has guest conducted throughout the U.S and has lead Bel Canto on multiple international tours, most recently to Argentina in summer 2011. Under Hynson’s direction, Bel Canto opened its 81st season on Sunday, September 11, 2011, with United We Stand.  This free outdoor concert, attended by 4,000 people, marked the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks and featured Mozart’s Requiem.

Karen Thomas, Artistic Director, Seattle Pro Musica, WA
Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica, with whom she has recorded eight critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. Her compositions are performed internationally, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, and are hailed as “…superb work of the utmost sensitivity and beauty.” She has received awards and grants from the NEA, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and ASCAP, among others. Her commissions include works for the International Grand Jubilee in Rome and the American Guild of Organists.

Jonathan Palant, Minister of Music, Kessler Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX
Jonathan Palant, a native of Lexington, Massachusetts, is currently Minister of Music at Kessler Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas.  From 2007-2011, he served as Artistic Director of Dallas’ Turtle Creek Chorale.  Prior to that time, Palant was Adjunct Professor of Choral Music at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan.  He taught secondary choral music at both University School in Cleveland, Ohio and San Pasqual High School in Escondido, California. Palant holds degrees from Michigan State University, Temple University and the University of Michigan.


The American Prize in Conducting—Band/Wind Ensemble Division, College/University

The American Prize Winner:
H. Carl Hess, associate conductor, Duquesne Wind Symphony, director, Symphony Band, Pittsburgh, PA
H. Carl Hess is currently Assistant Professor of Music, Chair of Brass, and Director of Athletic Bands at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music. In the spring of 2011, Hess served as interim Director of Orchestral Activities. In this capacity he led performances of Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Fountains of Rome, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. After his successful operatic debut, Hess was named Music Director of the Opera Workshop at Duquesne University, and will lead a groundbreaking performance of Mark Adamo’s Little Women in the spring of 2012.

David Wacyk—University of Maryland Wind Orchestra, College Park, MD
David Wacyk is a graduate conducting student at the University of Maryland, where he studies conducting with Michael Votta and James Ross. Prior to his graduate studies at University of Maryland, Wacyk directed bands and orchestras in the Maryland public schools from 2007-2010, during which time he also served as the founder and conductor of the Upper Chesapeake Wind Ensemble.  In 2009, Wacyk was selected as a participant in the Canford School’s Wind Conductor’s Course, and in 2011 he was invited to the conducting symposium at the New England Conservatory. Recently, Wacyk has become director of the Falls Church Concert Band.

Richard Kazuhiko Henebry—New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Boston, MA
Richard Kazuhiko Henebry biography: Holding degrees in trombone performance and wind conducting, Richard Kazuhiko Henebry is currently assistant conductor of the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble and is equally at home conducting repertoire as varied as orchestral works, musical theatre classics and 20th century literature for wind instruments, Mr. Henebry’s area of expertise. Recent appointments include cover conductor of the New Haven Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Henebry has participated in several conducting masterclasses, including the Second Annual Frederick Fennell Memorial Masterclass and the West Point Conducting
Workshop. His principal mentors are Charles Peltz, Scott Hartman, and Mark Kellogg.


Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.

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