Friday, September 13, 2013

CHORAL CONDUCTING winner, runners-up, 2013

The American Prize  is pleased to announce the CONDUCTING winner and runners-up for 2013 in the choral category.


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The judges reserve the right to award special citations and honorable mentions to any entrant at their discretion.

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The American Prize in Conducting—Choral Division

The American Prize winner:  
Richard Nance, Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West, Tacoma, WA
Richard Nance
Richard Nance is the Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University where he has worked since 1992.  At PLU Nance conducts the Choir of the West, Choral Union, and teaches classes in choral conducting.  Nance holds bachelors and masters degrees from West Texas State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University.  He has studied conducting with Hugh Sanders, Douglas McEwen and David Stocker, and composition with Joseph Nelson and Randall Shinn.  Nance is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and has held many state and divisional offices.  Nance’s choirs have appeared at several ACDA conferences and have toured Europe on five occasions.  In the summer of 2011 the Choir of the West won two gold and one silver certificate at the prestigious Harmonie Festival, held in Lindenholzhausen, Germany.  Also in 2011, two PLU choral albums under Nance’s direction won first and second prize in their categories of the “American Prize” competition, and Nance received first prize for conducting.  

Richard Nance’s compositions are regularly performed by school, university, church, community and festival choirs.  In 2002 Nance was selected to compose the prestigious Raymond Brock Memorial Composition for the American Choral Directors Association.  Other composers who have shared this honor include Gian-Carlo Menotti, Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, René Clausen, Daniel Pinkham, Samuel Adler and Gwyneth Walker.

Among judges' comments:  "The sound of this choir gives powerful evidence of a conductor with very fine pedagogical and gestural technique." 

2nd Place:
Peggy Dettwiler, Mansfield University Festival Chorus, Mansfield, PA
Peggy Dettwiler
Peggy Dettwiler is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Mansfield University, where she conducts the Concert Choir, Festival Chorus, and Chamber Singers, and teaches choral conducting and methods. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.   In 2010, she received the Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and she placed second for The 2011 American Prize for Choral Conductors at the College/University level.  Dettwiler has served as a guest conductor and lecturer throughout the country and has given presentations at numerous NAfME and ACDA Conventions.  She has produced two DVDs, one entitled, “Developing a Vocal Color Palette for Various Choral Styles” and the second, “Sing in Style.”

Among judges' comments: "excellent use of the baton: the beat is almost always clearly at the tip of the baton rather than in the hand..."

3rd Place:
Ingrid Lestrud, Merit School of Music Conservatory Choir, Chicago, IL
Ingrid Lestrud
Dr. Ingrid Lestrud enjoys an active career as a conductor, educator, and singer. She earned the Doctor of Music degree in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, where she frequently conducted the university’s orchestras and opera ensembles. She is the Voice Department Chair at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, where she is collaborating with the Lyric Opera and Renée Fleming to develop curriculum for the Renée Fleming Initiative, a solo voice program for high school students. She also serves as Merit’s Director of Choirs and conducts six children and youth choirs. During the 2012-2013 season, she is a finalist for the music director position with the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she has served as Assistant Conductor to the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, and the Hot Springs Music Festival. Prior to her conducting studies, Dr. Lestrud earned a vocal performance degree at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, and she enjoys singing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Among judges' comments: "Great economy of movement; clear and appropriately varied for each style."



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