TAP honors FOUR JUDGES for five years of continuing service to the competitions
The American Prize has recognized four members of its national panel of judges for five years of continuing service to the organization. "We are grateful for the time, expertise and enthusiasm these four musicians have displayed since the competitions were founded," said David Katz, chief judge of the national nonprofit competitions. "Their belief in The American Prize idea, unbiased evaluations and thoughtful commentary to applicants is part of the reason The American Prize is recognized as a unique and valuable resource for performing artists across the country." The four judges below received certificates for their years of continuing service:
Leonard Atherton Muncie, IN
Leonard Atherton (instrumental performance, conducting) joined the Ball State University School of Music Faculty in 1982. Now retired, he is Music Director Emeritus of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and former director of the Ball State Symphony Orchestra and conducting teacher. Atherton has held music director positions among which are the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Young Artists Choral Program of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia and the University of Pennsylvania Choruses. He has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Atherton has conducted in Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada and England. Leonard Atherton served as the Cover Conductor for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and honored as a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana's civilian award, for his service in music to the State. He is a member of the Mentoring Committee of the Conductors Guild and has just handed over the position of Treasurer of the College Orchestra Directors Association.
Allen Cohen Madison, NJ
Allen Cohen (instrumental performance, conducting, composition) received a doctorate in composition from the City University of New York, where he studied with Thea Musgrave, Bruce Saylor, and David Del Tredici. Currently Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, he has taught at Hunter College, New York University, and Manhattanville College. He has received a Meet the Composer residency grant and many ASCAP Plus awards. Five of his compositions have been released on commercial compact discs. He has written incidental scores for films and off-Broadway plays, arranged dance music for five Broadway musicals, conducted on Broadway and elsewhere, and performed extensively as a pianist. He is the author of Howard Hanson in Theory and Practice (Praeger/Greenwood) and the popular children's book That's So Funny I Forgot to Laugh! (Scholastic), and co-author of Writing Musical Theater (Palgrave Macmillan). He has also written critical introductions to new editions of orchestral scores by Dvorak, Gounod, Janacek, and Liadov, published by Repertoire Explorer in Munich. Website: www.allenlcohen.com
David B. Gardner Winfield, KS
David B. Gardner (choral performance, conducting) (DMA, The University of Arizona) is Director of Choirs at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a second-place finish in the graduate division of the 2001 American Choral Directors Association National Student Conducting Awards Competition. Dr. Gardner's Carnegie Hall conducting debut was in March of 2005, and he appeared there most recently in March of 2010 under the auspices of Distinguished Concerts International, New York. In 2008, the Southwestern College choir sang under his direction during Easter Sunday Mass at the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. In 2002, he was selected to lead the Grammy Award winning Oregon Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra under the tutelage of Maestro Helmuth Rilling in the Oregon Bach Festival Masterclass in Conducting. Dr. Gardner is the President-Elect for the Kansas chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and is a charter member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.
Julia Vasquez Missoula, MT
Julia Vasquez (instrumental performance, conducting), of Missoula, Montana, has played flute and piccolo in the Missoula Symphony since 1986. Earlier she was piccoloist in Orchestra Iowa and taught at Cornell College. In 2000, she won the Convention Performers Competition and performed Gunther Schuller's Concerto at the National Flute Association's Columbus convention. She was also a winner in this competition in 2007. Vasquez played in the Professional Flute Choir at conventions in Los Angeles and Boston, and was a guest soloist at the National Organ Convention in Chicago in 2006. Most recently, she was guest soloist at two concerts for the Pacific NW Composer's Conference in April 2014. Vasquez has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist. She teaches flute privately and is principal flutist with the Missoula Children's Community Theatre. She received flute performance degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and Northern Illinois University.
The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually. 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. theamericanprize.org