Wednesday, November 4, 2015


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the orchestra division of The American Prize in Composition, 2015. We are also pleased to highlight a large group of composers in this category with special citations recognizing the quality of their work as they serve diverse communities in unique and creative ways. Congratulations!

All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
ANGELIQUE POTEAT for "Beyond Much Difference"
Seattle WA
Angelique Poteat is a native of the Pacific Northwest.  Her music has been recorded and performed in Australia, Germany, Lithuania, and all over the United States by ensembles including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Enso Quartet, Philharmonia Northwest, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Saratoga Orchestra, Trio Tara, and the New York New Music Ensemble.  Most notably, the Seattle Symphony commissioned her piece, Beyond Much Difference (2014), which was recently performed by the Seattle Symphony at their January 2015 Sonic Evolution concert with Mike McCready, Chris Cornell, and members of the bands, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and more.  Poteat holds degrees from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the College-Conservatory of Music.  She has studied composition with Samuel Adler, Joel Hoffman, Mara Helmuth, Anthony Brandt, Pierre Jalbert, Shih-Hui Chen, Arthur Gottschalk, and Samuel Jones.  Visit to find out more about Poteat and her music.

2nd Place:
Cincinnati OH
Douglas Knehans has received awards from the American Music Center, the NEA, the Australia Council Performing Arts Board, Yale University, the MacDowell Colony, Opera Australia, The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Meet the Composer and a host of others.

His music has been praised by The Washington Post as “beautiful” and that “tells an exciting story;” by The Miami Herald as “wildly inventive;” by The Australian as “brilliantly catchy and eerily bright;” and by Fanfare Magazine as “…effective…incisive… and hauntingly beautiful.”

Knehans’ music is available on ERM Media, Crystal Records, Move Records, New World Records and ABLAZE Records.

3rd Place:
JAMES JOSEPH OGBURN for "Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra"
Wenatchee WA
The music of James J. Ogburn (b. 1974) has been performed at dozens of festivals. For example, he has been featured on the programs of World Saxophone Congress XVI (St. Andrews Scotland), Beijing Modern Music Festival 2013, June in Buffalo 2007, and Audio Art Festival 2003 (Krakow, PL). He has been commissioned throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas by ensembles and performers such as Ensemble Mosaik (Berlin), Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (Bangkok), Dave Eggar (NYC), Reinhold Friedrich (Hannover), and Luisa Sello (Udine). He received degrees from Central Washington University (B.M.), and the University of Pittsburgh (M.A. & Ph.D.). Currently, Dr. Ogburn is Chair of Composition and Theory at Mahidol University College of Music, Artistic Director of Enclave Ensemble, and Program Manager of the Thailand International Composition Festival. For more information, please visit: 

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (professional division)
JUDGES CITATION: "Special Achievement in the Art of the Concerto"

KEITH LAY for "Children on the Playground" 
as performed by Sir Tamas Kocsis, violin
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Strings, conducted by Christopher Wilkins

(b.1958) Keith Lay grew up listening in rural Ohio and by the age of 17 had composed and conducted for band, piano, jazz orchestra and chamber ensembles. After receiving Master of Music Composition from the University of Akron, his career focused on composing, engineering, producing media for commercial broadcast, record labels and teaching. In commercial music Keith has won national Telly, regional Addy and Golden Reel awards and is a voting member of the Grammys.

"Children on the Playground" was the Grand Prize winner of the Riverside Competition from over 500 submissions and performed at Lincoln Center. The New York Times' chief classical music critic Antonio Tommasini hailed Keith as "a composer to watch for". Gramophone described his work, “Earth Caoine”, recorded by Richard Stoltzman, as "unapologetically emotional".
Keith is a decorated teacher, a Department Chair at Full Sail University, and a founding judge of the National Young Composers Challenge.

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra: SPECIAL CITATION RECIPIENTS
Celebrating the Variety and Vitality of American Composers of Works for Orchestra

LEE ACTOR for "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra"
Monte Sereno CA
Composer and conductor Lee Actor ( has received numerous commissions, and has won many awards for his compositions, which are characterized by their dramatic impact and emotional expressivity. He has studied composition with Donald Sur, Brent Heisinger, Charles Jones, and Andrew Imbrie, and conducting with Angelo Frascarelli, David Epstein and Higo Harada.  Actor was named Composer-in-Residence of the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 2002, following his appointment as Assistant Conductor in 2001, and was Assistant Conductor of the Nova Vista Symphony from 2008 to 2010.

OLIVER CAPLAN for "Journey to the West"
Medford MA
With memorable melodies and colorful interplay, American composer Oliver Caplan’s (b. 1982) music expresses a deeply felt romanticism.  Mr. Caplan’s 2012 debut album “Illuminations” is available on iTunes and His music has been presented in over 85 public performances in 11 states, including the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Columbia University Wind Ensemble, Nebraska Chamber Players, and Juventas, among others. Accolades include Veridian Symphony Orchestra Composers Competition Winner (2014), Somerville Arts Council Grants (2014, 2013), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowships (2013, 2011), 5th House Ensemble Young Composer Competition Grand Prize (2010), and ASCAP Plus Awards (2008-2013).  Mr. Caplan holds degrees from the Boston Conservatory and Dartmouth College.  He currently resides in Massachusetts.

AUGUSTA CECCONI-BATES for "Essences of the North Country"
Cape Vincent NY

AUGUSTA CECCONI-BATES was born Aug. 9, 1933 in Syracuse NY. Coming from an opera-loving Italian home, she studied piano from age 6, (she was composing music even then) Augusta earned a B. A. (1956) and  M.A. in Humanities (1960) from Syracuse University.

After winning a composition contest in 1976, Augusta went on to studies at Cornell University with Robert Palmer and Karel Husa. In 1992 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from a conservatory in Italy. Augusta was given her Native name in 1955 because of her musical ability which was likened to the trees in the wind. Hence the name, Willow Wind.

Her work has garnered praise from Lukas Foss, who wrote, “she is a composer who knows what she is doing and does it well.” She has composed some 300 works, in genres ranging from opera and choral to orchestra and band.

In 2012 Augusta was awarded first prize by the British Trombone Society for her PARAGRAPH for TROMBONE and CONCERT BAND. (Visit the BTS website for further information).

NANCY BLOOMER DEUSSEN for "Concerto for Clarinet and Small Orchestra"
Mountain View CA
American composer Nancy Bloomer Deussen is well known as a composer, performer and arts impressario. She is a leader in the growing movement for more melodic, tonally oriented contemporary music and is co-founder and President Emeritus of the SF Bay Chapter of the National Association of Composers, USA. Her original works have been performed in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and China and she has received numerous commissions both locally and nationally. Ms Bloomer Deussen holds BM and MM degrees from The Manhattan School of Music and a BM in Music Ed from the USC School of Music. Her teachers of composition were Vittorio Giannini, Lukas Foss, Ingolf Dahl and Wilson Coker.

She was a finalist in Orchestral and Choral composition for The American Prize in 2012 and Second Place Winner in 2013 for the American Prize in Chamber Music for  her “Woodwind Quintet”. Recent performances of her works include: "A Field in Pennsylvania" by The Dayton Philharmonic Symphony. "Carmel by-the Sea" by the US Army Symphony Orchestra. “Central Coast Conccrto” for piano and orchestra by The New Millenium Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jim Frieman, “Peninsula Suite” by the Michigan Philharmonic conducted by Nan Washburn and numerous others. In September 2013 her orchestral work “The Transit of Venus” was premiered by The Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose conducted by Emily Ray. Upcoming are premieres of her new choral/orchestral opus ”Gloria”in California and Florida and a new work is in progress to celebrate her 85th birthday in 2016 for the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose. Audio links of some of her works and more information can be found at:

KARIM ELMAHMOUDI for "ORBIT: A Symphonic Fantasy"
Los Angeles CA
Karim Elmahmoudi is a Los Angeles based composer and the Resident Composer of the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony.  He studied music at the University of Southern California where he was awarded the BMI Honors Scholarship. In addition, he studied in Dublin, Ireland, with Conrad Pope.  His space themed orchestral work, "Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy", was premiered by the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony on November 18, 2012, with David Weiss conducting.  This work was recently performed as part of the Flagstaff, Arizona Dark Skies festival and allowed Mr. Elmahmoudi the opportunity to discuss his passions for music with the Flagstaff community through a series of talks aimed at local schools and a 90 minute talk at Lowell Observatory.  This fourteen minute work is also heard each hour at the California Science Center (permanent home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour) as part of their IMAX presentations.

MATTHEW H. FIELDS for "Space Sciences"
Ann Arbor MI
Matthew H. Fields focuses on the potential for non-verbal aspects of sound to fascinate, delight, and evoke wonder. The winner of the League-ISCM Composers Competition, Colorado State Music Teachers Association Composers Commission, Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute and Reading Sessions, and various other honors, Fields follows Borodin's path by working for a hospital by day and composing by night. Born 1961 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fields grew up Deerfield, Illinois, and earned degrees from Oberlin College, Oberlin Conservatory, Stanford University, and University of Michigan. Many of his works are recorded on the Centaur Records label. Fields is represented by Price Rubin and Partners, Matthew H. Fields on the Web: www.MatthewFields.NET.

BURTON GOLDSTEIN for "Concert Suite"
Santa Monica CA
Burton Goldstein is active as a composer and has taught at the college and university levels. Awards include:The American Prize 2014; Vox Novus selected three works in 2014; International Music Prize; Borromeo Prize; Brandenburg Chamber Music Prize; Copland Award; Lee Ettelson Award; a commission sponsored by the S. Mark Taper Foundation; AMC Grants (4), BMI Award; Mancini Scholarship. The Aspen Quartet is recorded by the Arditti String Quartet for Albany Records. He was awarded his PhD at UCLA. Fellowships include: the Ernest Bloch Festival in Oregon (Ung); the Aspen Institute for Advanced Compositional Studies (Druckman and Rands); and the Schoenberg Institute (Stein), sponsored by the NEH. Mr. Goldstein has composed music used in well over a hundred trailers and promos for major motion pictures and TV shows, including: George Lukas’ animated feature, Strange Magic (2015); Guillermo del Toro’s The Book of Life (2014); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and X-Men 3. He has taught composition, electronic music, music theory and harpsichord at: UC Santa Barbara; UCLA; El Camino College; Scripps College; and CSU: Long Beach, Fullerton and Los Angeles.

DAVID W. MAVES for "Timpani Concerto"
Charleston SC
David W. Maves is Professor Emeritus at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. He has composed over 100 works of which many are published. Compositions include symphonies, concertos, works for band, chorus, opera (Bodas de Sangre), chamber music, teaching pieces; and works for organ, harpsichord, and early music instruments.

He was born in Salem, Oregon and studied with Homer Keller at the University of Oregon, and with Ross Lee Finney and Leslie Bassett at the University of Michigan. In 1964 he was appointed Ford Foundation Composer-in-Residence in Raleigh, NC and has received other honors including two Sigma Alpha Iota Inter-American Awards.

Maves has returned to his first "job" as a composer and is working on publications of new works and updated versions of works that have gone out of print. His new Timpani Concerto, commissioned by the Omaha Symphony for their timpanist Dwight Thomas was premiered on November 23, 2014.

GREG A. STEINKE for "All in a Moment's Time"
Depoe Bay OR
Dr. Greg A Steinke, former Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair of Music/Art and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University; Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97) and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); National Chairman of the Society of Composers, Inc. (1988–97); President of NACUSA (2012–). Composer of chamber and symphonic music and author with published/recorded works and performances across the U. S. and internationally and oboist specializing in contemporary music. Recent honors: 2009 Oregon Individual Artist Fellowship. Co-winner – ’10 of 5th NACUSA Texas Composition Competition for From ARMGART for Soprano and Piano. Finalist – RAM 2010 call for scores (saxophone quartet) IN MEMORIAM: SACAGAWEA. Winner of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity Composition Competition, ‘12. Second Place winner of Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers – ’12. Finalist (Orchestra - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition Competition for 2012 for All in a Moment's Time for Viola and Orchestra, a 27' work. OMTA Composer of the year 2012–13. A winner 2012 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition winner (SUSPENDED for Bassoon & Strings); Winner of Con Vivo’s Composers Competition (NATIVE AMERICAN NOTES (Image Music VI) for String Quartet) Finalist (Chamber Music - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition Competition for 2013 for Expressions II for 2 Saxophones, 2 Percussion and Piano, a 25’ work; for 2014 for Suspended for Bassoon and Strings, a 19’ work. Website:

YOKO WYLEGALA for "Iluminacion de la Rana"
Squamish WA
Yoko Hamabe Wylegala's music reflects her diverse living experiences. In addition to her early education in classical music in Tokyo, she studied law and philosophy.

Wylegala's music, which includes solos, ensembles, choral and orchestral pieces, has been performed in Moscow, Washington DC, Mexico City, Lima, Dresden, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Berlin, and Tokyo.

“Welcome to Dodoland” (2008) for Orchestra and Tenor Saxophone was performed in the Berlin Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal in 2008. Overture “Voyage” (2010) for Orchestra was performed in the Beijing Opera House in 2010.  The Japan-German Center in Berlin sponsored Wylegala’s concert in 2007.  “Iluminacion de la Rana” (2006) for Orchestra received a prize in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Songs (JPF Music Award 2009, Nashville TN).

Wylegala has received  ASCAPlus Awards every year since the 2007-08 season. Currently she is a music composition Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hong Kong.

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division)

The American Prize winner:
for Symphonic Poem "Even in Paradise"
Los Angeles CA
Patrick O’Malley (1989) is a composer whose works explore the musical interplay between emotion, color, energy, and landscape.  Currently living in Los Angeles, O’Malley grew up in Indiana, where he cultivated an interest in composition from hearing music at the local orchestra, studying piano and double bass, film scores at the movie theater, and even MIDI compositions for videogames being written at the time. His pieces span many of the contemporary mediums for classical music (orchestra, chamber ensembles, vocal music, film scores etc.), and have been performed across the United States as well as in France and Germany. Often when writing a new piece, O’Malley considers the listener’s imagination as much as every other musical element – an admittedly and enjoyably subjective endeavor.

Most recently, O’Malley has been recognized and/or performed by organizations including the American Composers Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Next On Grand National Composers Intensive with wild Up, the Society of Composers Inc., The American Prize (3rd place in orchestral music, and finalist in wind band and chamber music, 2014), the Boston New Music Initiative, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award (finalist in 2012 and 2014), and Fulcrum Point New Music Project. He has spent summers as a student at various music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin Festival, Fresh Inc. Festival, and FUBiS composition course in Berlin. He is gratefully indebted to his private teachers over the years for helping guide his work, the most recent of which include Andrew Norman, Samuel Adler, and Frank Ticheli. O’Malley is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

2nd Place:
DONGRYUL LEE for "Circular Simulacrum"
Champaign IL
Dongryul Lee is a South Korean composer of modern classical music.  He holds degrees in computer science and music composition from the Yonsei University and the Eastman School of Music respectively, from which he received three consecutive composition prizes and four years of scholarships.  He has studied composition with Stephen Taylor, Reynold Tharp, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, David Liptak, and Tae-hoon Kim, while attending master classes led by Vinko Globokar, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Steven Stucky, and Shulamit Ran, and seminars by Tristan Murail and Helmut Lachenmann.  At Eastman, he also studied conducting with Brad Lubman and Mark Davis Scatterday, and piano performance with Tony Caramia.  He names Takemitsu, Xenakis, Grisey, and Lutoslawski as key musical predecessor for establishing his own voice.  Other influences on his music include Chaos and Fractal Theory, which he studied at the University of Rochester, and Number Theory and Acoustical Physics of Music, which he has explored at the University of Illinois.   From quantum physics to Borges’s cosmic Ficciones, Dongryul Lee finds inspiration in various archetypal, transcendental, and ephemeral elements of eclectic sources including myth, science, and nature.  His current projects include a 24 quarter-tone tuned Horn concerto for the Illinois New Music Ensemble, and a vocal chamber orchestra piece inspired by C. G. Jung’s castle, Bollingen Tower.  As an active composer and theorist, he is currently pursuing his Masters degree in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the support of a Cooke Fellowship.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
DYLAN ARTHUR BAKER for "Tumultuous Voyage"
Kansas City MO
Dylan Arthur Baker is a graduate student pursuing a DMA degree in music composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where he has studied with Zhou Long and Jim Mobberley. He recently completed an MA degree at the University of Michigan, where has studied with Evan Chambers and Bright Sheng. He graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a BM in Music Composition. His principle instructors at Cornish were Janice Giteck, Eric Banks, and Emily Doolittle, and at Central Washington University (CWU) he studied with Eric Flesher.

During the summer months he has studied at the Brevard Music Center (where he studied with Robert Aldridge and David Dzubay), and has been a featured composer at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium in Eugene, and the highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
PHILIP RICE for "The Souls of Ancient Bells"
Lansing MI
PHILIP RICE (b. 1988) studied music composition with Stefan Young (a student of Nadia Boulanger), David Gillingham, Jere Hutcheson, and Mark Sullivan. He received a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College in 2012, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University.

He has won numerous awards for his compositions, among them awards from Chanticleer, the Kansas University Choral Society, the Michigan Music Educators Association, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and Westminster Choir College. Recent collaborators include Craig Hella Johnson, the Michigan Recital Project, and Kansas-city-based Te Deum Chamber Choir. Philip specializes in setting found texts and the works of living writers. Outside of music, he is an avid poet, blogger, and designer with a keen interest in found objects as literary devices.  
The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): HONORABLE MENTIONS

BRIAN MARK for "The Persistence of Time"
Holbrook NY
Brian Mark has had works performed by ensembles including, amongst others, the BBC Singers, Atlas Ensemble, Brave New Works, Choral Chameleon, Ensemble Signal, Chelsea Symphony, the Ligeti and Esterhazy String Quartets, and at festivals including the London Contemporary Music Festival, June in Buffalo Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He has held residencies with the Chelsea Symphony, I-Park Artists’ Enclave, Ucross Foundation, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. His chorale piece Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum, commissioned by the Royal Academy Chamber Choir, has made the finalist round in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Composition. From 2009-2011 Brian was the Co-Artistic Director for DETOUR, which promoted emerging composers through its annual concert series in NYC.  He is also curating a concert series in East London with Nonclassical.  Brian is currently finishing his PhD in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

CHARLES PECK for "Metropolitan"
Philadelphia PA
Charles Peck is an American composer whose work has been called “daring” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “vivid” (UArts Edge magazine), and “spell-binding” (Rappahannock News). Peck’s recent successes include winning Symphony in C’s Young Composers’ Competition, the Castleton Festival’s Young Composers’ Forum, the University of Cincinnati’s Composition Competition, and the Ohio Federation of Music Club’s Collegiate Composition Competition. Additionally, he has been awarded grants from both the American Composers Forum and the McKnight Foundation and has been named a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards and the Glick Competition with the Indianapolis Symphony. Peck currently teaches at the University of the Arts and is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University. He earned his Master’s in Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he was awarded the Scott Huston Award for composition. And he received his Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University. Visit to learn more. 

BENJAMIN WHITING for "Tempus Imperfectum"
Champaign, IL
Benjamin D. Whiting received his BM in Music Composition and his MM in Music Theory and Composition from Florida State University, and is now pursuing his DMA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an active composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic music, and has had his works performed in the United States, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Japan. Most recently, his piece for chamber orchestra, Tempus Imperfectum, was awarded Third Prize in the 2014 Busan Maru International Music Festival Composition Competition, and his electroacoustic piece FL has been released on ABLAZE Records’ album Electronic Masters, vol. 3, along with having been honored with performances at the 2014 College Music Society National Conference, SEAMUS 2014, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Whiting has studied with such composers as Scott Wyatt, Erik Lund, Erin Gee, and Ladislav Kubik. He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois.

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATIONS
KYLE SIMPSON for "Fanfare Overture" 
Washington PA
Kyle Simpson, composer, received degrees from LawrenceUniversity (WI) and the University of Montana. He is currently studying composition in the DMA program at West Virginia University under Dr. David Taddie, Dr. Joseph Dangerfield, and Dr. John Beall.  He has been awarded fellowships to study composition at the EAMA School in Paris, France, the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and Ostrava Days in Ostrava, CZ.Simpson has written music for such ensembles  as: Banff Center Jazz Residency Ensemble. World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Washington PA Symphony, The Janaček Philharmonic, and The New York Film Orchestra (ASCAP/NYU).  ASCAP Named Simpson as a “2011 Composer to Watch.”  Simpson is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

KEITH ALLEGRETTI for "Carceri d'Invenzione"
Santa Fe MN
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Keith Allegretti is a composer and pianist who enjoys working comfortably in many genres, including chamber, orchestral, vocal, and electronic music, and even musical theater. His music has been performed in Santa Fe, Houston, Berlin, Ann Arbor, New York and elsewhere by professional and amateur ensembles, including Santa Fe New Music, Quartetto Indaco, the Rice University Chorale, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Circuit Bridges, the Santa Fe Community Orchestra, and the American Creators Ensemble. He holds degrees in composition from Rice University and the University of Michigan. For more information, please visit

HANGRUI ZHANG for "Cloudy Ground"
Cincinnati OH
Hangrui Zhang (b.1989) is a Chinese student composer. Now, he is studying in College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as a third-year undergraduate student. Hangrui entered the world of music much later than most of his contemporaries. At the age of 20, he found his interest in music, and began his study as a beginner. During that time, he studied music very independently, and often involving self-teaching. After two-year music study and one-year English study, in the year of 2012, he began his first formal music study in CCM. His composition teachers include Jian Feng, Mara Helmuth, Douglas Knehans and Michael Fiday. His music has been performed by such groups as the Eurydice Quartet, the Donald Sinta Quartet, the CCM Chamber Players, and by performers at the College-Conservatory of Music.

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): YOUNG ARTIST CITATION

West Grove PA
Marlene Miller is an aspiring young composer. Born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania, as a child she wanted to be a singer. For a long time Marlene quit music and searched for other inspiration. When she entered high school, however, she was wrangled into participating in Marching Band and her love of music was solidified forever. Since then she has learned to play five – and working on six – different musical instruments. She participates in choir, marching band, full orchestra, wind ensemble, and concert band at her school as well as enrolling in the only music theory class offered there and going to every music camp she can manage. She is proud of the pieces she’s composed so far and desires to someday compose for video games and movies. Marlene will be majoring in Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University this fall 2015. She can’t wait.


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