Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ORCHESTRA WINNERS: youth orchestra division

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2015, in the youth orchestra division.


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 Orchestral Performance, 2015, youth orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
Houston Youth Symphony 
Michael Webster, music director    Houston, TX 
Houston Youth Symphony
Founded in 1946, Houston Youth Symphony (HYS) is the recipient of national acclaim including the 2014 first prize winner of the Mark of Excellence Award from The Foundation for Music Education and the 2014 American Prize in Orchestral Performance – Youth Orchestra Division Each season approximately 350 musicians between the ages of seven and 19 come from across the greater Houston area to perform in one of four HYS orchestras. In addition to the core orchestra program, HYS offers advanced musicians a chamber music training program and an annual concerto competition.

In the community, HYS provides free private music lessons for talented youth in select economically disadvantaged communities through the Melody Program. In January 2015, HYS launched the Coda Music Program, an after-school pilot effort modeled after El Sistema that brings graduated, intensive string instruction to two elementary schools using classical music and group instruction to build community and social transformation.

2nd Place:
Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra 
Thomas Dickey, music director        Dubuque, IA
Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra
The Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra (DSY)) is the premier orchestral training program for youth in the tri-state area.  It is an educational component of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, overseen by the DSO Education Committee. The DSYO's mission is to supplement and enhance music education in the schools and to promote the highest standards of musical excellence via weekly rehearsals and regularly scheduled public performances.  In 2012, the DSYO won third place in the American Prize in Orchestral Performance competition and was invited to perform at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival.

3rd Place:
Stringendo Orchestra School's Vivace
Jonathan Handman, music director  Poughkeepsie, NY 
Stringendo Orchestra School's Vivace
Vivace is the most advanced orchestra of the Stringendo Orchestra School and is comprised of 24 highly motivated and accomplished high school students that recently won the 2014 ASTA National Orchestra Festival Grand Champion prize of the Youth Orchestra Division.  Vivace has performed at the Music Educators’ National Conference (MENC) and at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference. Stringendo was co-founded in 2001 by Emily Schaad and Jonathan Handman and is a music school located in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State that explores orchestral and fiddle styles of string playing. Currently Stringendo has 6 string orchestras, a comprehensive fiddle program and a summer camp that enrolls over 300 students each year.


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