Monday, January 4, 2016

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: school & community chorus

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting: School & Community Chorus Division, 2015. 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 Conducting: School & Community Chorus Division, 2015.

The American Prize winner:
Matthew Phelps
    West End UMC Chancel Choir    Nashville, TN

Matthew Phelps
Matthew Phelps is the Minister of Music at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN.  As the leader of one of the nation’s premiere church music programs, Dr. Phelps conducts the 75 voice Chancel Choir in worship and concerts with members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.    Dr. Phelps is also the principal guest conductor of the Tri-County Master Chorale in Port St. Lucie, FL where he led an inaugural performance of Verdi’s Requiem.  He is scheduled to conduct Mozart’s Vespers of the Confessor K. 339 at Carnegie Hall in June of 2017 with Mid-America Productions.  Dr. Phelps has served churches in Cincinnati and New York; and has taught at Xavier University and Lipscomb University.  His choirs have performed at conventions for the Music Educator’s National Conference and the American Choral Director’s Association.     Dr. Phelps holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University in piano performance and his graduate degrees from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati where he studied conducting with Earl Rivers, Stephen Coker, Brett Scott, and Mark Gibson. 

2nd Place:
Timothy Michael Powell
    The Davidson Chorale    Augusta, GA

Timothy Michael Powell
Timothy Michael Powell is the Director of Choral Activities at the prestigious Davidson Fine Arts School in Augusta, GA and conducts the Davidson Chorale, winners of the 2012 American Prize in Choral Performance. Dr. Powell received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Church Music with honors from Belmont University as a Dean and Mathis Scholar, and his DMA in Conducting from the University of South Carolina. He was a 1999 National Choristers Guild Scholar, and a 2002 Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria. Lauded by New York Concert Reviews as “a skilled composer who understands the voice in all stages of development,” his compositions include numerous major works, including Wedding Mass, premiered at Carnegie Hall, and Saint George and the Dragon and American Prize semi-finalist Incarnatio Mysteria, both premiered at Lincoln Center. He is a frequent guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. He and his wife Jennifer have three beautiful children.

3rd Place:
Emily Isaacson
    Oratorio Chorale    Brunswick, ME

Emily Isaacson
Emily Isaacson is recognized for her versatility, sensitivity and energy. Her 2014 direction of Brahms' Requiem was heralded as "one of the most moving musical events of the decade” by the Portland Press Herald and "sublime" by the Times Record. Isaacson serves as the Artistic Director of the Oratorio Chorale, the Director of Choral Activities at Clark University in Worcester, Chorus Director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival Chorus, and visiting faculty in music at Bowdoin College. A graduate of Williams College, Isaacson was awarded the St. Andrews Society Fellowship for graduate study in Scotland, where she earned a master’s degree in musicology from Edinburgh University. She holds a second master’s degree from the University of Oregon and is currently a candidate for the doctorate in musical arts in choral conducting at the University of Illinois. Emily lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and one-year old daughter.


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Matt! The prize is well-deserved. I'll pass the word along to your friends in Bronxville.