Saturday, January 2, 2016

ORCHESTRA WINNERS: high school orchestra, 2015

To provide the most opportunity for recognition and reward in the high school orchestra division in 2015, the category was divided into two groups: those student ensembles found in general membership high schools and those associated with arts high schools or magnet schools. The listing below announces orchestra winners and runners-up from general membership high schools schools in the U.S.

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

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: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2015, high school orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
Jasper Legacy Orchestra 
Ryan Ross, director        Plano, TX
Jasper Legacy Orchestra
The Jasper High School Orchestra is proud to be one of the most accomplished orchestra programs in Texas. Jasper is a grade 9 and 10 campus in Plano, TX, a Dallas suburb. Their orchestra currently serves over 200 students in five orchestras. Since its inception in 1996, Jasper’s top ensemble, Legacy Orchestra, has repeatedly ranked as one of the top string orchestras in Texas, competing alongside high schools that fill their orchestras with 9th through 12th graders.  For 2014, they were named the winners of the TMEA Honor Full Orchestra competition, the first time a non-varsity orchestra earned that distinction in Texas history.  In addition, they won the 2014 Mark of Excellence National Orchestra Honors full orchestra award and the 2013 American Prize in Orchestral Performance.  The Jasper Orchestra program is led by Ryan Ross and Assistant Director Brad Davis.


2nd Place:
Midway Camerata 
Beau Benson, director        Waco, TX 
Midway Camerata
The Midway ISD Orchestra program began in the 2000-2001 school year with 62 students.  Today, there are over 250 students in six different class orchestras from 7th to 12th grade plus 6th grade beginners.  In the fifteen years since the program’s inception, the orchestras of MISD have distinguished themselves at the state and national level, and have garnered community support through innovative programming. The orchestras of MISD have consistently earned Sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest as well as national festivals, and have been well-represented each year in the TMEA All-Region and All-State Orchestras.  In 2012, the Midway Philharmonic Orchestra was named first runner-up for the American Prize in Orchestral Performance and the Midway Camerata was the only 4A high school to be selected for the final round of the TMEA State Honor Orchestra Contest.  In addition, 2012 brought the Midway Camerata an invitation to perform at the 66th annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL.


3rd Place:
Arlington HS Philharmonia 
Jonathan Handman, director        LaGrangeville, NY
Arlington HS Philharmonia
Arlington High School's Philharmonia is the most advanced of five orchestras and was the Grand Champion of the ASTA National Orchestra Festival in March 2012.  The program consists of two ninth grade string orchestra and three symphonic orchestras for students in grades 10-12, of which Ms. Elizabeth Handman, Mr. Jonathan Handman and Mr. John Harper are the directors.  In total, the program has over 250 string students and 75 wind/percussion members that join the strings every other day as their second ensemble in addition to the band program that they are members of.  Arlington Central School District’s High School Principal is Mr. Paul Fanuele and Music Coordinator is Mr. Richard Guillen.


HONORABLE MENTION:
Klein Oak Symphony Orchestra 
Tanner Ledford, director        Spring, TX
Klein Oak Symphony Orchestra
In Klein ISD our students begin music instruction in Kindergarten.  In the fifth grade our students can begin after school strings instruction which meets twice a week. In middle school and high school, string instruction is daily for around 48 minutes. In addition, at the intermediate and high school levels, the students stay before and after school to practice through a combination of targeted sectionals and supervised open practice. Around 20% of our students are enrolled in a private lesson program. Currently there are 126 string students in our clusters’ 5th grade program, 365 in our middle school programs, and 185 in our high school program. Klein Oak High School is located in the northern part of the district in a small residential suburban community. It is approximately 45 minutes from downtown Houston. Klein Oak High School is comprised of grades 9-12 with an enrollment of approximately 3900 students.



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Congratulations!

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