Saturday, February 25, 2017

COMPOSER WINNERS: choral division

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners,  runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2016, in the chorus category, all divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Composition—Choral (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Lansing D McLoskey    Miami FL
    […]Qumran Psa[lms…]
Lansing D McLoskey
Lansing McLoskey has been described as "a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear" by the American Composers Orchestra, "an engaging, gifted composer writing smart, compelling and fascinating music" by Gramophone Magazine, and "a distinctive voice in American music.” His music has been performed in sixteen countries on six continents, and has won more than two-dozen national and international awards, including two from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his many commissions are those from the Fromm Foundation, N.E.A., Meet The Composer, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the International Joint Wind Quintet Project. Recent commissions include a Barlow Commission for a 60-minute oratorio for The Crossing; ensemberlino vocale (Berlin); the New Spectrum Foundation for violinist Miranda Cuckson;  Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion; TAWA Sax(Peru); Axiom Brass; the SilverDuo; and oboist ToniMarie Marchioni. McLoskey’s music is released on Albany Records, WergoSchallplatten, Capstone, Tantara, BeauportClassics,and published by Theodore Presser, ACA, Subito, Mostly Marimba,and Odhecaton-Z Music.  www.lansingmcloskey.com
 

2nd Place:
Jeffrey Bernstein    La Canada/Flintridge CA
    The Human Journey
Jeffrey Bernstein
Jeffrey Bernstein is a California-based composer, conductor, pianist and educator. He is founding director of the Pasadena Master Chorale and artistic director of the Los Angeles Daiku. Bernstein has led choirs on fourteen tours of four continents and traveled extensively as a guest conductor, directing choirs and orchestras in Europe, Japan and throughout this country. Recently premiered works include Dreams of Japan with the Tokushima Symphony, Fukushima Requiem with the Los Angeles Daiku Orchestra, and The Human Journey, commissioned and premiered by the L.A. Choral Lab. Bernstein has released three albums of original piano music, PianoJournals (2012) and Clear Mind Calm Water (2015), and The Desert House (2015). In 2015 he received honorable mention in the choral division of the American Prize for Composition. He holds music degrees from Harvard, Yale and UCLA and is a committed educator and advocate for young people.
 

3rd Place:
Edgar Girtain    Riverdale NJ
    Three Seasons
Edgar Girtain
Edgar Girtain is an emerging american composer who writes concert music for vocal, orchestral, and chamber mediums.  With musical roots in New Jersey, his music is frequently performed at universities and concert halls around the world.  He is currently a music theory teacher, he holds a BM and MA in Music Education and Composition, respectively.  Learn more at: www.edgarfgirtainiv.com


FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Adrienne Albert    Los Angeles CA
    MALALA
Adrienne Albert
Award-winning composer Adrienne Albert (ASCAP) has had her chamber, choral, vocal, orchestral and wind band works performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe, Thailand, South Africa, South America, and China.  Having worked with Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass and Gunther Schuller, Albert began composing in the 1990s.  Her music is supported by noteworthy arts organizations including the National Endowment of Arts, American Composers Forum, MTC/Rockefeller Foundation, ACF Subito Award, MPE Fraternity, ACME, and  ASCAP.  Recent commissions include works for the Cornell University Chorus, Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation, Palisades Virtuosi, Zinkali Trio, Pennsylvania Academy of Music, Chamber Music Palisades, and Pacific Serenades.  A UCLA graduate,  Albert studied composition with Leonard Stein, Stephen Mosko, and orchestration with Albert Harris. Her music is on MSR, Naxos, Navona, Centaur, Little Piper, and ABC Records and published by Kenter Canyon Music (ASCAP). Website: www.adriennealbert.com
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Jenni Brandon    Long Beach CA
    We are Joy
Jenni Brandon
Jenni Brandon (b. 1977) is an award-winning composer.  Many ensembles perform her commissioned music both nationally and internationally.  She enjoys engaging with performers and audiences, often giving talks about the business of music and the art of collaboration.  As a conductor, she has led both church and community choirs and she makes guest appearances to conduct her works.  She is also active as a mezzo-soprano.

Recordings of her works appear on the Delos, Albany, Centaur, MSR Classics, and Longhorn labels.  Her CD, Songs of California: Music for Winds and Piano, was nominated for the 10th Independent Music Awards.  Jenni is the recipient of numerous other awards including the Sorel Medallion, the American Prize for Choral Composition, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Composition Competition, and the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition.  She is published by Boosey & Hawkes, Imagine, Graphite, TrevCo, and Jenni Brandon Music.   Visit jennibrandon.com.
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Robert Denham   La Mirada CA
   Under the Shadow
 Robert Denham
Robert Denham’s music includes works of every genre and has been performed to great acclaim across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.  He has worked closely with Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony, who recently gave two world premiere performances with the Biola Conservatory Chorale of his 65-minute oratorio, Under the Shadow; these concerts were made possible through generous gifts from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson (Fieldstead and Company) and Biola University.  The composer recently traveled with Tyler Thompson and Emily Helvey on a premiere tour (5 performances) of his 60-minute song cycle, Sutter Creek: 21 Songs for Tenor and Piano.  Other champions of Denham’s music include Timothy Lees (Concertmaster, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Ilan Morgenstern (Bass Trombone, San Antonio S.O. and Houston Grand Opera), Charles Koontz (Tuba, Burbank Philharmonic, Brass Pacifica), Rodney Winther (Conductor, CCM Wind Symphony and Chamber Players), Elizabeth Larson (Credo Trio), and Susan Ali (Mezzo-soprano).
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Joshua Fishbein    Rockville MD
    Psalms, Songs, and Blues
Joshua Fishbein
A singer and pianist, Dr. Joshua Fishbein composes vocal and instrumental music. He has previously won awards from The American Prize (student division), the American Choral Directors Association, BMI, the Cantate Chamber Singers, Chorus Austin, the Delaware Valley Chorale, The Esoterics, the Guild of Temple Musicians, the National Lutheran Choir, and others. Dr. Fishbein has served on the music faculties of The College of New Jersey, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA and Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, with additional graduate studies at the University of Maryland. Fishbein earned undergraduate degrees in music and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His composition teachers include Roger Bourland, Paul Chihara, David Conte, Richard Danielpour, Nancy Galbraith, Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz, and Lawrence Moss. Fishbein is published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company, Transcontinental Music Publications, and Yelton Rhodes Music.
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick    Newton MA
    Missa gentis humanae
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, born in Pfaffenhofen-an-der-Ilm, Germany in 1969, holds degrees from the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of Texas at Austin and the New England Conservatory of Music.
            His music travels far afield by drawing inspiration from and engaging with literary, visual and musical landscapes both in time and place. Performed throughout the United States and Europe and broadcast on American National Public Radio, his works have received numerous accolades including awards and fellowships from the International Society of Contemporary Music, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, ASCAP and sponsorship from the German Consulate General Boston, the Boston and Munich Goethe Institutes and the German Embassy (Washington DC). His music is available through ECS Publishing, Brazinmusikanta Publications and New Music USA and released on Capstone Records and Musica Omnia.
            Ralf Yusuf Gawlick is an associate professor at Boston College. Composer website: http://www.ralfgawlick.com
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Gerald Gurss    Charlotte NC
    Glenda and Lauree—Certain Kinds of Love Never Die
Gerald Gurss
Gerald Gurss currently serves as the artistic director for One Voice Chorus (Charlotte, NC). Mr. Gurss earned a bachelor's of music from Emporia State University and a Master's of Music from Miami University, where he served as the assistant director of the MU Men’s Glee Club. Additionally, Gerald prepared the chorus for the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition to his academic achievements, he is a conductor, teacher and composer. After academia, Gerald led a successful teaching career, where he taught grades 4-12 choral music for the Leavenworth Catholic Schools. Studies abroad have taken him to Germany, Austria, India and Italy. Recently, Gurss has focused his energy in choral conducting and composition. Choruses throughout the United States have performed his works, and two original compositions were featured at the international GALA choral festival in Denver, CO in 2012. His works have been commissioned by Sine Nomine (Denver, CO), The New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, Providence United Methodist Church (Charlotte, NC), 1st Baptist Church of Wadesboro (NC), and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte. In 2014 Gerald worked with homeless LGBT youth of from the Carolinas to produce a documentary called, HOME. With HOME, came the original work, “Jonathan’s Song,” based on the struggles of a specific youth. Gerald is a DMA candidate in choral conducting at the University of South Carolina, where he studies with Dr. Larry Wyatt. www.onevoicechorus.com
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Karen P Thomas    Seattle WA
    Caritas abundat; Lux Lucis
Karen P Thomas
Karen P. Thomas (karenpthomas.com), composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, NOTUS, and Cathedra. She was recently awarded the 2015 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America and the American Composers Forum.

She has received grants from the NEA, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. Her compositions have been awarded numerous prizes, and her commissions include the Grand Jubilee 2000 in Rome, American Guild of Organists, Goodwill Arts Festival, Association of Anglican Musicians (for the Washington National Cathedral chamber choir), among many others.

Ms. Thomas is an active conductor, with guest appearances in the US and Europe. She has produced ten critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. 


HONORABLE MENTION: 
David Horace Davies   Rowlett TX
    Ubi Caritas
David Horace Davies
David Horace Davies is Assistant Professor of Music at Texas A&M University-Commerce.  He received a DMA in composition from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he studied with Dennis Kam and holds additional degrees from the University of Miami and the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College.  Davies' music has been performed in the U.S. and internationally in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Great Hall at Cooper Union in NYC, the Culturo Jorge Borges in Buenos Aires, and the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico in San Juan.  Davies works have received awards from the College Music Society and the International Arts Movement, and in 2014 he was a Semi-Finalist for the American Prize for Choral Composition.  He is an active member in several professional organizations and serves as Vice President of the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers.  For more information see www.davidhoracedavies.com.



The American Prize in Composition—Choral (student division)

The American Prize winner:
Matthew Recio    Commack NY
    How to Survive Vesuvius; They Say Memories

Matthew Recio
Matthew Recio is currently pursuing his M.M in composition at Indiana University. He received his B.M. at Ithaca College where he was a three time Smedbeck Dean’s prizewinner. His work has recently been selected for performance at the Midwest Symposium, the UNK Festival, and the Hammer and Nail Dance Collaboration. He is the 2015 IMTA composer winner, the 2015 Quartet Noveau composer winner, and the grand prizewinner of the New Voices Opera 2017 commission. His work How to Survive Vesuvius was showcased at the 2016 ACDA convention as well as the winner of the 2016 NOTUS competition and the Cincinnati Camerata competition. He was selected as a finalist in Michael Kerschner's Young New Yorker's Choral composition competition. He has been selected as a composition fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival, IMANI Winds Festival, and the VIPA program in Spain. His principal teachers include Dana Wilson, Don Freund, Claude Baker and Sven-David Sandström. (matthewrecio.com)
 

2nd Place:
Yihan Chen    Planifield IN      Shui Guang Lian Yan
Yihan Chen
Chen Yihan was born in Changzhou, China. He is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award as well as the IU Jacobs School of Music Dean’s Prize. His “Solemn Rites - Daqu for Orchestra No. 1” was performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the National Opera House in Beijing, China in October, 2015. His work for SATB choir “Shui Guang Lian Yan” (Ripples Glisten Away...) was included in “Half Moon Rising”, an anthology of Chinese choral music published by Edition Peters, and was premiered by Cantoría Hong Kong in the Hong Kong City Hall in 2015.

Chen Yihan is currently pursuing bachelor’s degrees in music composition and piano performance at Jacobs School of Music, studying composition with Claude Baker and piano with Arnaldo Cohen. His principle composition teachers also include Sven-David Sandström, Don Freund, P.Q. Phan, and Aaron Travers.
  

3rd Place:
Peter Neil Dayton III    Terrace Park OH
    Light and Mystery

Peter Neil Dayton III
Composer Peter Dayton writes music that appeals to diverse listeners through its remarkable combination of energy and intimacy. Described by The Baltimore Sun as having “a refined sense of melodic arcs and harmonic motion,” Dayton’s compositions have been performed across the North America and in Europe. His orchestral pieces have been recorded by the Brno Philharmonic for the Ablaze label; selections of his choral music have been recorded by Minneapolis’s First Reading’s Choir

Dayton often turns visual art or poetry to spark artistic responses. The works of Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo have inspired a number of Dayton’s pieces. As a creator of choral works, he draws upon both modern and classic texts, and “expresses the essence of each text tellingly” (Baltimore Sun). Dayton is himself an active poet. He has written the libretto for his own one-act chamber opera about the poet Gertrude Stein’s first love affair. Website: peterdaytonmusic.com
 

FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION:
Lucas Marshall Smith    Champaign IL     Lux Aeterna
Lucas Marshall Smith
Lucas Marshall Smith (b.1989) is a composer of contemporary art music who hails from New London, Ohio.  He holds degrees from Bowling Green State University (B.M. 2012) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (M.M. 2014).  Active in both acoustic and electroacoustic composition, Smith has had his music performed at conferences and festivals all over the United States including the 30th and 31st Annual SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) National Conferences (2015-16), the 46th Annual Ball State Festival of New Music, and the 2016 RED NOTE New Music Festival.  Smith is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Illinois where he is working as the Operations Assistant in the Experimental Music Studios.  Some of Smith’s prominent composition teachers have included Burton Beerman, Carlos Carrillo, Christopher Dietz, Erin Gee, Marilyn Shrude, Stephen Taylor, Reynold Tharp, and electroacoustic studies with Elainie Lillios and Scott A. Wyatt.  For more information and musical examples please visits the composers website: http://lmsmth10.wix.com/lucasmarshallsmithcomposer
 

HONORABLE MENTION:
Mary Hanson-Murdock   Marana AZ
    Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me
Mary Hanson-Murdock
Mary Hansen-Murdock is a PhD student in Music Theory/Composition at the University of Arizona. Her music has been featured in  concerts of local artists, including the Tucson Interfaith Choir, with several performances funded by a grant awarded to Ms. Hansen-Murdock by the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC). She was most recently recognized at the 2016 UA Student Showcase as one of six recipients of the Willock Library Research Award, and the 2015 GPSC Grant Winner Expo where she received the People’s Choice Award. She has presented papers at the University of Arizona as well as the regional conference of the Society for Music Theory. In addition, Ms. Hansen is an active instructor in the Fred Fox School of Music. She has taught numerous courses at the UA, including Introduction to Music Theory, Music Fundamentals, Introduction to Music, and String Techniques. Ms. Hansen-Murdock resides in Marana, Arizona.
 

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Congratulations!

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