Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MUSIC THEATER & THEATER winners, 2016-17

 
The Ziegfeld star, Marilyn Miller
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners,  runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in MUSIC THEATER and THEATER Performance, 2016-17. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher 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 use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

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


The American Prize in MUSIC THEATER and THEATER Performance, 2016-17.
"Each in their own way very fine productions..."

The American Prize winner:
AZ State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
    Brian DeMaris
    Tempe AZ
Sondheim—Company
AZ State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Established in 1964, ASU's flagship Lyric Opera Theatre program is distinctive in that it combines training in both opera and musical theatre. Serving approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate opera and musical theatre majors from the School of Music, as well as students from the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, LOT is committed to preparing outstanding operatic and musical theatre performers for professional careers in the 21st Century.

LOT currently produces five fully staged and costumed opera and musical theatre productions each year in its own 450–seat Evelyn Smith Music Theater, all supported with full orchestras from ASU's nationally renowned instrumental ensemble program. It boasts a significant team of faculty directors, conductors, designers, voice teachers, coaches and support staff, along with regular guest artists and other faculty from the School of Music and the School of Film, Dance and Theatre. The program also features formal collaborations and professional performance and study/cover opportunities with Arizona Opera and the Phoenix Theatre.


2nd Place:
Belmont University
    Nancy Allen
    Nashville TN
Berlin, et al—White Christmas
Belmont University
Belmont University has been producing excellence in Musical Theatre for almost 20 years.  Located in the heart of Nashville, Belmont is a premier training ground for talented students who wish to experience a rigorous conservatory style education in a liberal arts atmosphere.  Belmont students graduate to become top tier talent in the theatre industry and are employed in Broadway shows, Off Broadway shows, in National Tours and in excellent equity theatre around the country. To learn more about this incredible university, please visit www.belmont.edu/music.


3rd Place:
Bob Jones University
    Darren P. Lawson
    Greenville SC
Shakespeare—Richard III
Bob Jones University
The Bob Jones University Classic Players was founded in 1929 as part of its commitment to liberal arts training for all of its students, who are provided free tickets to the productions.  It has grown into one of the outstanding college Shakespearean repertoire groups in the world. Membership is open to students who show the requisite ability in public tryouts. Faculty and staff also participate as cast members.  Major productions are presented each year, including such great plays as Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Richard III, and other plays covering the great majority of the Shakespearean repertoire. In addition to the Shakespearean plays, the Classic Players have also mounted other great classics including Cyrano de Bergerac, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations. http://www.bju.edu/events/fine-arts/concert-opera-drama/archive/
                         

FINALIST—CITATION: "Exceptional energy and wonderful special effects"

Top Billing Entertainment
    Kristina Keener Ivy
    Glendora CA
Baum, et al—The Wizard of Oz
Top Billing Entertainment
Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, "no cuts" group where each performer is treated with respect, given professional instruction, and given the opportunity for a featured solo. In January 2015, Top Billing opened a 4,000 square foot location in Glendora, CA where they now offer group and private classes in singing, dancing, acting, on-camera acting, fitness and instruments. In 2014 Top Billing won #1 Best Musical Theater Production and #2 Musical Theater Director in the American Prize Competition, Best Dance School in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's Readers Choice Awards, and has received 39 National Youth Arts Nominations with 10 wins. We are successful because we believe each performer is vital and should be treated as if they have top billing.


Kristina Keener Ivy
Kristina Keener Ivy is the Executive Director and founder of Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy. She has performed with various jazz bands, as a member of various church worship teams, on three film soundtracks, and in numerous musical theatre productions. In January 2015, Top Billing opened a 4,000 square foot location in Glendora, CA where they now offer group classes in singing, dancing, acting, on-camera acting, fitness and instruments. In 2014 Top Billing won Best Musical Theater Production and #2 Musical Theater Director in the American Prize National Competition, Best Dance School in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's Readers Choice Awards, and has received 23 National Youth Arts Nominations with six wins. She would like to thank Jesus for all the good gifts around us, her husband, David, for his unending love and patience, and her family, friends, and especially her students for their continued support.


FINALIST—CITATION: "Youthful Exuberance and Educational Excellence in Theater Performance"

Royal Oak Middle School
    Nicole Pedroche
    Covina CA
Brown, et al—13, The Musical
Royal Oak Middle School
Royal Oak Middle school, located in Covina, California, has an incredible history in Theater Art excellence and community. It should be noted that though ROMS is competing in the high school division, we are a public middle school theater troupe in the truest sense. The entire cast and technical crew is comprised of only 7th and 8th grade students. Students pay zero fees to participate, instead funding the program through fantastic ticket sales and small refreshment fundraisers. The program in fiercely loved by the community and has produced several successful actors, writers, film producers, theater educators and other industry types. Students are also expected to learn technical theater and handle costume pulls, scenic work, set changes, stage management, audio engineering, lighting, front of house business, and program writing. This is the fourth ROMS musical for the new program director, Nicole Pedroche. romsdrama.weebly.com




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Congratulations!


 

Monday, March 27, 2017

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: chorus: professional, community, school divisions

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—chorus—in the professional, community and school divisions, 2016-17. Congratulations! (Results in the COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY division have been delayed and will be announced as soon as they are available.)

All applicants finalist or higher 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 use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  professional division:

The American Prize winner:
Jeremiah Selvey 
    Chorosynthesis Singers
    Seattle WA
Jeremiah Selvey
DR. JEREMIAH SELVEY currently serves as Visiting Director of Choral Activities of Connecticut College and Co-Artistic Director of Chorosynthesis Singers, a professional, project-based chamber ensemble in Seattle. He has performed throughout North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe and regularly teaches voice master classes and clinics choirs of all levels. Jeremiah’s compositions have been performed on four continents, and his research on choral expressivity has been presented in Asia, Europe, and throughout the North America. He is most recently published by The Choral Scholar and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. A Southern California resident, Jeremiah has taught applied voice majors, group voice class, conducting, choral methods, theory, music history, aural skills, and diction. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Washington and Emory University. www.jeremiahselvey.com


2nd Place:
Brian A. Schmidt
    South Dakota Chorale  
    Sioux Falls SD
Brian A. Schmidt
Brian Schmidt is a choral conductor at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he serves as conductor of the Duke Vespers Ensemble and Duke Divinity School Choir, and conductor of the Duke Chapel Bach Cantata Series. With the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Schmidt leads the highly-auditioned chamber choir in a weekly candlelit Choral Vespers service, as well as concerts and recording projects specializing in early music. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional choral organization in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His leadership has guided them to rapid growth as well as the release of two commercial albums and the signing of an international recording contract with Pentatone, a Dutch classical music label.


3rd Place:
Wendy K. Moy
    Chorosynthesis Singers
    Seatlle WA
Wendy K. Moy
Wendy K. Moy is the Co-Artistic Director of Chorosynthesis Singers and the Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Connecticut College. She is frequently sought as a guest conductor and clinician for orchestral and choral ensembles at all levels. Dr. Moy continues to perform as a soprano soloist and is currently singing in the professional ensemble CONCORA. Dr. Moy has presented at national conferences on her research on the culture of singing communities and the factors that contribute to successful choral organizations. She serves on the Connecticut American Choral Directors Association Board and is the Co-Founder/President of Chorosynthesis, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the culture of American choral music through collaboration, sustainability, innovation, and excellence. Dr. Moy holds a BA in Music Education from Seattle Pacific University, a MME from Westminster Choir College, and a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. www.wendymoy.com



The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  community division:

The American Prize winner:
David Fryling   
    eVoco Mixed Ensemble & Women's Ensemble
    Lynbrook NY
David Fryling
Dr. David Fryling (www.davidfryling.org) is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Hofstra University, where he conducts the select Chorale and Chamber Choir, teaches beginning through graduate-level studies in Choral Conducting and Literature, and supervises choral student teachers during their field placements. Recent professional engagements include various all-state and regional honor choirs, master classes, workshops, and adjudications in over a dozen states. From 2007 to 2013 he served as conductor of the World Youth Honors Choir and Festival Choir at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and since 2014 has been a guest conducting artist at the NYSSSA Choral program. He is the founding conductor and artistic director of eVoco Voice Collective, serves as president of the Eastern Division of ACDA, and was inducted in the fall of 2014 into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame as “Educator of Note.”  


2nd Place:
Douglas Buchanan
    Canticum Novum Chamber Chorus
    Baltimore MD
Douglas Buchanan
Douglas Buchanan (b. 1984) has been lauded for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and for creating music “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun). An active conductor, composer, and educator noted for his “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material” (The Scotsman), Buchanan teaches at the Peabody Conservatory and Dickinson College. As pianist and organist he has performed concerts throughout the country, including at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art and the National Cathedral. In addition to serving as director of the Maryland Choral Society and Organist and Choirmaster at St. David’s, Baltimore, he enjoys interspecies microtonal improvisation with his black lab, Grover. You are invited to visit www.dbconductor.com to learn more.  


3rd Place:
Reginald M. Houze
    The Weddington UMC/First BC Worcester Choirs
    Charlotte NC
Reginald M. Houze
Dr. Reginald M. Houze has experience and education conducting ensembles of all types. Previously, Houze was conductor of The Wind Ensemble at Tarleton State University in Texas and served on the conducting faculties at Clemson University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Anna Maria College. He has taught both instrumental and vocal music in the schools of Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi. Dr. Houze holds music degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and New York University. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of South Carolina. He has done additional conducting study at the Eastman School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Hartt School of Music. Houze made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall with The Overton Wind Ensemble featuring Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Currently, he is Director of Music and Arts at Weddington United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.



The American Prize in Conducting—chorus, 2016-17,  school division:

The American Prize winner: 
Philip Brown
    Hopkins High School Concert Choir
    Minnetonka MN
Philip Brown
Philip Brown is the director of choral activities at Hopkins High School and conductor of the Cantanti Singers with Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs. He graduated summa cum laude from Bethany College (KS) and received his M.M. degree from Northern Arizona University. He has taught at the high school level in Colorado and Minnesota, coaching tennis and directing musicals in addition. Philip’s choral groups have performed with many college and professional choirs at festivals or special concert events. His choirs have received top awards at FAME Festivals, Heritage Festivals, and Festival Disney. His teaching has been recognized with awards given by ACDA-MN, Choral Director Magazine, and his alma maters. Philip is an active clinician and professionally affiliated with ACDA and NAfME.  


2nd Place:
Amy Johnston Blosser 
    Bexley Vocal Ensemble
    Bexley OH
Amy Johnston Blosser
Amy Johnston Blosser is the National Chair for Repertoire and Resources for ACDA.  As National Chair, Blosser has been active in planning National Conferences in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Salt Lake City.  Prior to this position she served as the National R&R Chair for Senior High School choirs. In her thirteenth year as Director at Bexley High School, Blosser conducts six choirs in grades 7-12. Under her direction, the Bexley High School Vocal Ensemble has performed at state conferences of OMEA and ACDA and for Central Division conferences in 2012 and 2016. Ms. Blosser was named Educator of the Year for Bexley City Schools in 2011. She was selected to serve as one of 14 Conducting Fellows for the International Conductors Exchange Program to Sweden in 2015. Amy Blosser is the Artistic Director of the Bexley Choral Society and the Director of Music at Bexley UMC.     


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Tatiana Kats
    Columbus International Children's Choir
    Columbus OH
Tatiana Kats
Tatiana Kats earned her Master degrees in choral conducting and piano pedagogy from the Ohio State University where she studied with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt and Mr. James Gallagher. Mrs. Kats is the founder of Columbus Music and Art Academy, Columbus International Children’s Choir (CICC) and Central Ohio Singing Competition.  Since 2003, she has been serving as the Executive Director of the academy, Artistic Director of the choir, and Conductor of CICC’s top choirs. Mrs. Kats also holds a very successful piano studio. Her advanced students have been winners in many Ohio piano competitions. She was recognized by the National Music Certificate Program as "Founding Teacher ... instrumental in establishing a national standard for developing musicians in the United States of America".  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Patrick Ryan
    Great Falls High School Delphian Choir
    Great Falls MT
Patrick Ryan
Patrick Ryan is the lead choral director at Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana.  Patrick is currently President of the American Choral Directors Association Northwest Division.  In 2012 he directed the inaugural Korean International Music Education Association National Honor Choir in Seoul, South Korea.  His choirs have commissioned and premiered works by John Muehleisen and Timothy Takach, and have performed on two NAfME Northwest Conferences.


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Congratulations!


 

Monday, March 20, 2017

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: opera/music theater, 2016-17

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Conducting—opera/music theater divisions, 2016-17. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher 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 use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—opera/music theater, 2016-17,  professional division:

The American Prize winner:
Ryan Murray
    Fresno Grand Opera
    Fresno CA
    A Streetcar Named Desire (Previn)
Ryan Murray
The newly appointed Artistic Director of Townsend Opera, Ryan Murray’s dynamic conducting, engaging persona and deeply held passion for the arts have allowed him to steadily build a robust career since his professional debut at the age of just 22. Ryan is a past winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors and previously studied at the Eastman School of Music's Summer Conducting Institute featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; he has attended the Aurora Conducting Seminar with Kurt Masur, as well as the Lucerne Festival Academy Conducting Masterclass. Ryan is currently the Associate Conductor for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Music Director for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra and Resident Conductor of the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival. As part of a unique artistic partnership, Ryan has served as the Music Director of Fresno Grand Opera's main stage productions of contemporary American operatic works for the past two seasons. Ryan also previously served as a conductor for BASOTI, and the Opera Academy of California. Visit www.ryanjmurray.com for news and upcoming engagements.


2nd Place:
Walter Morales
    Pittsburgh Festival Opera
    Pittsburgh PA
    Figaro (redux)
Walter Morales
Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of Undercroft Opera, Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, Head of Music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Assistant Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He has been a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, University of Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra, University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne University Opera & Orchestra, Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra and Rutgers Chamber Orchestra.  He has also served as cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. For more information please visit: www.waltermoralesmusic.com 


3rd Place:
Warren Puffer Jones
    Arbor Opera Theater
    Ann Arbor MI
    La Traviata
Warren Puffer Jones
Warren Puffer Jones is in his tenth year as Music Director of Arbor Opera Theater. For his performance of The Sound of Music with Arbor Opera Theater he received the 2014 Wilde Award for best Music Director in the state of Michigan. In 2012 he was the winner of the 4x4 Prize, a national competition for conducting new music.

Mr. Jones is also the Music Director of TACTUS, a professional chamber orchestra and vocal ensemble in Oklahoma City. He has led TACTUS in groundbreaking performances that re-envision the concert experience, pairing thousand-year-old music with brand new compositions. Mr. Jones did his undergraduate work at Yale University and received a Master's degree in choral conducting from Indiana University, with further study at the Conductor's Institute at Bard. He received a DMA in conducting from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler. www.warrenpufferjones.com


The American Prize in Conducting—opera/music theater, 2016-17,  college/university division:

The American Prize winner:
Joshua Horsch
    University of Colorado-Boulder
    Eklund Opera Program
    Boulder CO
    The Tender Land
Joshua Horsch
Joshua Horsch is a conductor, coach, and pianist equally comfortable in opera, orchestra, and recital settings.  Joshua’s upcoming engagements include work with Tri-Cities Opera, North Carolina Opera, and Opera Columbus.  During the 2016-2017 season at Pensacola Opera, Joshua served as Music Director/Conductor for Glory Denied, Assistant Conductor for Aida and Dead Man Walking, and Music Director/Coach/Pianist for the Artist in Residence program.  Joshua’s recent positions include Assistant Conductor/Pianist/Vocal Coach for Opera Saratoga’s 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons, Assistant Conductor/Rehearsal Pianist for Fort Worth Opera, and Assistant/Cover Conductor for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.  Additionally, Joshua has served as Music Director/Conductor for Copland’s The Tender Land at the University of Colorado Boulder, Music Director/Conductor of the University of Colorado Boulder Campus Orchestra, Conductor/Pianist for the CU New Opera Workshop, Conductor for the Colorado New Music Ensemble, Assistant Chorus Master for the Colorado Music Festival, Conductor/Pianist for the Newport Music Festival, and Staff Conductor for the Boston Opera Collaborative. Joshua’s guest and workshop conducting includes work with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Lyatoshinsky Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Filharmonica de Chihuahua, Boulder Bach Festival, PENDULUM New Music Ensemble, Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra.  Joshua holds degrees in conducting and piano from the University of Colorado Boulder, Penn State University, and Ithaca College. 


2nd Place:
Michael W. Moore
    Bob Jones University
    Greenville SC
    La Cenerentola
Michael W. Moore
Conductor Michael W. Moore is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra in Greenville, SC. Under his baton, the BJUSO received Honorable Mention in the 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance--college/university division. In his recent opera conducting debut (Rossini’s La Cenerentola), Moore garnered praise for his “tight performance,” “clear and spirited” reading, and “polished sound” (Greenville News, 3/10/16). Steven White (assistant conductor, Metropolitan Opera) noted “from beginning to end [Moore showed] a genuine comfort level with the style and demands of the music... a result of obvious preparation along with natural instinct… Always clear, always expressive… He breathed and moved with [the singers], leading and following at the same time with the kind of coordination that is the sine qua non of good opera conducting.” Moore holds degrees in music education and instrumental conducting and studied with William Moody (USC-Columbia).


3rd Place:
Chad Hutchinson
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis MN
    Susannah
Chad Hutchinson
Chad Hutchinson is the Assistant Conductor of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra.  He is conducting 5 concerts for the SDSO this season including two Pops Concerts, Link Up, a new partnership with the Sioux Falls Public Schools, and will lead three youth symphonies in the SDSYO program.

Away from the symphony, Mr. Hutchinson is a James Sample Fellow and DMA candidate in orchestral conducting at the University of Minnesota.  A student of Mark Russell Smith, he conducts three campus orchestras and assists with the University Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theater programs.  Prior to his time in Minnesota, he served as director of Northwestern College's(IA) Chamber Orchestra and Women's Choir, was the Coordinator/Music Director for the Siouxland Youth Orchestras and taught in the public schools for nine years.   Hutchinson resides in Sioux Falls with his wife Karen and their two daughters.  


The American Prize in Conducting—opera/music theater, 2016-17,  community division:

The American Prize winner:
Dale Kruse
    Project Opera
    Minneapolis MN
    Memory Boy (Reynaldo Moya)
Dale Kruse
Dale Kruse resides in Hopkins, MN and holds degrees from Luther College (B.A.), Drake University (M.M.) and the University of Minnesota (D.M.A.). Prior to joining the voice faculty at St. Olaf College, he conducted the Augsburg College Cedar Singers Men's Choir, taught choral music at Armstrong High School and Wayzata High School and served on the voice faculty of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Since 2004, he has been the Music Director for the Minnesota Opera: Project Opera education program, Summer Camp and Children's Chorus Master.  He is currently serving as Past-President/Membership Chair of the Minnesota NATS Chapter.  With students, he has travelled twice to England, Scotland (American High School Theatre Festival) and Wales with Music Theater and Opera productions.


2nd Place:
Ezra Donner
    University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society
    Ann Arbor MI
    H.M.S. Pinafore
Ezra Donner
Ezra Donner is an American composer, conductor, pianist, and educator. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he holds a Doctor of Music Degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music Degree with High Honors from the University of Michigan. He has served as Music Director with the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society since 2015. EzraDonner.com 


3rd Place:
Eric Peterson
    Savoynet Performing Group
    Harrogate UK
    The Pirates of Penzance
Eric Peterson
Eric Peterson is a theater conductor based in New York City, music-directing musicals and operettas with the Blue Hill Troupe in Manhattan, Troupers Light Opera in Connecticut and the Savoynet Performing Group at the annual International Gilbert & Sullivan festival in England. He is a graduate of William & Mary and Peabody Conservatory, where he studied horn. For many years, he was a band director for LGBT community bands: his final concert with NYC's Big Apple Corps was declared “Maestro Eric Peterson Day” in the borough of Manhattan. He was a 2013 American Prize opera conducting finalist, and received a special judge's citation for excellence in conducting Gilbert & Sullivan. He is currently the concerts and choral music director with the Blue Hill Troupe.



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Congratulations!


 

Friday, March 17, 2017

WINNERS: The American Prize in Arts Marketing, 2016-17

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runner-up of  The American Prize in Arts Marketing, 2016-17.  Congratulations!

The American Prize in Arts Marketing recognizes and rewards the best marketing campaigns by performing arts organizations in America, based on submitted applications from professional or community groups. The contest seeks evidence of campaigns that combine inspiration and creativity with demonstrable success, regardless of the budget available.

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 Arts Marketing, 2016-17.
The American Prize winner:
The Endicott Repertory Dance Ensemble
    Cynthia Roberts, Nikki Sao Pedro Welch
    Beverly MA
for ARMATIONS 

CYNTHIA ROBERTS is a visual artist born and raised in New York, currently living and working north of Boston and in Detroit. Her work is grounded in a studio practice of painting and drawing and includes extended painting in the form of animation, video, and live painting collaborations with dance companies and musicians. In 2012, Roberts was a laureate of the Regards Croisés//Criss Cross: NY//Le Havre residency and production grant, with support of the French Institute, the City of Le Havre, and Triangle Arts Association in New York. She was an artist in residence in the city of Le Havre, France for the fall of 2012. Roberts obtained a B.A. at Brown University in Providence, RI and an M.F.A. in Painting at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY; she is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Endicott College. Her work can be found online at: www.cynthiaroberts.us and http://cynthiaroberts.virb.com


NIKKI SAO PEDRO-WELCH obtained an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, a M.ED in Arts and Learning from Endicott College, and a BA degree in Dance from Point Park University. She is the Coordinator of Dance, head coach of the Endicott Dance Team, and professor of multiple courses in the dance program at Endicott College. She has choreographed over seven original productions for Endicott including the most recent, Armations: Activating Adaptation, “a movement, visual, and sonic superworld”(2015). Her professional work has been shown at NACHMO of Boston, Dumbo Dance in NYC in 2015, outside in Salem MA, and Dance in the Fells (Medford, MA). Nikki has taught and choreographed work for the American College Dance Association, and has been a professional dancer Danny Swain Dance Company, The Boston Celtics Dance Team, Peter DiMuro/Public Display of Motion, Quicksilver Dance, and Monkeyhouse. Dancing for these companies, Nikki has performed in many festivals including Montreal Fringe (Canada), Dumbo Dance (Brooklyn NY), NACHMO (Boston, MA) and Cool New York (Brooklyn, NY) among many professional dance venues. Her professional website is: www.bodyforceunderground.com



2nd Place:
Tallahassee Community Chorus
   Jan Smith, Gabriela Mendizabal, and Lara Larsson 
   Tallahassee FL 
for Season Promotion

The Tallahassee Community Chorus is the only mixed ensemble of its size (200+ voices) and quality in the North Florida “Big Bend” region that does not require its singers to audition.  Established in 1988, the Chorus’ unique structure encompasses singers of all ages, ethnic groups and levels of musical ability, from teens to octogenarians.  Singers and the community are provided the opportunity to learn and experience choral music in all genres under the baton of world-renowned choral conductor and teacher Dr. André J. Thomas.  The Chorus performs three concerts per season, generally with full orchestra.  Two concerts feature choral masterworks of great composers, classical to modern, while the third is the “Unity” concert, which, through song, celebrates the great diversity of our community or focuses on an issue that unites the community.  In addition, the Chorus features a different local nonprofit organization at each concert.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Distinguished Concerts International New York
    Iris Derke, Andrea Macy & Staff
    New York NY
for Calling All Dawns
Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) is the leading producer of dynamically charged musical excellence. With its unforgettable concert experiences in renowned venues, empowering educational programs, and its global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of performance.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
    Eric Skelly
    Houston TX
for Tenth Anniversary Season

The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) is a forty-piece professional chamber orchestra that was founded in 2005 by Alecia Lawyer. A Juilliard-trained musician with an eclectic background as a performer, recording artist, adjunct professor and radio host, Ms. Lawyer had a vision to reimagine the orchestral experience for both audience and musicians. The result is ROCO: an orchestra of all-star musicians, distinguished conductors and contemporary composers who come together from all over the world to present unexpected classics, original compositions and delightful performances that dissolve the barriers between audience and orchestra. www.roco.org


A public relations internship at The San Antonio Festival in the mid-80s first brought Eric Skelly to Texas from his native Cincinnati, Ohio. While in San Antonio he made connections with Houston Grand Opera, and he joined the company in 1986 as a public relations assistant. He stayed at HGO for 8 ½ years, the last 2 ½ as public relations director. During his time at HGO, Eric programmed, produced and hosted opera programming for commercial classical station KRTS. Eric Skelly directed public relations and provided creative marketing services for The Cleveland Orchestra and Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts before joining Houston Public Radio -- now Houston Public Media -- in early 1999 as an underwriting account executive specializing in non-profits. Since then, he’s written feature articles for Houston Grand Opera’s Opera Cues magazine and Houston Public Media’s website, as well as Playbill and Time Out New York.




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Congratulations!



Monday, March 13, 2017

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: band/wind ensemble, 2016-17

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Conducting—band/wind ensemble divisions, 2016-17. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher 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 use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—band/wind ensemble, 2016-17,  college/university division:

The American Prize winner:
Andrew Pease  
    Arizona State Univ. Wind Bands           
    Tempe AZ
Andrew Pease
Andrew D. Pease began his career helping to put bands back on the map in New York City, where he led the Columbia University Wind Ensemble and the community band Columbia Summer Winds.  He has degrees from Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Hofstra University, and a DMA in wind conducting at Arizona State University, where his teachers included Gary Hill, Wayne Bailey, Timothy Russell, and William Reber.  While at ASU, he conducted all levels of instrumental ensembles and led composer clinics with John Mackey and Michael Markowski. Also in Phoenix, he founded the professional Sun Valley Chamber Winds.  Dr. Pease is the newly-appointed Director of Bands at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.  Dr. Pease runs two websites dedicated to the music of the wind band.  Wind Band Literature attracts a global audience. The Wind Band Symphony Archive is a living record of wind band symphonies.  


2nd Place:
Chee Weng Yim  
    Frost Wind Ensemble                   
    Coral Gables FL
Chee Weng Yim
Chee Weng Yim is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is a student of Robert M. Carnochan.  A native of Singapore, Chee Weng earned the Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting degree from the Georgia State University, under the instruction from Robert J. Ambrose.
Chee Weng has worked with prominent conductors both at home and in the United States. Professionally, Chee Weng has been invited to conduct in Taiwan, Osaka, Japan, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and local bands in Singapore.  He pioneered the SALON concert series (currently in its fifth installment), which performed chamber music for winds, at the Georgia State University.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Cormac Cannon
    University of SC Symphonic Winds               
    Columbia SC
Cormac Cannon
Cormac Cannon is Associate Professor of Music and Associate Director of Bands at the University of South Carolina, where he conducts the Symphonic Winds, teaches conducting, and guides all aspects of the athletic band program. Previously, Cannon served for six years on the music faculty at Michigan State University. Cannon earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at the University of Texas at Austin, the Master of Music degree in wind conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance and music education from the University of Iowa. From 2001-2005 Cannon served as director of bands at Williamsburg High School in Williamsburg, Iowa, and from 2006-2007 was music director and conductor of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble. His primary conducting teachers include Jerry Junkin, Rodney Winther, and Kevin Sedatole.  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Kevin Michael Holzman  
    The Eastman Wind Ensemble & Wind Orchestra     
    Rochester NY
Kevin Michael Holzman
Kevin Michael Holzman recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree coursework in conducting at the Eastman School of Music studying with Dr. Mark Scatterday, director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. As the Frederick Fennell Conducting Fellow and 2016 recipient of the Walter Hagen Prize for Excellence in Conducting, he serves as Associate Conductor of the world-renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman Wind Orchestra. Kevin is the first wind conducting student at Eastman to be invited to conduct rehearsals for the Eastman Philharmonia, as well as the first to serve as cover conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he has on multiple occasions conducted OSSIA New Music, the Graduate Chamber Orchestra, and the Graduate Composer’s Sinfonietta, including multiple world premieres. Kevin was recently invited to serve as the associate conductor of an upcoming tour to Europe with the Eastman Harmonie. He recently collaborated with prominent composers David Maslanka and Bert Appermont for the “Celebration of the Symphony” concert with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, which included the North American premiere of Appermont’s Symphony No. 2.  


FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION:
Jaclyn Hartenberger  
    Hodgson Wind Symphony  (UGA)    
    Athens GA
Jaclyn Hartenberger
Jaclyn Hartenberger serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Georgia. In addition to serving as the conductor for the Wind Symphony, she teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Dr. Hartenberger received a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin, under the tutelage of Jerry F. Junkin. Prior to her graduate degree work she served as a middle school and high school band director in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for distinguished music programs. Dr. Hartenberger received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas, where she performed and recorded with the prestigious UNT Wind Symphony. Dr. Hartenberger has served as a visiting conductor in concert with the West Point Band in New York; the University of Missouri Wind Ensemble in St. Louis, Missouri; and most recently traveled to Brazil serving as visiting professor and wind band conductor for the Festival International de Inverno da USFM.   


FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION:
Shawn Smith  
    UNC Charlotte Wind Ensemble           
    Charlotte NC
Shawn Smith
Dr. Shawn Smith is Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In high demand as a band and orchestra conductor, Smith has been invited to conduct throughout the United States and internationally.

Smith has conducted professional ensembles including the Corpus Christi Symphony, and members of the Charlotte Symphony and conducts regularly throughout Brazil including guest conducting engagements with one of the finest professional bands in South America, the State Symphonic Band of São Paulo. Equally at home with opera and musical theater productions, Smith has conducted pit orchestras for the Marriage of Figaro and Les Misérables.  His performances have been heard numerous times on American Public Media’s "Performance Today," the most popular classical music radio program in the United States. 

Smith has presented clinics and speeches at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and at conferences in the United States, Europe and South America.  


FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION:
Mark Tse       
    U.of Washington Concert Band      
    Seattle WA
Mark Tse
Mark Tse is pursuing his doctoral studies in conducting with Timothy Salzman at the University of Washington in Seattle where he regularly conducts the UW Concert Band and is an assistant conductor to the UW Wind Ensemble. He recently won 2nd place with the American Prize competition in the area of college/university wind band with footage from his masters program.

Tse completed his masters in conducting with Charles Peltz at the New England Conservatory. While there, he has premiered new works and conducted with NEC’s Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds.

Tse has been invited to participate as a conducting fellow with scholarship at many symposiums including the Wintergreen Conductors' Summit, the Bard Conductors' Institute, and the Hartt Instrumental Conducting Clinic.

In addition to wind ensembles, Tse also conducts orchestras, musical pit bands and jazz ensembles. 


HONORABLE MENTION:
Brett A. Richardson
    University of the Incarnate Word Wind Ensemble
     San Antonio TX
Brett A. Richardson

Dr. Brett A. Richardson serves as the Coordinator of Music Education/Director of Bands, Instrumental Area Coordinator, and an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of the Incarnate Word where he teaches courses within the music education curriculum, conducts the Wind Ensemble, directs the Marching Cardinals, and administers all facets of the UIW Band program. In the 2015-16 school year, he will begin serving as a representative in the Faculty Senate for the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Richardson holds the Doctor of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the world-renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he was a student of Prof. Stephen W. Pratt. He also holds a Master of Music with emphasis in Wind Conducting from Texas A&M University-Commerce under Dr. Bradley N. Kent and a Bachelor of Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University with Texas State Board of Education Certification in Secondary Music under Prof. Fred J. Allen. Prior to his appointment at UIW, Dr. Richardson proudly served as an Associate Instructor with the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Department of Bands/Wind Conducting and as the Resident Conductor for the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble, a community wind band based in Bloomington, Indiana. Previously, he served as the Assistant Director of Bands and Instructor of Music at his alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. 




The American Prize in Conducting—band/wind ensemble, 2016-17, community/school division:
  
The American Prize winner:
Brian Hughes       
    Quad City Wind Ensemble          
    Davenport IA
Brian Hughes
The winner of the 2015 American Prize in Band Conducting and lauded by Iowa Public Radio as a “major figure in Iowa arts,” Brian Hughes is an active conductor at home and abroad.  Since his 1993 European debut with the Northern Iowa Chamber Winds in Eger, Hungary, he has conducted concerts in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Russia.  In 1995, he founded the Tri-State Wind Symphony (Dubuque) and has led it through twenty-one seasons of substantive growth. Brian is also the Music Director of the Quad City Wind Ensemble (Davenport).

He holds degrees in music education and conducting from Olivet College (MI), the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brian lives in Dubuque with his precocious teenage daughter, Caitlyn. When not on the podium, Hughes can be found in various coffee shops or in his own kitchen—glass in hand--with his favorite utensil: his wok.  


2nd Place:
Michael Knight   
    St. Norbert Community Band          
    De Pere WI
Michael Knight
Michael Knight joined the St. Norbert College music faculty during the fall of 2010.  In addition to serving as conductor of the St. Norbert Community Band, his duties include conducting the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and teaching courses in conducting and instrumental music education.  Dr. Knight previously held the position of Associate Director of Bands at the University of Missouri, where his responsibilities included directing the 290-member Marching Mizzou, conducting the Symphonic Band, and teaching courses in conducting and marching band techniques. He also served as conductor of the Southeast Iowa Concert Band based at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, IA. Prior to his collegiate teaching career, Dr. Knight taught public school music in Missouri.  


3rd Place:
Mark Tse       U. of Washington Wind Ensemble           
    Seattle WA
Mark Tse
Mark Tse is pursuing his doctoral studies in conducting with Timothy Salzman at the University of Washington in Seattle where he regularly conducts the UW Concert Band and is an assistant conductor to the UW Wind Ensemble. He recently won 2nd place with the American Prize competition in the area of college/university wind band with footage from his masters program.

Tse completed his masters in conducting with Charles Peltz at the New England Conservatory. While there, he has premiered new works and conducted with NEC’s Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds.

Tse has been invited to participate as a conducting fellow with scholarship at many symposiums including the Wintergreen Conductors' Summit, the Bard Conductors' Institute, and the Hartt Instrumental Conducting Clinic.

In addition to wind ensembles, Tse also conducts orchestras, musical pit bands and jazz ensembles.

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Congratulations!