Saturday, March 11, 2017

BAND/WIND ENSEMBLE WINNERS: 2016-17

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble 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 Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2016, college/university division:

The American Prize winner:
Illinois Wesleyan University Wind Ensemble
    Lev Ivanov    Bloomington IL
Illinois Wesleyan University Wind Ensemble
Founded in 1979, the Wind Ensemble is comprised of the top wind and percussion students at the university and performs the finest wind band literature. The ensemble has worked with and sponsored commissions from Pulitzer Prize winning composers such as William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Karel Husa, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Schelle, and Joseph Schwantner. In addition, the Ensemble has also had the opportunity to work with the renowned Dutch composer Louis Andreissen. The IWU Wind Ensemble annual Solo Competition allows student winners to perform as a soloist with the Ensemble. The Ensemble performs several concerts throughout the year and tours regularly. The group has appeared at the College Band Directors National Association Conference, and the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference.


2nd Place:
Hodgson Wind Symphony—UGA
    Jaclyn Hartenberger    Athens GA
Hodgson Wind Symphony—UGA
As one of the University of Georgia's large wind bands, the Wind Symphony has performed extensively throughout the Southeast, including concerts at regional conferences of the College Band Directors National Association and the annual Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conferences. The Wind Symphony meets year-round, performing the finest standard and new repertoire for wind band at several concerts each season in the UGA Performing Arts Center. The Wind Symphony regularly features outstanding guest artists and performs collaborative concerts with Georgia High School Bands. Membership is determined by blind audition and includes undergraduate music majors, music minors, and gifted non-majors who are preparing for careers in performance, music education, or a life-long involvement with music.


3rd Place:
Capital University Symphonic Winds
    Jeffrey D. Gershman    Columbus OH
Capital University Symphonic Winds
The Capital University Symphonic Winds, under the direction of Jeffrey D. Gershman, is the premier wind band in the Conservatory of Music. The Symphonic Winds perform programs that draw from the cornerstones of the wind literature, the finest contemporary works, and the rich and varied repertoire composed for chamber winds.  The ensemble frequently hosts nationally recognized guest soloists, guest composers, and guest conductors and its recording with the Boston Brass, “Heroes and Legends,” is available nationally through Summit Records.

Outside of their campus concerts, the ensemble has toured throughout the United States and abroad and has earned frequent invitations to perform at professional conferences. Recent appearances have included the College Band Directors National Association Regional Conference, the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference, and a week-long tour of Taiwan.



The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2016-17, community division:
  
The American Prize winner: 
The Valley Winds
    Brian Messier    Amherst MA
The Valley Winds
The Valley Winds is an artistically driven ensemble with an emphasis on being relevant to the people of Western Massachusetts: concerts designed to be accessible and enjoyable by all potential audience members; pay as you can admission; and the use of multiple performance venues in order to share our music with various populations throughout the Pioneer Valley. The Valley Winds is comprised of brass, woodwind, and percussion players from the Pioneer Valley and beyond. The majority of the players are public school music teachers and/or private studio teachers, working hard to educate the next generation of musicians and music lovers in the Pioneer Valley. Not a single member of The Valley Winds receives payment, including the director or guest performers. The Valley Winds has just completed their second season. For information about upcoming events please visit our website at www.thevalleywinds.org, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pioneervalleywinds.


2nd Place:
Eastern Wind Symphony
    Todd Nichols    Princeton NJ
Eastern Wind Symphony
The Eastern Wind Symphony membership consists of musicians from the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania area.  More than half of the members are music educators who teach in the public school system. In addition, numerous members are freelance musicians, manage businesses, work in the sciences, or raise families.  Whatever their vocation, all members of The Eastern Wind Symphony are accomplished and talented musicians who volunteer their time and enjoy performing the most highly regarded wind symphony repertoire in a high-caliber ensemble.  Their reward is musical enjoyment at its highest level: music for music’s sake! The Eastern Wind Symphony is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.  All members perform for the love of music, and no member is compensated for their participation. For more information about the symphony please visit www.easternwindsymphony.org. 


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Quad City Wind Ensemble
    Brian Hughes Davenport IA
Quad City Wind Ensemble
In February 1987, Dr. Charles B. DCamp, then Director of Bands at St. Ambrose University, inaugurated the QCWE. Today it is one of the premier ensembles of its kind in the country, winning the 2012 Community Division of The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance.  In May 2014, the ensemble made its sixth appearance at the prestigious Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference.

Current Music Director Brian Hughes assumed leadership of the ensemble in Fall 2007 and is the ensemble’s first non-resident conductor. Repertoire presented by the ensemble runs the gamut of the wind medium, from historical to contemporary.  To celebrate its 25th Anniversary season, the QCWE commissioned Roy Magnuson’s To have seen the worst…but expect the best…  In this, our thirtieth season, the QCWE has offered an exciting mix of compositions.  Our Winter Concert – “Ars Nova” – included all music of the new millennium and a premiere performance of Kenyon Wilson’s Five.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
St. Norbert Community Band
    Michael Knight    De Pere WI
St. Norbert Community Band
Founded in 1991 by Fred Schmidt, the St. Norbert Community Band was formed in order to provide an opportunity for outstanding musicians from Northeastern Wisconsin to experience the finest available band literature.  Membership in the band is comprised of friends, alumni, and faculty of St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI.   Michael Knight was appointed conductor of the band in 2010.  The ensemble presents two concerts per year and performs a wide variety of literature including marches, orchestral transcriptions, and contemporary works for wind band.  The band has been selected to perform at the Wisconsin State Music Conference on three occasions and has been featured at the National Convention of the Association of Concert Bands twice.

 
The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2016-17, community division:
  
The American Prize winner: 
Belchertown HS Wind Ensemble
    Brian Messier    Belchertown MA
Belchertown HS Wind Ensemble
The Belchertown High School Wind Ensemble is comprised of 9th - 12th grade students, admitted by audition. The ensemble meets after school on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 2:15 – 3:00. The Belchertown High School Wind Ensemble has been a Gold Medal recipient at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor Association's festival each of the past several years. In 2016 all three Belchertown High School Bands were awarded a superior rating against a national standard at the Dixie Classic Festival at the University of Buffalo, and in 2014, the Belchertown Band program received two adjudicator's awards, the best band group award, and the overall program award at the Heritage Festival in Chicago.


2nd Place:
North Hills HS Wind Ensemble
    Leonard Lavelle   Pittsburgh PA
North Hills HS Wind Ensemble
The North Hills Wind Ensemble has a long and storied history. The ensemble has been featured at conventions around the country including the Midwest Convention (six times), the Concert Band National Convention, the MENC All-Eastern Convention (eight times) and PMEA State Convention (twelve times). The bands were awarded the Sudler Flag of Honor from the John Philip Sousa Foundation as part of the inaugural group in 1983. Guest soloists and conductors have included William Revelli, Arthur Fieldler, Arnald Gabriel, Allen Vizzutti, Urbie Green, Fred Hemke, and Louis Bellison among many others. The North Hills School District has adopted the band’s motto of “Pride, Tradition and Excellence”.


The ensemble has maintained a commission series since 1965, making it the longest-running series of its kind in the country. Works from the series have been recorded by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, D.C. service bands, University of North Texas Wind Symphony, and college ensembles throughout the country. They have also been featured in the educational series, "Teaching Music Through Performance in Band".

Thank you to our previous directors, Mr. James Caruso (1946-1960), Mr. Warren Mercer (1961-1992), Ms. Areta Kalogeras (marching band, 1989-2008) and Mr. David Matthews (1992-2011). More about the band program at North Hills is available at www.nhipa.org.


3rd Place:
Peabody Preparatory Wind Orchestra
    Elijah Wirth    Baltimore MD
Peabody Preparatory Wind Orchestra
Open to advanced wind, brass and percussion players, the Peabody Preparatory Wind Orchestra is the elite wind ensemble in Peabody’s Preparatory division.  This ensemble performs collegiate and professional repertoire in a challenging, nurturing and educational environment.  Wind Orchestra students frequently collaborate with Peabody Conservatory students and receive coachings from Preparatory and Conservatory faculty.  Enrollment is limited to one or two players on a part, which insures personal attention from the conductor and other faculty members.  Membership is drawn from the Baltimore Metro Area, Washington D.C. Metro Area, Southern Pennsylvania and Delaware.  This ensemble is meant to be a supplement to the student’s school band program and requires that the student be a member of their school music program if one exists.  The group performs a large array of music, from well known classical and contemporary band works to jazz and modern styles as well. 


4th Place—HONORABLE MENTION:
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
    Bradley Morrison    Ossining NY

Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester, founded in 2010 and based in Ossining, New York, is an ensemble for highly motivated high school students interested in playing music from the Wind Ensemble/Concert Band literature. The ensemble is comprised of Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students from throughout Westchester County. Our students come from over a dozen different public and private high schools throughout the region. We have performed at various festivals and received superior and 1st place ratings.


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Congratulations!

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