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 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
    Alecia Lawyer
    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


Alecia Lawyer
Named by Musical America as one of classical music’s Top 30 Influencers for 2015, Alecia Lawyer is the Founder, Artistic Director and Principal Oboist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. ROCO, with its 40 dynamic, engaging and virtuosic professional musicians from around the nation and guest conductors from around the world, is “the Most Fun You Can Have with Serious Music!” ROCO performances are broadcast regularly to a nationwide audience on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Ms. Lawyer was named a finalist for Texas Musician of the Year (along with Willie Nelson) and was listed as one of Houston’s Top 50 Most Influential Women. She has received numerous awards, including the Gutsy Gal Award from Houston Woman Magazine, the Sigma Alpha Iota Musician of the Year, and the Outstanding Chamber Orchestra Founder from the Houston Chronicle. She regularly presents her Entrepreneurial model and dynamic ideas to conservatories, universities and music festivals around the US such as Juilliard, Yale, SMU, Round Top and Texas Music Festival, using ROCO as a case study for community-specific orchestral building. Business and social groups in the Greater Houston area engage her to speak on numerous topics related to the creation, innovation, marketing and development of the arts. A member of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations and a participant in the Aspen Leadership Seminar at the Aspen Institute, Alecia continues to weave musicians and audience together with the language of music through innovative programming and collaboration with ROCO.




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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!


 

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!