Saturday, March 31, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: opera/theater/film/dance, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mention of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in the opera/theater/film/dance divisions. Congratulations!

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

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

REMINDER: The final postmark deadline for composers to apply for The American Prize, 2018-19, is APRIL 30, 2018.  There is no need to email in advance to take advantage of the April date. Please note that although the deadline date on application forms will not be changed, your application will be accepted through the final deadline.

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


The American Prize in Composition—OPERA/THEATER/FILM/DANCE, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Jocelyn Hagen   Plymouth MN
    Test Pilot 
Jocelyn Hagen
Jocelyn Hagen composes music that has been described as “simply magical” (Fanfare Magazine) and “dramatic and deeply moving” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul). Her melodic music is rhythmically driven, texturally complex, and has recently become more experimental in nature. Her commissions include Conspirare, The Minnesota Orchestra, the American Cantus, the Boston Brass, The Metropolitan Symphony, and The Houston Chamber Choir, among many others. Her work is independently published through JH Music, as well as Graphite Publishing, G. Schirmer, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Fred Bock Music Publishing, and Boosey and Hawkes. Visit www.jocelynhagen.com for more information.


2nd Place:
William David Cooper   Cambridge MA
    Hagar and Ishmael
William David Cooper
William David Cooper (b.1986) is the composer of three operas, and has also written music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, Baroque instruments, voice, chorus, film, and electronics. His operas have been featured by West Edge Opera, the National Opera Association, Black House Contemporary Ensemble at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and with the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble. Upcoming performances include world premieres by the Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble, the New York Virtuoso Singers, and Cello Loft at the 2017 World Harp Congress in Hong Kong. Cooper is the recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP and fellowships from the the Aspen Music Festival, the Wellesley Composer's Conference, Ucross, I-Park, VCCA and Brush Creek. A graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of California, Davis, he has studied with Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser, Kurt Rohde, Ross Bauer and Pablo Ortiz. Cooper has taught at Purdue University, Vincennes University, and the Interlochen Arts Camp. He is organist and choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church, New London, and is also an avid scholar of Renaissance polyphony and Wagner.


3rd Place:
Frank LaRocca   Oakland CA A
    Rose in Winter—the Life of St. Rita of Cascia
Frank LaRocca
The recent winner of the ORTUS international choral composition competition, Frank La Rocca has received grants, commissions and awards from the NEA, California Arts Council, S.F. Girls Chorus, Foundation for Sacred Arts, ASCAP, USC Thornton Chamber Singers, London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and many others. His CD In this Place was ranked in the top ten classical CD sales on Amazon and was a 2013 "Critic's Choice" at American Record Guide. Trained as an academic modernist during his degree studies at Yale and U.C. Berkeley, he came to see modernism as a barrier to free musical expression, and spent years in search of a personal creative language. His catalog includes works in all genres, especially a cappella sacred choral works. At a recent University of Notre Dame conference, "The Musical Modes of Mary and the Cross" he presented a talk, "The Apologetics of Beauty: a Musical Theology of the Incarnation," based upon his choral work O Magnum Mysterium. www.franklarocca.com


Finalist Honorable Mention
Jesse Ayers   Canton OH
    Beneath Suspicion 
Jesse Ayers
JESSE AYERS was the winner of the inaugural American Prize for Orchestral Composition in 2011, and was named an "Honored Artist" of the American Prize in 2014. Recent honors include First Prize in the 2016 Opera Kansas Zepick Modern Opera Composition Competition, a 2014 Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Award, the 2013 Boston Metro Opera Concert Award, the 2011 Dayton Ballet “New Music for New Dance" award, and a 2010 MacDowell Fellowship. Recent commissions include those from the Akron Symphony, Soprani Compagni, the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the Ohio Private Colleges Instrumental Conductors Association, the Wisconsin Lutheran National Honors Band, and Milligan College. His music has been performed in more than 100 U.S. cities and eight foreign countries.  website: jesseayers.com



The American Prize in Composition—OPERA/THEATER/FILM/DANCE, student division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Michele Cheng   San Jose CA
    To Be Heard X Unheard—An Interdisciplinary Experimental Music Theatre
Michele Cheng
Michele Cheng is a Taiwanese-American composer, multimedia producer, improviser-performer, and arts activist. Her music explores a diversity of compositional approaches, aesthetics from different cultures, and interdisciplinarity. She produces experimental music theatre as a medium to reflect humanity, to question clichés with humor, and to connect different communities. Her recent works include a documentary she directed and composed called OMW which focuses on 1.5 generation cultural identities, and an experimental music theatre project titled "To Be Heard X Unheard" which which combines music, theatre, art, and dance to reveal experiences of Asian women in the U.S. Her works have been performed by groups such as Amaranth Quartet, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Tone Melody Flute Ensemble, Baroque Camerata, and Yunlin Sharing Chamber Orchestra where she has been a composer in residence since 2007. Michele received her M.F.A in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology from University of California, Irvine in which she studied with Nicole Mitchell, Chris Dobrian, Michael Dessen, Kojiro Umezaki, and Lukas Ligeti. She received her B.F.A in Music Theory and Composition from National Sun Yat-sen University where she studied with Szu-Hsien Lee and Kwang-I Ying. www.michelecheng.com


2nd Place:
Lucas Marshall Smith   New London OH
    A Psalm of Silence: An Opera in One Act
Lucas Marshall Smith
Lucas Marshall Smith writes for a variety of musical styles and genres including experimental art music, music for theatre, and electroacoustic composition.  As a classically trained vocalist, Smith’s affinity for vocal lyricism and dramatic tension are two markers of his unique style.  Active as a composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic music, Smith has had his music performed at the 30th and 31st Annual SEAMUS National Conferences (2015-16), the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (2015-16), the 46th Annual Ball State Festival of New Music, the 2016 RED NOTE New Music Festival, the SCI Student National Conference (2016), and the National Student Electronic Music Event (2017).  Smith has also received premieres and commissions from numerous new music groups including the New York based ensemble loadbang, the Illinois Modern Ensemble, the Heartland Sings chorale, and ensemble mise-en.  Smith’s music is recorded on the RMN Classical music label. 


3rd Place:
Olga Amelkina-Vera   Plano TX
    All That Glitters 
Olga Amelkina-Vera
Olga Amelkina-Vera’s works have been called “the discovery of the evening” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune),  “brilliant” (The Royal Gazette), “incandescent” and “hypnotic” (Fort Worth Star Telegram), and “exotic” (Soundboard).  A native of Belarus, Olga has resided in the United States since 1997. She is currently finishing her Master’s in Composition at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  She also holds MM and DMA degrees in guitar performance from the University of North Texas, as well as a BA Summa Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas. Olga won first prize in the Japan Guitar Ensemble Composition Competition (2013) and Austin Classical Guitar Society Composition Competition (2009 and 2012).  Most recently, she was named the Irving Symphony Orchestra 2016-2017 SMU Student Composer-in-Residence.  Her compositions for guitar are published by Les Productions d’Oz. She is faculty at Collin College in Plano, TX. To learn more about Olga, please visit www.olgaamelkinavera.com.


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Congratulations!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

DEADLINE APPROACHING: Chicago Oratorio Award (Rossini "Stabat Mater")

Gioachino Rossini
CHICAGO ORATORIO AWARD: Rossini's STABAT MATER
Deadline Approaching: March 31, 2018
for Classical Vocalists:
The Chicago Oratorio Award

2018: FOUR $500 performance prizes: SOPRANO, ALTO (mezzo), TENOR, BARITONE (bass)

PERFORM as soloists in Rossini's STABAT MATER with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of music director Maestro David Katz in May 2018.

Dress rehearsal: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm at St James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago
Performance: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm, same location

Although the Chicago Oratorio Award is open to all qualified professional and college/university applicants for The American Prize nationwide, it is geared primarily to those who live within comfortable travel distance of Chicago and who can make their own housing arrangements.

Complete information and application forms on the website here: http://www.theamericanprize.org/vocalperf.html

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: pops/light music division, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in the pops/light music division. Congratulations! The pops/light music division is a new contest first offered in 2017-18.

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

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

REMINDER: The final postmark deadline for composers to apply for The American Prize, 2018-19, is APRIL 30, 2018.  There is no need to email in advance to take advantage of the April date. Please note that although the deadline date on application forms will not be changed, be assured your application will be accepted through the final deadline.

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


The American Prize in Composition—Pops/Light Music Division (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Gregory Yasinitsky   Pullman WA 
    Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Gregory Yasinitsky
Gregory W. Yasinitsky, Director of the School of Music at Washington State University, has an international reputation as a composer, arranger and saxophonist. He is a recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Commission Project, Artist Trust and ASCAP. Yasinitsky has over 210 published musical works performed in over forty countries world-wide. His compositions and saxophone playing are featured on over fifty recordings. Yasinitsky has written music especially for David Sanborn, Clark Terry, Dave Liebman, and has performed with Randy Brecker, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, and the San Francisco and Spokane Symphonies.


2nd Place:
Huei Li Lam   Brooklyn NY 
    The Unknown Bell
Huei Li Lam
New York based pianist, Huei Li Lam is an award winning composer who specializing in both contemporary jazz and classical music. She began her music studies at a very young age, earning her Associate Diploma, Recital Piano from the Trinity College of London when she was just eleven. She then proceeded to earn her Licentiate Diploma, Recital Piano and Associate Diploma, Recital Violin a few years later.

She was later awarded a scholarship to further her studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. With her exceptional musical abilities, she completed her Bachelor of Music with a Five-years Dual Major Degree Program in Performance and Jazz Composition in just 1.5 years. Her accolades include the Global Music Awards (GMA), Young Composer Showcase Winner at the 2017 International Jazz Education Network Conference, and the Finalist of Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composer in 2016.


3rd Place:
Delvyn Case   Quincy MA 
    Rocket Sleigh
Delvyn Case
Delvyn Case (b 1974) is a composer, conductor, scholar, performer and educator based in the Boston area.  His music has been performed by 70 orchestras from Alaska to Florida , plus the Grammy-winning quintet Chestnut Brass Company, mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato, The Hermitage Trio, The US Coast Guard Band, The New York Virtuoso Singers, and many others.    He is the composer of The Prioress’s Tale, a 75-minute chamber opera inspired by Chaucer, whose January 2008 premiere garnered a featured article in the Boston Globe. A parable about the power of forgiveness to heal the wounds of religious intolerance, the production toured New England for 3 seasons, supported by institutions wishing to explore issues of interfaith dialogue and peace-making in a unique way.  Delvyn Case holds degrees from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, and currently teaches at Wheaton College.   He lives in Quincy, Massachusetts. www.delvyncase.com



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Congratulations!

Monday, March 5, 2018

FINALISTS: composers (instrumental chamber music), 2017-18

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST composers of instrumental chamber music for 2017-18 in both student and professional divisions. Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until complete results in the contest are announced officially. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (professional division), 2017-18

David Avshalomov   Santa Monica CA
    Trotzky's Train

Bjorn Berkhout   Forest Hills NY
    Séance

Michael Boyd  Wilkins Township PA
    I Wouldn't Eat the Strawberries

Meredith Brammeier   San Luis Obispo CA
    Sonata for Horn and Piano

Gustavo Casenave   Astoria NY
    Sol Negro

Rodrigo Bussad Cesar   Chicago IL
    Khaos

Brian Ciach   Mountain View CA
    Fourth Sonata for piano

Ethan Cypress   Oneonta NY
    Fickle Tone Zones

Dante De Silva   Tarzana CA
    WAKE THE DEAD

Cyril Deaconoff   Oakland CA
    Joys of Lights and Reflection

Paul Elwood   Greeley CO
    Emissions Transparent

David Faleris   Annapolis MD
    A Martyred Village

Ralf Yusuf Gawlick   Newton MA
    Imagined Memories

Milton Granger   Nutley NJ
    Sextet for piano and wind quintet

Douglas Hedwig   Chattanooga TN
    "A Certain Slant of Light"

Harlan Hodges   Glendale CA
    Three American Etudes

Ching-chu Hu   Newark OH
    The Swash of Water and Red

Daniel McCarthy   Akron OH
    Towers of Power: Chamber Symphony No. 4

David R. Peoples   Buford GA
    Sonata "Riding Crepuscular Rays"

Phil Salathe   Potsdam NY
    Three Street Pieces

David P. Sartor   Hermitage TN
    Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

Peter Scartabello   Wickford RI
    Threshold for 5 Bb clarinets

Tony Solitro   Philadelphia PA
    Shadow Confrontations

C.G. Walden   Chatsworth GA
    Resurrection Dances

Charles Zoll Tempe AZ
    I REMEMBER SUMMER


The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (student division), 2017-18  
(revised 3/6/18: one name inadvertently left off yesterday's posting—DK)

"Again, the vast majority of semi-finalists in the student division (and many of their pieces) have been advanced. Young composers need feedback, and placing most in the finals insures they will receive at least a few lines of evaluation to encourage their continuing artistic pursuits."—DK

M.O. Abbott   Urbana IL
    Ascension Tube

Olga Amelkina-Vera   Plano TX
    Submerged Worlds

Tom Bar   Boston MA
    Thus the Past Buries its Dreams, The Prophetic Bird's Prophecy, The Pied Pier of Hamelin's Song, And I Will Be the Last One Laughing

Jacob Beranek   Oconomowoc WI
    Sonata for Violin and Piano

Shelby Rawlings Blalock   Charlottesville VA
    Precarious

Tyler Bouque   Troy MI
    On the Blue Line, Samba de las Olimpadus

James Budinich   Northport NY
    Nothing Gold Can Stay

Zachary Gulaboff Davis   Salem OR
    Sonata for two pianos

Jonathan Embry   Fulton NY
    Passacaglia in F Minor, Op. 4, Solo Organ

Neal Endicott   Laingsburg MI
    "Against the Dying of the Light"

Kyle Franklin   Boston MA
    V Tableau

Joseph R. Gessler   Hendersonville NC
    Angels After Midnight

Paul Hwang   Palisades Park NJ
    Music for Percussion

Dana Kaufman   Miami FL
    Peaporutus (Concussion)

Chung Eun Kim   Jersey City NJ
    String Quartet No. 2 (“L’homme arme”)

Christopher Lowry   Antioch TN
    "Suite for Violin and Piano, Opus 5"

John Nydam   Wellesley MA
    Expanse

Zachary Ploeger   Pipestone MN
    Concert Piece

Victor Shlyakhtenko   Los Angeles CA
    Animated Ominosity

Kyle Simpson   Washington PA
    Beijing Impressions

Brandon Thibodeau   Holt MO
    Kaleidoscope

Chelsea Williamson   Norman OK
    Silhouettes


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We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.


Friday, March 2, 2018

2018-19 CONTEST UPDATE:

As we continue to announce final results in 2017-18 contests, we are pleased to announce that the following contests for 2018-19 are now updated on our website:

COMPOSITION:
    band/wind ensemble—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/concertband.html

   chorus—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/compositionchoral.html

   orchestra—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/compositionorch.html

   chamber music (vocal and instrumental)—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/chambermusic.html

   opera/theater/film/dance—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/operamusictheater.html

AMERICAN MUSIC: composers and performers
The ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the Performance of American Music—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/AmericanMusic.html

VOICE: The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards:
    art song & oratorio—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/artsong.html

   opera & operetta—
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/opera.html

   Chicago Oratorio Award (Rossini "Stabat Mater")
    Begin here: http://www.theamericanprize.org/vocalperf.html

INSTRUMENTAL Soloists
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/InstrumentalPerformance.html

CHAMBER Ensembles
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/ChamberPerformance.html

PIANO Solo
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/pianoperfsolo.html

PIANO Concerto (now including multiple concerto)
    The Lorin Hollander Award
    http://www.theamericanprize.org/pianoperfconcerto.html