Friday, April 20, 2018

FINALISTS: conductors—orchestral programming (Marijosius Award)

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations!

The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming honors the memory of the great Lithuanian conductor, Maestro Vytautas Marijosius, music director of the Lithuanian State Opera, and for nearly thirty-five years Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hartt School of Music. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community.  

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

"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.
 
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.
 

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—college/university division

Thomas Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK

Johannes Dietrich
Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
Annville PA

Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC

Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca NY

David Alexander Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA



FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—community division

Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA

Annette Jurcevic
Shoreline Symphony
Muskegon MI

Walter Morales
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh PA
 

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—youth orchestra division
(This listing was updated on April 21, 2018)

Tigran Arakelyan
Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra
Bainbridge Island WA

Robert Boardman
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra
South Bend IN

Chad Hutchinson
SD Symphony Youth Orchestra
Sioux Falls SD



***

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 results in my division in 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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

FINALISTS: band/wind ensemble divisions, 2017-18


The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST bands/wind ensembles for 2017-18 in all categories. Congratulations!

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

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

"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.
 
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.


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—college/university division,  2017-18


Richard Tad Greig
Westminster College Wind Ensemble
New Wilmington PA



FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—youth division, 2017-18

Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Matthew D. Schlomer
Interlochen Arts Academy Band
Interlochen MI


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—high school division, 2017-18

Curtis Melton
Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
North La Vegas NV

Robert Truan
Decatur HS Wind Ensemble
Decatur GA


***

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! Our ensemble has 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 results in the 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 semi-finalists.


  

FINALISTS: conductors (choral divisions), 2017-18

The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in choral divisions. Congratulations!

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

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

"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.
 
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.


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university chorus division, 2017-18

Lynda R. Hasseler
Capital University Chapel Choir
Columbus OH

Ingrid Lestrud
Holy Cross College Choir
Worcester MA

David Mann
Michigan State University Chamber Choir
East Lansing MI

Catherine Sailer
University of Denver Lamont Chorale
Denver CO


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community chorus division, 2017-18

Kevin Dibble
Chamber Singers of Iowa City
Iowa City IA

Emily Isaacson
Oratorio Chorale
Brunswick ME

Allan Laino
University of Maryland Summer Chorus and Festival Orchestra
College Park

Chris David
Westover Bethel College Philharmonia & Oratorio Chorus
North Newton KS


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—youth/school  chorus division, 2017-18

Jacob Cook
Youth Performing Arts School Chamber Choir
Louisville KY

Andrew Dibble
Indian Springs School Concert Choir
Pelham AL


***

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 results 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 semi-finalists.


Monday, April 16, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: choral music, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in choral 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—MUSIC for CHORUS, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Joel Bentley Thompson   Snellville GA
    Seven Last Words of the Unarmed 
Joel Bentley Thompson
Joel Bentley Thompson (b.1988) is an Atlanta composer, pianist, conductor, and educator. His latest work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed for TTBB chorus and full orchestra, was premiered February 2017 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club and Sphinx Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers. Currently the Upper School Choir Director at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, Thompson also served as Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Andrew College from 2013-2015. Thompson is a proud Emory alum, graduating with a B.A. in Music in 2010, and an M.M. in Choral Conducting in 2013. His teachers include Eric Nelson, William Ransom, Laura Gordy, Richard Prior, John Anthony Lennon, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Scott Stewart.

 

2nd Place (there was a tie):
David Lipten   Tallahassee FL 
    How to
David Lipten
David Lipten’s music has been described as possessing "strength and integrity...along with…deep [and]...rigorous musical lyricism.” The New York New Music Ensemble, the Chester Quartet, and the Bienen Contemporary Ensemble/Donald Nally, among others, have premiered his compositions. His string quartet, Ictus, received first prize at the Portland Chamber Music Festival. The chorus “Volti” performed and recorded Time’s Dream for chorus (E.E. Cummings, poems). His Show of Hands for piano has been performed 13 times in the US and in Europe. His first CD, Best Served Cold, was released in 2012. The New York Virtuoso Singers, Harold Rosenbaum, conductor, recorded two songs for chorus from the cycle “How To” and released them in 2016.
 

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Scott Perkins   New Haven CT
    The Stolen Child; A Word Out Of The Sea; The World of Dream
Scott Perkins
Connecticut native Scott Perkins enjoys a multifaceted career as an international prizewinning composer, a versatile performer, and an award-winning scholar. His music has been praised by critics for publications including the Washington Post (“dramatic,” “colorful”) and the Washington Times (“perfectly orchestrated,” “haunting,” “a remarkable and welcome musical surprise”). He has been commissioned by organizations ranging from the Washington National Opera to the American Guild of Organists, and his work has been performed throughout North America and Europe. His debut CD was released on Navona Records earlier this year. Scott has concertized throughout the United States and abroad. He has performed with numerous professional ensembles as both a tenor and a conductor, and he is a featured soloist on CDs produced by Bridge Records and Loft Recordings. Scott earned a Ph.D. in composition and masters degrees in music theory and music theory pedagogy from the Eastman School of Music. www.scott-perkins.com
 

3rd Place:
Mari Esabel Valverde   Fort Worth TX
    "When Thunder Comes"
Mari Esabel Valverde
Composer and singer Mari Esabel Valverde has been commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, GALA Choruses, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and others. Her works are published by earthsongs, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Walton Music and self-published.
A translator, she is fluent in French and Spanish and studies Brazilian Portuguese and Swedish. She has translated Ravel’s opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges among other vocal works and documents from French to English. An educator, she taught voice at the high school level for four years in Texas, where she sang with the Dallas Symphony Chorus, the Dallas Chamber Choir, and Vox Humana. Ms. Valverde holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is a member of ASCAP, ACDA, and the American Composers Forum. For more information, please visit MariValverde.com.
 

Finalist—Special Judges' Citation:"Best Use of Musical Material from Another Source"
Jesse Ayers & Charles Myricks, Jr.   Canton OH
    There's a Stirrin' in the Water
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

Charles Myricks, Jr.
Charles Myricks, Jr., is currently Chief Operating and Development Officer of the National Association of the Church of God. For several years he served as Vice President and General Manager of Word Records in Nashville.  In 2000, Myricks was commissioned to write the First Night Akron theme song for the city’s Millennial Celebration, and was also instrumental in the creation of the popular “Gospel Meets Symphony” concerts with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. In February 2004, he collaborated with Ohio Ballet to produce and premiere Transformation, based on the Biblical figure of Paul. The following year he expanded that work into Paul: A Musical Journey, which recounts the life of the apostle in a musical that blends gospel, rhythm-and-blues and jazz.
 

Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Relevant, Heartfelt and Deeply Moving"
Gerald Gurss   Columbia SC
    Be at My Side (Policeman's Prayer)
Gerald Gurss
Gerald Gurss currently serves as the artistic director for One Voice Chorus (Charlotte, NC). Mr. Gurss earned a bachelor's of music from Emporia State University and a Master's of Music from Miami University. In addition to his academic achievements, he is a conductor, teacher and composer.  Choruses throughout the United States have performed his works. His works have been commissioned by Sine Nomine (Denver, CO), the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, Providence United Methodist Church (Charlotte, NC), 1st Baptist Church of Wadesboro (NC), San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (CA), the Turtle Creek Chorale (TX), and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte. In 2014 Gerald worked with homeless LGBT youth of from the Carolinas to produce a documentary called, HOME. With HOME, came the original work, “Jonathan’s Song,” based on the struggles of a specific youth. The American Prize has awarded him as a semi-finalist in choral composition (2015) and a finalist/honorable mention recipient in choral composition (2016). Gerald is a DMA candidate in choral conducting at the University of South Carolina, where he studies with Dr. Larry Wyatt and Dr. Alicia Walker.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Michael Cox   Fort Worth TX
    Sacraments
Michael Cox
Michael Cox has recently retired, after nineteen years, as professor of Music Theory and composition at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.  At Southwestern Seminary, he directed the Men’s Chorus from 1993-2003 and the Southwestern Singers from 2006-2009.  Prior to joining the faculty at Southwestern, Cox was an associate professor of music at Oklahoma Baptist University (1972-1989) teaching conducting, music theory and serving as director of the Bison Glee Club for thirteen years. He is currently Director of the Chancel Choir, Composer in Residence, and Director of Music Ministries at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  As an adjunct faulty member at Dallas Baptist University, he has taught orchestration, counterpoint, advanced analysis, choral arranging, composition and music theory. Cox received the Bachelor of Music degree with honors in piano performance from Oklahoma Baptist University, the Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Doctor of Music degree in composition from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Dr. Cox has composed and published numerous sacred choral and instrumental works for use in the church.  More recently, his compositional efforts have focused upon larger works for festival size choir and orchestra.  His latest effort in this genre is an eight-movement work for tenor soloist, choir, and orchestra titled “Symphonic Psalms.” Dr. Cox is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and has received their Standard Award  every year since 1987.  Dr. Cox’s international ministry opportunities as guest composer and conductor have included trips to Seoul, Korea, Vitoria and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 
Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Shawn Crouch   Miami Beach FL
    Visions and Ecstacies
Shawn Crouch
Shawn Crouch, composer and conductor has had his works performed and commissioned by ensembles in the United States, Canada and Europe including the Cleveland Orchestra, American Modern Ensemble, Cantori New York, California E.A.R. Unit, Chanticleer, Del Sol String Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Lunar Ensemble, newEar Contemporary Ensemble, Phoenix Chorale, Prism Quartet, San Francisco Choral Artists, Santa Fe Chorale, Seraphic Fire, and Volti. Shawn has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The American Prize, ASCAP, BMI, Yale University, Society of Composers Inc., Meet the Composer and the Percussive Arts Society Chorus America and the American Composer’s Forum. Shawn’s music has been commercially recorded by, among others, the American Modern Ensemble, Chanticleer, Seraphic Fire, and Volti. His music is published by G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard and HoneyRock Publishing. Shawn Crouch is currently Assistant Professor of Practice of Composition and Theory at the University of Miami where he is artistic director of the Ensemble Ibis New Music Ensemble.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Joy DeCoursey-Porter   Bellevue WA
    "There Was The One"
Joy DeCoursey-Porter
Joy is a Canadian-born composer residing in Seattle, Washington. She is a graduate of San Diego Christian College and composed her first chorale piece in 1999 for a senior music theory project. The piece was later performed by the college chorale at the 2000 graduation ceremony. Joy resumed her efforts in the art of choral composition in 2010 and has had both choral and instrumental pieces performed throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. She has gained recognition via ChoralNet's Silver Platter Awards, Project Encore and The American Prize. Currently Joy’s self-published works can be found through MusicSpoke (www.musicspoke.com) and sheetmusicplus.com.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Carlo Vincetti Frizzo   Bloomington IN 
  
    Fugue with Robin and Dogwood; Nightscape; A la Noche
Carlo Vincetti Frizzo
Carlo Vincetti Frizzo is pursuing a doctorate degree in choral conducting and composition at Indiana University where he has been the associate conductor for NOTUS as well as the associate chorus master for several IU Opera Theater productions. Mr. Frizzo also conducted new film music at IU’s Double Exposure and was the music director of New Voices Opera. His music has been played by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall and recorded on Magni Publications and New Tertian Recordings. He was a winner of the MTNA National Student Composition Competition and NOTUS Choral Composition Contest. He was the 2nd place winner of the C4 2015 Commissioning Competition.  He was selected to be a composition fellow at the Big Sky Choral Initiative where he worked with Donald Nally and members of The Crossing. Prior to his arrival to Indiana University, he taught theory and composition at Sam Houston State University.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Elaine Hagenberg   Windsor Heights IA
    selected choral works
Elaine Hagenberg
Elaine Hagenberg’s music “soars with eloquence and ingenuity” (National ACDA Choral Journal). Her compositions have been performed by schools, churches, universities, honor choirs and festivals
throughout the United States and abroad. Notable performances include the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the Melbourne International
Choral Festival in Australia, North Central and Central American Choral Directors Association Conferences, and several All State Choirs. Elaine graduated from Drake University and her compositions are published through Oxford University Press, Hinshaw Music, Hal Leonard,
G. Schirmer, and Beckenhorst Press. For more information, please visit: www.elainehagenberg.com.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Jakub Polaczyk   Astoria NY
    MISSA APUNCTA
Jakub Polaczyk
JAKUB POLACZYK was born in Cracow on the 8th of March in 1983. He is a composer, pianist, and music educator living in New York City. In 2015, he began teaching at the New York Conservatory of Music. In 2013 he received his Artist Diploma in Composition (Prof. Reza Vali) as a full scholarship recipient at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In 2010 he received combined Bachelor/ Master Degree in Composition (2010) from the Music Academy of Cracow. There he studied composition with Assistant Professor Marcel Chyrzyński, orchestration with Prof. Krzysztof Penderecki and computer music with Prof. Marek Chołoniewski. In 2008/2009 semester as part of the Socrates-Erasmus Exchange Scholars program he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where he refined his compositional techniques in the class of Jan van Landeghem. In 2010-2011 he took postgraduate course in film scoring and theater music at the Music Academy and Schiller Film School in Lodz. In 2008 he received Master Degree in Musicology from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow under the supervision of Prof. Małgorzata Woźna-Stankiewicz, and in 2005 Bachelor Degree in Musicology under supervision of Professor Jadwiga Paja-Stach.  In 2005 he graduated from the Żelenski Secondary Music School in the piano class of Irena Rolanowska, obtaining diploma with honors. JAKUB has also received numerous awards and scholarship outside the academia. The most recent being: Distinction on the International Composition Competition in memory of A. Schnitkee in Sochi (Russia, 2018), MACRO Composition Competition distinction in Madison(2017), American Prize in Composition (finalist: 2014, 2017), the Iron Composer Award at the 2013 Iron Composer Competition held at Cleveland, Ohio.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Walter Saul   Fresno CA
    The Word Was Made Flesh
Walter Saul
Walter Saul holds degrees from Duke and Eastman. His many composition honors include 25 ASCAP awards from 1990-2015, as well as "Composer of the Year" commissions from North Carolina Music Teachers Association (1986) and Oregon Music Teachers Association (1990). Performances of his works have occurred in 24 states and five nations, including Carnegie Hall and Paris. He has released six CD’s of his works: Out of Darkness Into His Marvelous Light (1998), From Alpha to Omega (2002), Songs of Requited Love (2007), Walter Saul: Sonatas and Meditations for Piano (2014), Kiev 2014: Orchestra Music by Walter Saul (2015), and Quiltings (CD and DVD, 2015). His music appears also on a 7th CD, Les flûtes enchantées, and on the Ring of Fire 2001 DVD. His website is http://www.waltersaul.com. His mission is to create through music windows of light that reveal and glorify the suffering and risen Jesus Christ.
 

The American Prize in Composition—MUSIC for CHORUS, student division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Xingzimin Pan   Salt Lake City UT
    What Flowers Tell You
Xingzimin Pan
Xingzimin Pan’s music has been performed in the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Hungary, Australia and China. He is the award recipient of the 4th China-ASEAN Music Week Composition Competition, the 1st FNMC Composition Contest and 2nd IFCM International Composition Competition. Pan’s works have been published by Fudan University Publishing House and Schott Music. As one of the most emerging choral music composers in China, Pan has collaborated with many outstanding international choirs include Sydney Chamber Choir, Echo Chamber Singers (where he serves as Composer-in-Residence) and Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir. His representative works Poem I (IFCM Competition winning composition), Everlasting Love (Fudan University the 110th Anniversary Celebration commission), Dandelion (Echo Chamber Singers commission) and Wuxi Sights (Wuxi Children’s Palace Choir commission) received strong reviews from both critics and audiences. Pan is now studying for the Ph.D degree in Composition at the University of Utah.
 

2nd Place:
Jihyun Kim   Houston TX 
    A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
Jihyun Kim
Jihyun Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Studying Composition with Shinuh Lee, she graduated early from Seoul National University with a Bachelor of Music as valedictorian and then earned a master's degree in Composition. Later, she graduated with a Master of Music from Indiana University where she studied with Don Freund, Aaron Travers and PQ Phan. She is currently pursuing a DMA at Rice University, studying with Karim Al-Zand. Her composed pieces have been performed at the festivals in Korea such as the Korean Music Expo and the ISCM World Music Days. Her works have also been performed in the United States and Brazil, including International Symposium of New Music, the RED NOTE New Music Festival and the Midwest Composers Symposium. Additionally, she won the Libby Larsen Prize in the International Alliance for Women New Music Competition and the Merit Award in the LinYao Ji International Competition for Composition in Hong-Kong.

 
3rd Place:
Marlene Miller   West Grove PA
    Repeating Random
Marlene Miller
Marlene Miller is an aspiring young composer. She was born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania. In college, she joined the NOW Music Society and has since become the secretary of the society. Ms. Miller has played a crucial role in uniting the various departments in the West Chester School of Arts and Humanities through collaboration in her position as secretary. Previously, she received an honorable mention in the American Prize composition competition. She was also awarded the Roz Patton Scholarship for composition in voice from West Chester University. She is proud of the pieces she’s composed so far and desires to continue to use her art to make social change in a politically charged society. Marlene is dual majoring in Music Theory and Composition and English Composition at West Chester University.
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Nicolas Chuaqui   Bloomington IN
    Qui Confidunt in Domino
Nicolas Chuaqui
Nicolas Chuaqui creates works that draw on the musical traditions, both new and old, that exist around us. His recent compositions have been heard at several prominent American festivals, including June in Buffalo (2016), The Florida Electroacoustic Student Festival (2015), Midwest Composers' Symposium (2015), The NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival (2014), and The Deer Valley Festival (2014). He has also recently had his first opera, The Forest of Dreams, premiered in a fully-staged production by New Voices Opera (Indiana; 2016). Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was trained as a chorister and pianist, he moved east for undergraduate study at Dartmouth College, and then split the different between those two locations, completing Master's work at Indiana. In college he developed not only as a composer, but also as a performer, leading his vocal group to a second-place finish on Season 3 of NBC's "The Sing-Off."
 

*** 
Congratulations!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: instrumental chamber music, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in instrumental chamber music 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—INSTRUMENTAL CHAMBER MUSIC, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Ching-chu Hu   Newark OH
    The Swash of Water and Red
Ching-chu Hu
Ching-chu Hu studied at Yale University, Freiburg Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany, The University of Iowa, and the University of Michigan. Honors includes composer-in-residence at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the American Music Week Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Aspen and Bowdoin Music Festivals, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.  He has received performances at various international festivals and venues, including the Alternativa Festival (Center “DOM”) in Moscow and Wigmore Hall in London, England. Ensembles performing his work include the Kiev Philharmonic, the National Dance and Opera Orchestra of China, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, Moscow Conservatory’s Studio New Music Ensemble, Newark Granville Symphony, Brave New Works, the University of Iowa Center for New Music, ETHEL, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, NOW Ensemble, and Brooklyn Rider. His music can be found on Albany Records, ERM Media, Capstone Records, and online. He is the Richard Lucier Endowed Professor of Music at Denison University.  More information can be found: chingchuhu.com.


2nd Place:
David Faleris   Annapolis MD
    A Martyred Village
David Faleris
An active and versatile musician, DAVID FALERIS wears many hats as a composer, trombonist, educator, and administrator. After completing his undergraduate work at Boston College (B.A., Music), David returned to his home state of Maryland to study with James Olin at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (M.M., Trombone Performance). He returned to Boston and served as Program Administrator for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute while teaching at Boston College and freelancing as a composer and trombonist. After eight years, David set out to pursue his long-time passion of composing for visual media by way of Berklee College of Music (M.M. & Post-graduate Fellowship, Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games) in Valencia, Spain. He currently resides in Edinburgh, U.K., working at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland while actively composing for visual media, as well as new works for the concert hall.
 


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Douglas Hedwig   Chattanooga TN
    "A Certain Slant of Light"
Douglas Hedwig
Composer Douglas Hedwig was a trumpet player with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Lincoln Center, NYC) for 27 years, working with and alongside the finest conductors and soloists in the world. Since turning his full attention to composition in 2011, his music has been performed at the Blossom Music Festival by members of the Cleveland Orchestra (OH), by the West Point Band (The United States Army Band), and at New Music on the Bayou Festival (LA). Douglas Hedwig has composed works for trumpet, brass ensemble, strings, percussion, chorus, and concert band.  His experimental, electro-acoustic works have been heard worldwide. His music is published by Carl Fischer Music (NYC), and TRN Music Publisher. Dr. Hedwig previously served on the faculty of The Juilliard School and is Professor Emeritus of Music at the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College (City University of New York).


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Daniel McCarthy   Akron OH
    Towers of Power: Chamber Symphony No. 4
Daniel McCarthy
Daniel McCarthy has over 30 recordings of his music on Albany, Centaur, d'Note Classics, Gasparo, and Klavier Records, and 100 publications with C. Alan Publications, Ludwig Music, and The American Composer’s Edition  His music has been performed and recorded by artists such as The Harrington, Avalon, and Arianna String Quartets, Eugene Corporon and The North Texas Wind Symphony, The Brevard Festival Orchestra, The Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, The World Youth Symphony Orchestra (Interlochen, Michigan), The Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, The Naples Symphony Orchestra, Rhythm & Brass, and The United State Marine Corps., Bands and Tuba/Euphonium Quartet, and the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David Avshalomov   Santa Monica CA
    Trotzky's Train
David Avshalomov
A third-generation American composer and conductor based in Santa Monica, David Avshalomov is also an accomplished bass vocalist. He composes in an accessible neo-tonal, modern Romantic style that balances a lyric gift with characteristic rhythmic vitality and pungent harmonies. His influences include the great 20th-century tonal composers (plus his late father Jacob and grandfather Aaron). He has written for forces ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, band, and chorus, from songs and incidental pieces to full-length oratorio and opera, with an increasing number of regional commissions. Currently he is writing his second opera. His music has been performed professionally across the US, in Europe, Russia, and the Far East, and recorded on Albany and Naxos. He has won numerous grants and competitions, most recently The American Prizes for Band Composition (1st Place, 2015, 2nd Place 2016, 3rd Place 2014, plus frequent Finalist in other categories); the 2016 IOCSF Choral Composition Competition (First Place), Five VoxNovus 15 Minutes of Fame awards, Honored Artist of the American Prize 2014, a 2013 ACDA Silver Platter Award for Choral Composition, and a 2012 Special Judges’ Citation for Unique Artistic Achievement and Distinctive Merit  from the American Prize for Orchestral Composition. He earned his B.A in Music at Harvard and a D.M.A. in conducting (Krachmalnick) and composition (Bergsma, Verrall, Suderberg) at the University of Washington, studied at Aspen (Morel, Blomstedt, Torkanowsky, Jones [composition]), and Tanglewood (Bernstein, Schuller, Ozawa), was music director of several US orchestras and choruses on both coasts, guest conducted widely, toured in Europe and the Far East, and recorded orchestral music by his grandfather Aaron in Moscow for Naxos. His conducting work has garnered frequent listings in Who's Who in Music and Who's Who in the West. www.davidavshalomov.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David P. Sartor   Hermitage TN
    Sonata for Trumpet and Piano
David P. Sartor
David P. Sartor is Adjunct Professor of Composition at Trevecca Nazarene University  and Music Director of Nashville’s Parthenon Chamber Orchestra.  Sartor’s compositions have received the American Bandmasters Association’s  prestigious Ostwald Award, the National Fine Arts Award, and more than three dozen awards from New Music for Young Ensembles, Meet The Composer, Delta Omicron, and ASCAP, among others.  A popular guest composer and conductor, his engagements include the Washington National Cathedral, the Knoxville and Chattanooga Symphony Orchestras, Illinois State University, Middle Tennessee State University, the Nexus Chamber Orchestra, the Vanderbilt University Orchestra, the Knoxville Brass Choir, the University of Tennessee Brass Choir, the Dogwood Arts Festival Chamber Orchestra, and a conducting “mini-residency” at California State University sponsored by New York City’s Meet The Composer Foundation. In 2009, Sartor was named a National Patron of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity in recognition of his accomplishments as a conductor and composer.  Web site at http://davidsartor.com


Special Judges Citation: "Music for Use: Accessible, Well-crafted, and Always Attractive."
Nancy Bloomer Deussen   Mountain View CA 
   Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, The Pegasus Suite
Nancy Bloomer Deussen
American composer Nancy Bloomer Deussen is well known as a composer, performer and arts impressario. She is a leader in the growing movement for more melodic, tonally oriented contemporary music and is co-founder and President Emeritus of the SF Bay Chapter of the National Association of Composers, USA. Her original works have been performed in the USA, UK, Canada, Indonesia, Iran,  Europe, Australia and China and she has received numerous commissions both locally and nationally. Ms Bloomer Deussen holds BM and MM degrees from The Manhattan School of Music and a BM in Music Ed from the USC School of Music. Her teachers of composition were Vittorio Giannini, Lukas Foss, Ingolf Dahl and Wilson Coker. She was a finalist in Orchestral and Choral composition for The American Prize in 2012 and Second Place Winner in 2013 for the American Prize in Chamber Music composition for her “Woodwind Quintet”. In 2014 she was selected as one of five nationally Honored Artists of 2014 by The American Prize and in 2015 she again was a finalist in Orchestral composition. Her most recent honors are being chosen as First Place Music Winner of The Vinnie Ream Award (NLAPW-2016), a performance by The Missouri Symphony on July 1, 2016 of her “American Hymn” to celebrate our nations Independence Day, a commission to compose a work for chorus and orchestra to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of Mission College and 10th anniversary of The Mission College Orchestra (Santa Clara, CA) and a commission from Duo Terlano (PA) for a suite for violin and cello. Both premieres will take place this April. There will also be a performance of “The Transit of Venus” by The Peninsula Symphony (San Mateo, CA) in a space themed concert in May of this year as well as a number of other upcoming performances. Audio links of some of her works and more information can be found at: www.nancybloomerdeussen.com and http://www.wendelmusic.com/


Special Judges Citation: "Music for Use: Accessible, Well-crafted, and Always Attractive"
Rebecca Oswald    Beaverton OR 
   "My Blue Ocean, Your Eyes","To Solace My Heart","The Gentle Rain of Your Pure Love","The Whisper of the Meaning","A Complete Life in Our Hands" 
Rebecca Oswald
Rebecca Oswald is an award-winning composer and lifelong pianist. She earned a BMus summa cum laude in music theory and composition from Westminster Choir College of Rider University (1998), and an MM in music composition from the University of Oregon School of Music (2001). She lives in Oregon. Oswald has composed for piano, voices, choral and chamber ensembles, orchestra, chorus with orchestra, and a clarinet concerto. In 2016 her first opera “Via Lactea” premiered in Bend, Oregon. She recorded two CDs of original piano music, “Whereas” (2011) and “October Wind” (2005). Several of her chamber and orchestral works have been released as well. In 2015 Oswald's "Theseus and the Minotaur" received honorable mention for The American Prize in Composition (chamber music, professional division), and several of her choral and chamber works were TAP finalists in 2014 and 2015. For more information please visit rebeccaoswald.com.


Honorable Mention:
Bruce Babcock    Pasadena CA 
   Imagined/Remembered
Bruce Babcock
Applauded by Aaron Copland, inspired by Desmond Tutu, and mentored by Hugo Friedhofer and Earle Hagen, Bruce Babcock has spent his working life composing for the musicians of Los Angeles.
Babcock holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in composition from California State University, Northridge. He won an Emmy Award in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations, and eight TV/Film awards from BMI. He has collaborated as an orchestrator and conductor with some of the biggest names in film scoring, including James Newton Howard and Michael Kamen. In the concert music world, Bruce earned commissions from Pacific Serenades, the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival, and UCLA faculty members Juliana Gondek and Doug Masek. He has received premieres from the Donald Brinegar Singers, the Antioch Ensemble, the Debussy Trio, and Boston Metro Opera. All Unto Me, dedicated to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was performed with the Archbishop in attendance in 2011.


Honorable Mention: 
Shawn Crouch    Miami Beach FL 
   Lew Beach
Shawn Crouch
Shawn Crouch, composer and conductor has had his works performed and commissioned by ensembles in the United States, Canada and Europe including the Cleveland Orchestra, American Modern Ensemble, Cantori New York, California E.A.R. Unit, Chanticleer, Del Sol String Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Lunar Ensemble, newEar Contemporary Ensemble, Phoenix Chorale, Prism Quartet, San Francisco Choral Artists, Santa Fe Chorale, Seraphic Fire, and Volti. Shawn has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The American Prize, ASCAP, BMI, Yale University, Society of Composers Inc., Meet the Composer and the Percussive Arts Society Chorus America and the American Composer’s Forum. Shawn’s music has been commercially recorded by, among others, the American Modern Ensemble, Chanticleer, Seraphic Fire, and Volti. His music is published by G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard and HoneyRock Publishing. Shawn Crouch is currently Assistant Professor of Practice of Composition and Theory at the University of Miami where he is artistic director of the Ensemble Ibis New Music Ensemble.


Honorable Mention: 
Joel Scott Davis    Hoover AL 
   String Quartet No. 1: Vespers
Joel Scott Davis
Joel Scott Davis is a composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist whose music has been performed at such esteemed venues as Carnegie Hall, the Palais Ferstel in Vienna, and Harlaxton Manor in England. In addition to his concert works, his film scores have been featured in international film festivals and nationwide PBS broadcasts. More recently, his 2016 vocal cycle Songs of Liberty was named a semi-finalist for The American Prize. An alumnus of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, Davis serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Music Theory, Musicology, and Technology at Samford University’s School of the Arts in Birmingham, Alabama; previously, he held teaching appointments at The Master’s University, Claremont Graduate University, and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He holds graduate degrees in composition from Claremont Graduate University, where he studied and apprenticed under Edward David Zeliff and Peter Boyer.


Honorable Mention: 
Jakub Polaczyk    Astoria NY 
   Tamburion
Jakub Polaczyk
JAKUB POLACZYK was born in Cracow on the 8th of March in 1983. He is a composer, pianist, and music educator living in New York City. In 2015, he began teaching at the New York Conservatory of Music. In 2013 he received his Artist Diploma in Composition (Prof. Reza Vali) as a full scholarship recipient at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In 2010 he received combined Bachelor/ Master Degree in Composition (2010) from the Music Academy of Cracow. There he studied composition with Assistant Professor Marcel Chyrzyński, orchestration with Prof. Krzysztof Penderecki and computer music with Prof. Marek Chołoniewski. In 2008/2009 semester as part of the Socrates-Erasmus Exchange Scholars program he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where he refined his compositional techniques in the class of Jan van Landeghem. In 2010-2011 he took postgraduate course in film scoring and theater music at the Music Academy and Schiller Film School in Lodz. In 2008 he received Master Degree in Musicology from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow under the supervision of Prof. Małgorzata Woźna-Stankiewicz, and in 2005 Bachelor Degree in Musicology under supervision of Professor Jadwiga Paja-Stach.  In 2005 he graduated from the Żelenski Secondary Music School in the piano class of Irena Rolanowska, obtaining diploma with honors. JAKUB has also received numerous awards and scholarship outside the academia. The most recent being: Distinction on the International Composition Competition in memory of A. Schnitkee in Sochi (Russia, 2018), MACRO Composition Competition distinction in Madison(2017), American Prize in Composition (finalist: 2014, 2017), the Iron Composer Award at the 2013 Iron Composer Competition held at Cleveland, Ohio.


Honorable Mention: 
Ann Stimson   Weston MA 
   Caracas for solo piano
Ann Stimson
Ann Stimson holds a B.A. in music and sociology from Oberlin College and an M.A. in music composition from SUNY/Buffalo, where she studied with Morton Feldman. Her ten commissions include the first ever in the history of the Chromatic Club of Boston and a brass quintet which is an imaginary encounter between Giovanni Gabrieli and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as chamber music and music for theater, film, dance and puppetry. Her music has been performed around Boston and in Chicago, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Paris.  At the Performing Arts Center/Metrowest in Framingham, MA, she teaches piano to 14 students, compiling their compositions yearly. She has written feature articles for Symphony Pro Musica (Mark Churchill, Music Director). She does music publicity for esteemed composer Patricia Morehead, and was also publicist for the late Ruth Lomon. She has given 13 solo piano concerts at local Councils on Aging. 



The American Prize in Composition—INSTRUMENTAL CHAMBER MUSIC, student division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Olga Amelkina-Vera   Plano TX
    Submerged Worlds
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.



2nd Place:
Neal Endicott   Laingsburg MI
   "Against the Dying of the Light"

Neal Endicott
Neal Endicott is a composer, saxophonist, and educator based out of the Lansing, Michigan area, where he is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Composition at Michigan State University where he studies with David Biedenbender. He holds a Master’s of Music degree in Composition from Western Michigan University where he studied under Dr. Richard Adams. Notable performances of Neal’s work include the premiere of his chamber orchestra composition Digress by the Lviv Philharmonic as a finalist in the 2016 KLK New Music Orient/Occident Composition Competition; the premiere of his string quartet Against the Dying of the Light by the Susan Mayo String Quartet at the 2016 Region VI Conference of the SCI in Wichita, Kansas; the premiere of Come Slowly, Eden by clarinetist Javier Perez-Garrido as part of the Vox Novus Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame concert series in Alicante, Spain; and numerous performances by groups at Western Michigan University.


3rd Place:
Dana Kaufman   Miami FL
    Peaporutus (Concussion)
Dana Kaufman
Dana Kaufman’s works have been heard throughout North America, and in Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Her music has been featured at venues/festivals including New York Opera Fest, Jordan Hall, soundSCAPE Festival, Boston New Music Festival, Centro Musica Contemporanea di Milano, Charlotte New Music Festival, Opera on Tap Chicago, and Women Composers Festival of Hartford; it has been performed by Great Noise Ensemble, a very small consortium, Na Wai Chamber Choir, Firebird Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, Resound Duo, So Percussion, and members of OperaRox Productions and the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. Ms. Kaufman has received numerous honors and awards, including a Fulbright Research Grant for ethnomusicology/composition research in Estonia, and recognition from the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and The American Prize. A DMA Candidate in Composition, she is the first University of Miami Frost School of Music student to be a Dean’s Fellow. danakaufmanmusic.com
 


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Jacob Beranek   Oconomowoc WI
    Sonata for Violin and Piano
Jacob Beranek
Jacob Beranek (b. 1998) is a composer and pianist from Oconomowoc, WI. He has won many composition awards, including the national Project 21 Prize for Music Composition, the Wisconsin School Music Association Student Composition Project, and 2nd Place in the National Federation of Music Clubs Junior Composers competition. He studied for three weeks in 2016 at the Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program, and also regularly attended the Jr. Composers Institute in Minneapolis from 2012-2015. Additionally, Jacob is a serious pianist who won first place in every event entered during the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs State Festivals. An honor student, Jacob is a senior at University Lake School in Hartland, WI, and plans to study composition in college. You can learn more about Jacob and his musical endeavors on his website, www.beranekmusic.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Jonathan Embry   Fulton NY
    Passacaglia in F Minor, Op. 4, Solo Organ
Jonathan Embry
Originally from Maine, Jonathan Embry is a Doctor of Music student at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, studying organ performance with Hans-Ola Ericsson. Jonathan completed his Master in Sacred Music degree at the University of Notre Dame. He studied organ with Craig Cramer and continuo with Paul Walker. He received a B.M. from Syracuse University where he studied organ with Kola Owolabi and composition with Andrew Waggoner. Jonathan received the Poister Award from Syracuse twice and the Rev. Michael Driscoll Award from Notre Dame. Jonathan has worked at several churches as organist or music director and enjoys playing church services. Jonathan’s compositions have been performed in four countries. His Passacaglia in F Minor had its European premier in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2016. In 2017 Jonathan will be the invited guest artist at the International Organ Festival in Kondopoga, Russia.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Christopher Lowry   Antioch TN
    "Suite for Violin and Piano, Opus 5"
Christopher Lowry
Nashville native Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and most performed composers of his generation. A two-time winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Lowry has won prizes in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition (2015), The Vox Novus Call for Scores "Celebrating 200 Years with the West Point Band" (2017), The American Prize in Composition (Orchestral and Chamber Divisions, 2016), 2016 Oklahoma Youth Winds Composition Competition, 2016 Salford International Composing Contest, 2016 Alabama Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, 2016 BandWidth Music Festival Call for Scores, 2016 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project Composition Competition, 2016 ABLAZE Orchestral Masters Call for Scores, NAfME Composition Competition (2015, 2012), Frank Van Der Stucken Composition Award (2015), Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra Composition Competition (2015), and the Anton Stadler International Basset Clarinet Composition Competition (2010), among others. Lowry’s orchestral piece Golden Rhapsody received honorable mention in the 2016 Maurice Ravel International Composer’s Competition. He is also a two-time winner of the World Projects Composition Competition, winning in 2015 with Tranquillo for Orchestra (premiered in Carnegie Hall, June 2016) and in 2016 with Calm After - Chorale-Fanfare for Orchestra (to be premiered June 2017, Walt Disney Concert Hall). His music has been recorded by the Brno Filharmonie (Czech Republic) and performed by the Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Imperial Symphony, Nashville Philharmonic, Louisiana State University Symphony, Austin Peay State University Symphony, Middle Tennessee State University Symphony, Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Chamber Ensemble, and many others. A doctoral candidate at LSU, he holds a Master’s Degree from LSU and a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
 



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Congratulations!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: band/wind ensemble divisions, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in band/wind ensemble 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—BAND/WIND ENSEMBLE, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Robert Denham   La Mirada CA
    Gregory Blues
Robert Denham
Robert Denham’s music includes works of every genre and has been performed to great acclaim across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.  He has worked closely with Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra, who recently premiered his 65-minute oratorio, Under the Shadow with the Biola University Chorale.  Other recent premiers include his three-movement Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (first performed by Brian Bensing and the Cambrian Symphony Orchestra) and The Way Home for two sopranos and piano (commissioned by the “Soprani Compagni” trio).  Other champions of Denham’s music include Timothy Lees (Concertmaster, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Rodney Winther (Conductor, CCM Wind Symphony and Chamber Players), Elizabeth Larson (Credo Trio), and singers Susan Ali, Tyler Thompson, and Joel Balzun.  Recent prizes include first prize in the Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition (solo flute with piano) and an Honorable Mention for the 2017 American Prize (choral division). 


2nd Place:
Jennifer Jolley   Delaware OH
    The Eyes of the World Are Upon You
Jennifer Jolley
Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is an Ohio-based composer and sound artist influenced by urban environments and nostalgia. She also authors Why Compose When You Can Blog?, a web log about contemporary composing. Jennifer’s works have been commissioned and performed by various soloists and ensembles throughout the United States and Europe, including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Opera MODO, the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and many others. Current commissions include works for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the University of Texas Wind Ensemble. As an educator of new music, Jennifer is an active composer mentor with Music-COMP, and has joined the Interlochen Arts Camp music faculty in 2015. Jennifer has been a faculty member at Ohio Wesleyan University since 2012. For more information, please visit www.jenniferjolley.com.
 

3rd Place:
Craig Thomas Naylor   Kalispell MT
    Kiai!
Craig Thomas Naylor
The music of Craig Thomas Naylor (b. 1954) has been played worldwide by ensembles ranging from elementary school band to the orchestral soundtrack for the IMAX film "To The Limit."  His commissions include the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, The "President's Own" Marine Band Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, the Wind Ensembles of the Universities of Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Colorado State, Yale, Cornell, California at Los Angeles, numerous professional musicians and chamber ensembles, and community college, high, middle and elementary school choirs, bands, and orchestras. He received two Continental Harmony commission/residencies from the American Composers Forum. Recent residencies include Illinois Wesleyan University, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, San Jose State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Richmond. Craig earned his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Humboldt State University and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Composition from the University of Southern California. 


Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Recognizing Fluency and Craft in Abundance"
Gregory Fritze   Daytona Beach Shores FL
    Con-Tse-To; An American in Valencia;  
Vadit Super Pozolum
Gregory Fritze
Gregory Fritze is a prize-winning composer and Fulbright Scholar, as well as an active performer. He recently retired from Berklee College of Music where he was Professor and Chair of Composition, serving on the faculty from 1979 to 2016. He has written over seventy compositions for orchestra, band, chamber ensembles and soloists.  He has won over fifty composition awards both nationally and internationally.  His compositions include works published by several publishers in the United States, South America and Europe that have been performed extensively throughout the world. His compositions are recorded on Albany Records, MSR Classics, Crystal Records, Mark Records and others. He has been a guest lecturer, conductor and performer at many colleges, universities and music festivals in the United States, Canada, Japan, South America and Europe. He was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and has Composition degrees from the Boston Conservatory and Indiana University. He now resides in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida.


Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Recognizing Theatrical Skill and Real Humor"
William Vollinger   Woodcliff Lake NJ
    "It Takes a Long Time to Grow Up in New Jersey"
William Vollinger
William Vollinger’s music is described as “3D: different, direct and deep”, performed by artists including the Gregg Smith Singers and NY Vocal Arts Ensemble, whose performance of “Three Songs About the Resurrection” won first prize at the Geneva International Competition. His music is published by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, and Laurendale. Five works were editor's choices in the J.W. Pepper Catalogue. Recent premieres included Jackson State Symphony, San Francisco Choral Artists, Ridgewood Concert Band, and Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony. “An Empty Swing” was nominated for the American Prize in orchestral music and “Raspberry Man” for chamber music in 2015. Four compositions were nominated for the 2016 American Prize, with “Stalin and the Little Girl” receiving a Judge's Citation for "Exceptional Theatrical Sense in a Unique Monodrama." Hartshorn Recordings will be releasing an album of his works in 2017.


Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Daniel McCarthy   Akron OH
    KraftHammer—Symphonic Winds
Daniel McCarthy
McCarthy has over 30 recordings of his music on Albany, Centaur, d'Note Classics, Gasparo, and Klavier Records, and 100 publications with C. Alan Publications, Ludwig Music, and The American Composer’s Edition  His music has been performed and recorded by artists such as The Harrington, Avalon, and Arianna String Quartets, Eugene Corporon and The North Texas Wind Symphony, The Brevard Festival Orchestra, The Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, The World Youth Symphony Orchestra (Interlochen, Michigan), The Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, The Naples Symphony Orchestra, Rhythm & Brass, and The United State Marine Corps., Bands and Tuba/Euphonium Quartet, and the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors. A winner of numerous awards, McCarthy has been recognized as Distinguished Research Scholar at The Indiana State University School of Music and The University of Akron. He also has held positions as Visiting Scholar at The University of Michigan, Ohio University and Freie Universität Berlin. danielmccarthy.net
 

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Mark W. Phillips   Athens OH
    Breaking News
Mark W. Phillips
Ohio University Distinguished Professor Mark Phillips won the 1988 Barlow International Competition for Orchestral Music, leading to collaborations with conductor Leonard Slatkin. His Violin Power was voted onto the SEAMUS 2015 conference CD. The World Saxophone Congress commissioned and premiered his What If for 101 saxophones in 2015. His music as been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Wigmore Hall, the Festival Internacional de Música de Bogotá, and numerous other festivals and conferences around the world. Commissioned for a 2005 Memphis premiere, his Dreams Interrupted has received performances across the country. He has received orchestral performances by groups such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the NHK Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra — and has been recorded by Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lark Quartet, and several solo artists. More information is available at www.coolvillemusic.com. 


Special Judges' Citation: "Music for Use: well crafted and eminently playable"
Curtis Melton   Las Vegas NV 
   The Genesis Effect, Forever Through The Fire
Curtis Melton
Dr. Curtis J. Melton is an American composer and conductor.  He currently is the Director of Bands at Legacy High School in North Las Vegas, NV.  As a composer, he has composed original marching band shows and concert band works, dedicating the most recent of these to the Legacy High School Band, and premiered by them at concerts and band shows.  A few of his works are published through Gary P. Gilroy Publications, and he has also composed movie soundtracks for short films.  His original film scores have received nominations for “Best Original Score” and one of them won “Best Original Song”, all at various film festivals in the Southwestern United States.  His concert bands at the high schools he’s taught have consistently received “Superior” Ratings at concert band contests over the last 12 years.  He continues to write original music every year for both concert and marching bands.
 

The American Prize in Composition—BAND/WIND ENSEMBLE, student division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Tyler Bouque   Troy MI
    Love Speaks
Tyler Bouque
Tyler Bouque, a senior at Troy High School, Michigan, began his musical career as a singer, only discovering composition at age ten. He has gone on to have a premieres at Lincoln Center, Frost School of Music, and The Macomb Center for Performing Arts, where he debuted his symphony for wind ensemble in the memory of a fellow student and musician who had passed away in 2009. Though currently making his Detroit Opera House debut as Gandalf in Dean Burry’s The Hobbit, Bouque continues to balance his vocal career with his passion for composition, with a May premiere of Dreams of Enough, his concerto for voice and orchestra with the Troy High School Symphony Orchestra. He is ever grateful for teachers like Jennifer Jolley, Lindsey Jacob, and Lisa Coons for shaping his work, his parents for their support, and for God for the blessing of music.
 

2nd Place:
Christopher Lowry   Antioch TN
    A Cypress Prelude, Celebration Overture
Christopher Lowry
Nashville native Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and most performed composers of his generation. A two-time winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Lowry has won prizes in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition (2015), The Vox Novus Call for Scores "Celebrating 200 Years with the West Point Band" (2017), The American Prize in Composition (Orchestral and Chamber Divisions, 2016), 2016 Oklahoma Youth Winds Composition Competition, 2016 Salford International Composing Contest, 2016 Alabama Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, 2016 BandWidth Music Festival Call for Scores, 2016 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project Composition Competition, 2016 ABLAZE Orchestral Masters Call for Scores, NAfME Composition Competition (2015, 2012), Frank Van Der Stucken Composition Award (2015), Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra Composition Competition (2015), and the Anton Stadler International Basset Clarinet Composition Competition (2010), among others. Lowry’s orchestral piece Golden Rhapsody received honorable mention in the 2016 Maurice Ravel International Composer’s Competition. He is also a two-time winner of the World Projects Composition Competition, winning in 2015 with Tranquillo for Orchestra (premiered in Carnegie Hall, June 2016) and in 2016 with Calm After - Chorale-Fanfare for Orchestra (to be premiered June 2017, Walt Disney Concert Hall). His music has been recorded by the Brno Filharmonie (Czech Republic) and performed by the Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Imperial Symphony, Nashville Philharmonic, Louisiana State University Symphony, Austin Peay State University Symphony, Middle Tennessee State University Symphony, Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Chamber Ensemble, and many others. A doctoral candidate at LSU, he holds a Master’s Degree from LSU and a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
 

3rd Place:
Seth M. Wright   Oklahoma City OK
    Divergent Winds
Seth M. Wright
Seth Wright is an American composer of art and film music, actively writing music that synthesizes authenticity, skill, and boundless energy. Wright believes that music is for everyone, and seeks to offset the nature of what listeners expect from art music and popular music. His music is approachable, but challenging – and, as one reviewer noted in 2016: “uniquely honest”. In 2016, he was selected as one of only twenty American composers to study composition and harmony in Paris as a member of the European American Musical Alliance. He has studied with composers like David Conte, Sarah Hutchings, David Hanner, Benjamin C. S. Boyle, and James Vernon. His works have been commissioned by soloists, choirs, bands, chamber ensembles, steel pan ensembles, and marching bands throughout the United States. Keep up with Seth or commission new music at sethwrightmusic.com."


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Congratulations!