Monday, April 30, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: vocal chamber music, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in vocal 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.

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


The American Prize in Composition—VOCAL CHAMBER MUSIC, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick   Newton MA
    Kollwitz-Konnex (… im Frieden seiner Hande)
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick was born Yusuf Mustafa Zeren in Pfaffenhofen-an-der-Ilm, Germany, in 1969. He studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Texas at Austin and the New England Conservatory of Music as well as at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien and the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland.  With his Romani-Kurdish ethnicity wrapped within his German-Polish-American identity, his music travels far afield by drawing inspiration from and engaging with literary, visual and musical landscapes both in time and place. This dialogue across centuries and among the arts informs much of his solo, chamber, orchestral, film and vocal music. Gawlick’s music (www.ralfgawlick.com), broadcast on NPR and available on the Musica Omnia and Capstone labels, is published by ECS Publishing, Musica Omnia Publishing and Brazinmusikanta Publications. He teaches at Boston College and lives in Newton, MA, with his wife Basia and their two children.


2nd Place:
Tony Solitro   Philadelphia PA
    More Beautiful Than Night
Tony Solitro
Tony Solitro is composer of concert and stage music whose recent works have been commissioned by Boston Opera Collaborative, Joseph Conyers (Assistant Principal Bass, Philadelphia Orchestra), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and Network for New Music. His compositions have been performed by People Inside Electronics (Los Angeles), the Litha Symphony Orchestra (Manhattan), International Opera Theater (USA/Italy), and in venues such as the Red Note New Music Festival (Illinois State University), the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, England), and the International Guitar Research Centre (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK). Tony has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, VCCA, Brush Creek, Kimmel Harding Nelson, and the Brevard Music Center. He earned his Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania) as a recipient of the George Crumb Music Fellowship and his M.M. (Longy School of Music) on a Nadia and Lili Boulanger Scholarship. To hear recordings, see videos, and explore his composition catalogue, visit www.tonysolitro.com.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Curtis Bryant   Union City GA
    THE LAUGHING MONKEYS OF GRAVITY
Curtis Bryant
Curtis Bryant (b. 1949) composes and teaches in the Atlanta area and served on the faculty of Georgia State University School of Music for ten years. For over three decades his music has been performed throughout North America and worldwide in concerts, music festivals and radio and television. Bryant composes for virtually all concert media including chamber, choral, orchestral, art song, and opera. He is a 2016 winner of THE AMERICAN PRIZE in composition opera/theater/film division for his opera ZABETTE. THE LAUGHING MONKEYS OF GRAVITY is a four-part song cycle based on a set of poems by Stephen Bluestone. Written for high soprano voice and expanded Pierrot ensemble, it is a meditation on the great comedians of the early film era, Laurel and Hardy, Lou Costello, The Three Stooges, and Charles Chaplin. The world premiere was given by soprano Arietha Lockhart in 2003 with faculty members of Mercer University. http://www.curtisbryantmusic.com



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Moshe Shulman   Buffalo NY
    Song of Songs
Moshe Shulman
Russian-born Israeli composer, violin, viola, bandoneon and accordion player, Moshe Shulman (b.1978) holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and the PhD degree in composition from the NY State University at Buffalo, studying with Mark Kopytman, David Felder and Johannes Schollhorn through the years. His music was performed in Israel, Canada, United States, Russia and France and Hungary with various ensembles such as Norrbotten NEO and Juventas New Music Ensemble, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Meridian Brass Quintet, Slee Sinfonietta (Buffalo, NY), International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Arditti Quartet. As a student he received numerous award, scholarships and assistantships from Israel and USA. He received a 2015 Fromm Foundation Commission from Harvard University. In summer 2009, Moshe won 3rd prize for “Construction 3” at the Jurgenson Contemporary Music International Competition in Moscow. He is on the Walden Summer Music Camp Faculty since 2014, and University at Buffalo adjunct professor. www.mosheshulman.com


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Jennifer Bellor   Las Vegas NV
    Songs in the Dark
Jennifer Bellor
Jennifer Bellor is a versatile composer who has been recognized for both her classical and jazz works with awards including The American Prize for her composition Chase the Stars, Elevate Ensemble Call for Scores winner for Moments Shared, Moments Lost, IAWM Judith Lang Zaimont prize for Skylark Lullaby, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra prize for Noir, and a Downbeat Award for Midnight Swim. Fanfare magazine praised Bordello Nights as being a “terrific piece of big-band jazz.” Her works have been performed by Washington National Opera, Lviv Philharmonic, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, and many others in the United States and abroad. Jennifer’s album Stay (2016) was featured on NewMusicBox’s Staff Picks as displaying a “wonderful demonstration of how to maintain a highly individual compositional identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos.” (Frank J. Oteri). Jennifer earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. She is currently Visiting Lecturer at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches courses in music composition and theory. For more information, please visit www.jenniferbellor.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Timothy Lee Miller   Mahwah NJ
    Three Poems of Henry W. Longfellow
Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Timothy Lee Miller
Timothy Lee Miller is an American composer, arranger and publisher writing contemporary concert music for chamber ensembles, orchestra, wind ensemble, and voice, as well as jazz and film music. He has earned degrees from the University of Tennessee, the University of Miami and Vermont College of Fine Arts. His principle composition teachers have been John Anthony Lennon, James Progris, Tamar Diesendruck, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Andy Jaffe, John Fitz Rogers and Roger Zahab. He has received numerous commissions and awards, including several ASCAP awards. His works have been performed throughout the US and in Europe. His music is recorded on ERMMedia, Navona Records, Ansonica Records and Phoenix Classics. He lives in Mahwah, New Jersey with his wife and son.   


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Craig Thomas Naylor   Kalispell MT
    our voices, for now, sustained
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 Honorable Mention:
Adam Schumaker   Portage MI
    The Best Thing Ever
Adam Schumaker
Adam Schumaker is a composer, educator, arts administrator, father, husband, and a generalist. He currently directs the education programs for The Gilmore Keyboard Festival and is a visiting professor of music theory & composition at Kalamazoo College, where he teaches music theory, composition, and arts entrepreneurship. Schumaker has composed for film, theater, chamber ensembles, concert band, promotional video, electronic mediums, and an intensive care unit hospital bed. He has received numerous local grants and commissions, most recently the Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative grant from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, to premiere his new song cycle, “The Best Thing Ever.” www.adamschumaker.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Reginald Unterseher   Kennewick WA
    Here, Bullet, a cycle of songs
Reginald Unterseher
Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and his web site, and are available at NWChoral.com. He was the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013. Mr. Unterseher’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at regional and national ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He is the Repertoire & Resources Chair for Composition for the Washington State American Choral Director’s Association. Mr. Unterseher is founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest as well as a founding member of Chor Anno. He is currently the Associate Conductor of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David von Kampen   Lincoln NE
    UNDER THE SILVER AND HOME AGAIN
David von Kampen
David von Kampen (b.1986) is a composer from Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s music spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including choral music, jazz, hymnody and liturgy, art song, chamber music, and musical theater. David is a six-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories, a three-time winner of the Vancouver Chamber Choir Young Composers Competition, and was named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle "Under the Silver and Home Again." David was the recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award, winner of the San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. David has over 50 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with Walton Music, Santa Barbara, G. Schirmer, Concordia Publishing House, UNC Jazz Press, MusicSpoke, and others.


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

The American Prize winner:
Michael Lanci   Saratoga Springs NY
    Songs For Joe Hill
Michael Lanci
Michael Lanci (b.1984) is an active composer, teacher, and performer residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. Michael's music has been performed throughout America, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Michael has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and performed by the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with a variety of ensembles, including Klangpar2, Duo d’Entre Deux, Tres Por Radio, the harp duo Beyond Pluck, Decho Ensemble, Azalea Quartet, All of the Above, Hypercube, Fredonia Saxophone Ensemble, and Buffalo Chamber Players. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from SUNY Albany, where he also studied composition with Max Lifchitz and Master of Music degree in composition from SUNY Fredonia, where he studied with Rob Deemer and Karl Boelter. Michael is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he is studying with Michael Fiday. (michaellanci.com)

2nd Place:
Jihyun Kim   Houston TX
    Gorilla
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:
M.O. Abbott   Urbana IL
    Transistor
M.O. Abbott
M.O. Abbott's music has been performed by ensembles such as loadbang and Illinois Modern Ensemble, and by esteemed new music performers such as Kevin McFarland, Caleb Burhans, Martha Cluver, Tomoko Ono, Melody Chua, Victor Pons, and Yi-Wen Chen. M.O.'s work has recently been heard at festivals and conferences including Diffrazioni, Electronic Music Midwest, the SPLICE Institute, the SEAMUS National Conference, NUNC! 2, and New Music on the Point. M.O. was recently awarded the 19th Annual 21st Century Piano Commission with pianist Whitney Ashe. M.O. holds a B.M. in Theory from Eastman School of Music and a M.M. in Music Composition from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he now pursuing a D.M.A. as the graduate teaching assistant administrator of CAMIL (Computer Assisted Music Instruction Laboratory) and CMP (Computer Music Project). His principal composition instructors include Sever Tipei, Scott A. Wyatt, Heinrich Taube. Brian Belet, and David Liptak.


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Congratulations!

Friday, April 27, 2018

VOCAL WINNERS: Chicago Oratorio Award, 2018

Gioachino Rossini
The American Prize is pleased to announce the four winners of the Chicago Oratorio Award for 2018. These artists have been selected to perform as soloists with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus in Rossini's Stabat Mater on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7:30pm, in St James Epsicopal Cathedral, Chicago. The performance will be under the baton of the orchestra's founding music director, David Katz. Stephen Blackwelder is the chorus director.

For ticket information, please visit: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3055822 

If you would like to learn how you too can utilize the considerable artistic resources of The American Prize to help identify soloists for your ensemble's performances, please contact: theamericanprize@gmail.com 

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CHICAGO ORATORIO AWARD winners: 
Rossini's STABAT MATER

Christine Steyer, soprano
Christine Steyer, soprano
Soprano Christine Steyer has distinguished herself as artist of great versatility and is the recipient of numerous performances awards. Christine received critical acclaim for her operatic portrayals of the Marschallin, Madama Butterfly and Violetta. A frequent recitalist, Christine sang concerts of Russian and American music with pianist Philip Morehead and Spanish music with classical guitarist Brandon Acker. Recently Steyer sang for the Cuban Ambassador, the American Opera Society of Chicago, Beethoven's 9th at the University of Chicago, Lady Liberty in Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson with Chicago Folks Operetta, Mrs. Croft in Persuasion with Chamber Opera Chicago and a recital of Schubert at Unity Temple, Oak Park. She has commissioned and premiered several new works for soprano by composer David Shenton set to contemporary American poetry. As Artistic Director of Bellissima Opera, she is heading the creation of the new opera Future Perfect with a libretto by Chicagoland youth. Christine is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Concordia University in River Forest, IL.


Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano
Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano
“A born star who effectively stole the show” is how the press describes mezzo-soprano ANNA TONNA.  Well known for her commitment to the music of Spain and Latin America, her performances have been depicted as “...full of charm and magnetism with her dark, compact lyric mezzo-soprano, ideally suited for the flamenco-like vocal flourishes of Spanish music”.  In the role of Ernestina in the North American premiere of Gioachino Rossini's L'equivoco stravagante, she was described as "a mezzo heroine who knows how to sing Rossini" by the Rossini Gessellschaft and as "showing off her warm, secure mezzo-soprano to maximum advantage" by the New York Magazine.  Her combination of a highly developed coloratura with a full, balanced, flexible lower register have guaranteed her acclaim as a lyric mezzo, both in familiar roles of Rosina, Carmen, Dorabella, as well as in the more rare repertoire by Paisiello, Vivaldi, Mascagni, Zandonai and Giordano.  She has sung leading roles with Teatro Grattacielo in Lincoln Center, New Jersey State Opera, Opera Illinois State Opera of Brno (Czech Republic), Opera de Santo Domingo among others. As a solo recitalist she has presented at The Casals Festival of Puerto Rico, Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes in Puerto Rico, Música de Cámara of New York, Festival de Segovia (Spain) among many others.  She can be heard on her new disc release Espana alla Rossini with iTinerant Classics.   www.annatonna.com

 

Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, tenor
Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, tenor
Romanian tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman has appeared with opera companies, symphony orchestras and on the recital stage in Europe, South America and North America. Mr. Caraman has performed with Los Angeles Opera, George Enescu International Music Festival in Bucharest, Miami Lyric Opera, South Bend Lyric Opera, Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Opera in the Heights in Houston, Die Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie, New England Chamber Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and New Philharmonic Orchestra. Operatic highlights include Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Alfredo in La Traviata, Don José in Carmen, Fritz in L’Amico Fritz, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, Nemorino in L'elisir D'amore, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Lawrence Budmen of South Florida Classical Review: “In the title role, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman displayed a well-schooled lyric tenor that scaled the opera’s peaks impressively. He brought passionate lyricism to Fritz’s melodic outbursts. His aria of despair at losing his beloved Suzel was imbued with real vocal drama, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman’s high notes ringing through the house.”

 

Benjamin Howard, baritone
Benjamin Howard, baritone
Previously based in Chicago, baritone Benjamin Howard was marked as a “standout in the huge cast” (Chicago Tribune) as Connie Rivers in the Chicago premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at Northwestern University. Howard has sung roles with Chicago’s Main Street Opera in Serrano’s La Dolorosa and Rodrigo’s Ausencias de Dulcinea. Recent roles include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at Opera in the Ozarks and the title role in Don Giovanni at the University of North Texas. As a soloist, Howard most recently sang with the Abilene Philharmonic, performing Broadway love songs. This summer Howard will be a Young Artist at Utah Festival Opera, singing the roles of Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods and the Sergeant in The Barber of Seville. A Los Angeles native, Howard received his BM at Northwestern and currently pursues an Artist Certificate at UNT, where he completed his MM.
 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

FINALISTS: conductors (band/wind ensemble divisions), 2017-18

The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in band/wind ensemble divisions. Congratulations!

"Wow, what great competitions. Many semi-finalists have been advanced, leading many different kinds (and strengths) of programs, in a variety of repertoire. All those listed below are worthy to receive further consideration for the fine work they are doing. Bravi, tutti."—DK

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 band division, 2017-18

Kaleb Benda
OCU Wind Philharmonic
Oklahoma City OK

Michael Scott Butler
UWSP Wind Ensemble
Stevens Point WI

Daniel Cook
Recital Chamber Winds
Evanston IL

Austin Davis
University of Redlands Symphonic Band
Redlands CA

Pamornpan Komolpamorn
The University of Texas Bands
Austin TX

William L. Lake, Jr.
UNCG Casella Sinfonietta
Greensboro NC

Dongyul Lee
USC Bands
Los Angeles CA

Matthew Mailman
Oklahoma City University Wind Philharmonic
Oklahoma City OK

Leah McGray
Rhodes College Wind Ensemble, U-Memphis Symphonic Band
Memphis TN

Sixto F. Montesinos
Rutgers Wind Ensemble
New Brunswick NJ

Courtney Snyder
University of Michigan Concert Band
Ann Arbor MI

Mason St. Pierre
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony
Sydney Australia

Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Wind Ensemble
Seattle WA

Adam Waller
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Baltimore MD

Ryan M. Yahl
Indiana University Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble
Bloomington IN

Chee Weng Yim
Frost Wind Ensemble
Coral Gables FL

Boyang Yu
New England
Conservatory Wind Ensemble
Boston MA


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—school and community band division, 2017-18

Brian Hughes
Quad City Wind Ensemble
Dubuque IA

Curtis Melton
Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
North Las Vegas NV

Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Concert Band
Seattle WA

Richard J. Whitley
The Blacksburg Community Band
Blacksburg VA

Gregory X. Whitmore
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble
Irvine CA


***

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 finalists.


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 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


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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 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 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."


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Congratulations!