Tuesday, June 19, 2018

WINNING CONDUCTORS: chorus, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Conducting, Choral Division, 2017-18. 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-finalists 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 Conducting,  College/University Chorus Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
David Mann
Michigan State University Chamber Choir
East Lansing MI

David Mann
David Mann is currently studying for his master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Michigan State University with David Rayl, Jonathan Reed, and Sandra Snow. At MSU, David is the assistant director of the State Singers, Men’s Glee Club, and MSU Choral Union. In his first year at MSU, David has prepared choirs for performances of Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Since moving to East Lansing in August 2016, David has served as Choral Director at St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

David Mann holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from James Madison University where he studied conducting with Bryce Hayes, Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy, and Patrick Walders. Following his undergraduate degree, David taught for three years at Patriot High School in Nokesville, VA and conducted the adult choirs at Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church.


2nd Place and Special Judges' Citation: 
"Outstanding Commitment to New Music"
Catherine Sailer
University of Denver Lamont Chorale
Denver CO

Catherine Sailer
Catherine Sailer is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Denver, conducts the Lamont Chorale, Lamont Women's Chorus, and the Evans Choir. She is also the Associate Conductor of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. She was awarded the Robert Shaw Fellowship in 2005 and won first place at the ACDA Conducting Competition. Sailer has prepared many choruses, such as with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and for the Aspen Music Festival.

She received her conducting doctorate with honors from Northwestern University and her bachelor and master's degrees from the University of Denver. Sailer is an active clinician for choir and orchestra and her collegiate ensembles have appeared at CMEA and Southwest ACDA divisional conferences. She is President of Colorado ACDA and was selected to represent the division on the International Choral Exchange Program to Shanghai, China.


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Lynda R. Hasseler
Capital University Chapel Choir
Columbus OH

Lynda R. Hasseler
Lynda Hasseler, D.M.A. is Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and acting Head of the Voice Area in the Conservatory of Music at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she directs the Chapel Choir, Choral Union, and vocal chamber ensemble, Philomel; and teaches choral methods and conducting. Nurturing Capital University’s rich choral legacy, the choirs under her direction have received numerous invitations to perform for multiple music regional and national conferences and festivals, have been awarded gold medals in world choral competitions and have toured nationally and internationally. She is co-editor of the Capital University Choral Series published by Beckenhorst Press, and has served as a choral clinician and guest conductor, regionally, nationally and internationally. Also a singer, Dr. Hasseler has performed, toured and recorded nationally and internationally with professional choral ensembles including the Robert Shaw Festival Chorus and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus.


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Ingrid Lestrud
Holy Cross College Choir
Worcester MA 

Ingrid Lestrud
Dr. Ingrid Lestrud enjoys an active career as a conductor and educator. Equally at home with orchestras and choirs, she has recently served as the Director of Choirs for the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Other recent positions include Assistant Conductor to Symphony Nova in Boston, MA; Director of Orchestras at Hope College in Holland, MI; Director of Choirs and Voice Department Chair at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. Prior to her conducting studies, Dr. Lestrud earned a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Lawrence University. She holds her formal conducting degrees from Southern Methodist University where she studied with Paul Phillips, and Northwestern University where she studied with Victor Yampolsky.
 


The American Prize in Conducting,  Community Chorus Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Allan Laino
University of Maryland Summer Chorus and Festival Orchestra
College Park MD

Allan Laino
Allan Laino maintains an active career in the DC metro area as an educator, conductor, singer, and composer. He has prepared choral ensembles for Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, Broadway Standing Ovations! with the BSO Pops and Jack Everly, Holiday Pops concerts with National Symphony Orchestra Pops and Steve Reineke, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, and the Josh Groban Live National Tour. As Co-Conductor of the Sunday Night Singers in 2012, he earned First Prize at the World Choir Games in the Mixed Chamber Choir Champions Division. He currently serves as Director of the University Singers at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art at The Catholic University of America, Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Michael Poplar Springs Roman Catholic Church, Associate Director of the Reston Chorale, and the College/University Resources & Repertoire Chair for ACDA's MD/DC Chapter. His new piece, The New Colossus for 8-part mixed choir dedicated to refugees and immigrants, was recently premiered by The Bridge Ensemble.


2nd Place:
Chris David Westover
Bethel College Philharmonia & Oratorio Chorus
North Newton KS

Chris David Westover
Chris David Westover, D.M.A., is Assistant Professor of Music and conducts the Wind Ensemble at Denison University. Previously, he led wind ensembles, orchestras, and operatic performances at Bethel College, University of Oklahoma, and SMU. He is in demand as a conductor, having led ensembles in the US and China. His research focuses on the sources of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Recently, he presented his research at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Dr. Westover commands a diverse repertoire including the core and contemporary repertoire of the orchestra and wind ensemble. An advocate for new music, he was a staff conductor for the TUTTI Festival and 4x4 Prizes and has commissioned and premiered many works. In 2010, Westover led the critically acclaimed Dallas premiere of Daniel Roumain’s “Darwin’s Meditation for the People of Lincoln” during the inaugural season of the Winspear Opera House. The Dallas Morning News said the performance “often shift[ed] between majesty and melancholy.”    


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Kevin Dibble
Chamber Singers of Iowa City
Iowa City IA

Kevin Dibble
Kevin Dibble is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Choral Conducting, pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa. In addition to his conducting at the University of Iowa, Kevin also teaches the undergraduate Choral Conducting and Literature course. Prior to his time at the University of Iowa, Kevin served on the music faculties at Houghton College, Ursinus College, and Cairn University.
 Recent professional engagements include various regional honor choirs, high school clinics, and conducting the National Sacred Honor Band. Kevin also serves the American Choral Directors Association as the Repertoire Reviews column editor for the Choral Journal.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Emily Isaacson
Oratorio Chorale
Brunswick M

Emily Isaacson
Dr. Emily Isaacson is recognized for her captivating and commanding musicianship. Her performances have been heralded as “one of the most moving musical events of the decade” (Portland Press Herald), and “awesome in the most literal sense of the word” (Times Record). Considered a dynamic emerging leader, Isaacson is Artistic Director of the Oratorio Chorale, a symphonic chorus and professional orchestra in southern, Maine, and the Associate Artistic Director of the Portland Bach Festival, a professional festival celebrating the music of J.S. Bach and the culture of Portland, Maine.  Isaacson is known for forging a magnetic rapport with audience members, and creating inspiring musical experiences in both familiar and progressive formats that help listeners bridge the musical traditions of the past with the cultural gems of today.  Emily lives in Portland with her husband, three-year old daughter and one-year old son. www.eisaacson.com


The American Prize in Conducting,  High School Chorus Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Andrew Dibble
Indian Springs School Concert Choir
Pelham AL

Andrew Dibble
Conductor Andrew Dibble currently serves as the Director of Choral Music at Indian Springs School in Birmingham, AL. At Springs, Andrew leads four choral ensembles, and conducts a yearly Concert Choir tour and biannual international tour with the Chamber Choir.

Prior to moving to Birmingham, Andrew conducted numerous choral ensembles in the Baltimore-D.C. area as the director of the Maryland Chamber Artists, the Assistant Conductor for the Maryland Choral Society, and the choir director at the Community College of Baltimore County.

In 2015 Andrew was selected as one of six to work with Dr. Andrew Megill at the Montreal Choral Institute and in 2017 was selected as one of twelve conductors to study with grammy award winning artists Craig Hella Johnson at his Choral Conducting Symposium..

Andrew holds a masters degree in Choral Conducting from Houghton College and lives in Indian Springs, Alabama with his wife, Amy.


2nd Place:
Jacob Cook
Youth Performing Arts School Chamber Choir
Louisville KY

Jacob Cook
Jacob Cook is the Director of Vocal Music Studies at the Youth Performing Arts School where he conducts choral ensembles, teaches vocal development, and teaches electives in pedagogy and opera. His ensembles have participated in the American Choral Director’s Association Southern Division Conference, the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference, and the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Conference. Mr. Cook serves in leadership roles as the Music Department Chair for the Youth Performing Arts School and the Youth Coordinator for the Kentucky Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s of Music and holds a Master’s of Music from the University of Kentucky.



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Congratulations!

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