Thursday, July 12, 2018

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


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Conducting, Band/Wind Ensemble Divisions, 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 Band/Wind Ensemble Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Pamornpan Komolpamorn
The University of Texas Bands
Austin TX
Pamornpan Komolpamorn
Pamornpan Komolpamorn, a native Thai, is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at The University of Texas at Austin, where she also serves as a graduate assistant with the University Bands. She is also currently an instructor of conducting at the College of Music, Mahidol University (MU), Thailand, where she works as a director and conductor of the MU Symphony Orchestra, the MU Symphonic Band, the MU Concert Band, and the MU Brass Band. She also serves as founding director and conductor of the Amass Chamber Ensemble (ACE) since 2010, performing various composers and periods from early to contemporary music. In 2012, she worked as a producer and conductor on the Mahidol Symphonic Band release the CD recording on the title Winds of Salaya with the world premiere of Zurazak Ut-Za’s Of Faith & Reminiscences. 


2nd Place:
Courtney Snyder
University of Michigan Concert Band
Ann Arbor MI

Courtney Snyder
Dr. Courtney Snyder joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2014 as Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Conducting. She directs the Concert Band, teaches conducting, and directs the Michigan Youth Wind Band. Previously, Snyder served as the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Additionally, she served as Music Director for the Nebraska Wind Symphony which was selected to perform at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association Annual Conference. Dr. Snyder is a frequent guest conductor both in the US and abroad, and has presented at the Midwest Clinic, national CBDNA and CMS conferences, and will present results of her study on movement and sound at the international WASBE conference this summer. She is published in Music Educators Journal, several volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band School Band & Orchestra Magazine, and Association of Concert Bands Journal.



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Michael Scott Butler
UWSP Wind Ensemble
Stevens Point WI

Michael Scott Butler
Dr. Michael Scott Butler is the Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, teaching Conducting and Instrumental Methods, and hosting an annual honor band for high school students. Ensembles under his leadership have been recognized for their outstanding artistry and invited to perform at venues such as the Florida Music Educators Conference and the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Most recently, CBDNA acknowledged the UWSP Wind Ensemble as one of the finest small university bands. A recent opportunity and privilege include being invited to guest conduct the United States Army Band Pershing’s Own. An advocate of new music for the wind band, he regularly joins commission projects to ensure talented composers are contributing to the wind repertoire. The National Band Association has awarded Dr. Butler a Citation of Excellence for his contributions to bands and band music.



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Ryan M. Yahl
Indiana University Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble
Bloomington IN

Ryan M. Yahl
Ryan M. Yahl is pursuing the Doctor of Music degree in Wind Conducting and serves as an Associate Instructor in the Department of Bands at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition, he serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Community Band.  He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University. From 2009-2015, Mr. Yahl served as the director of bands for the New Bremen Local School District.  Prior to New Bremen, he taught for one year in the Anthony Wayne Local School District, and two years at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Catholic School, in Toledo. He currently holds professional memberships in OMEA, IMEA, NAfME, PAS, the Indiana Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, WASBE, ASBDA, CBDNA, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds lifetime membership in Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Service Fraternity.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Daniel Cook
Recital Chamber Winds
Evanston IL 

Daniel Cook
Daniel Cook is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Northwestern University, where he studies with Dr. Mallory Thompson. He received his Master of Music degree from the same institution. Prior, Mr. Cook served as Director of Bands at DeLand High School. His students have enjoyed success, earning superior ratings at district and state solo, small ensemble, and large group performance festivals. His ensembles have performed at the FMEA In-Service Conference and the Music for All National Concert Band Festival. Mr. Cook is active as an adjudicator, arranger, drill writer, and accompanist. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia. Daniel has recently been selected as a participant for the NBA Young Conductor Mentor Project. His professional affiliations include NAfME, NBA, CBDNA, and Kappa Kappa Psi.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Mason St. Pierre
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony
Sydney Australia

Mason St. Pierre
Mason St. Pierre is currently a second year postgraduate student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, pursuing a degree in Wind Conducting (MM) under the tutelage of John P. Lynch. On scholarship, he is the first international student to be admitted into this program. Mason earned his BM in Trumpet Performance and Music Education at Ithaca College. Recently, Mason has participated in the New England Conservatory Conductors Forum, Frederick Fennell Memorial Conducting Masterclass, and was one of six participants selected to conduct the Royal Australian Navy Band at the 2016 Australian Band and Orchestra Conference with H. Robert Reynolds, clinician. Mason is listed as an assistant producer on the SCM Wind Symphony's first professional recording, Celebrare (available on the Klavier label), and served as Intern/Assistant to the Verbrugghen Ensemble, the Conservatorium's professional ensemble in residence.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Adam Waller
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Baltimore MD 

Adam Waller
Adam Waller is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Wind Ensemble and currently serving as Graduate Assistant in the Wind Conducting Department and Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Wind Ensemble and Modern Orchestra. In addition to large ensemble leadership, Mr. Waller teaches conducting classes at the Peabody Conservatory and is an adjunct conducting faculty member at Towson University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studies Wind Conducting with Harlan Parker. Mr. Waller holds an Undergraduate Degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Wind Conducting both from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Additional studies in conducting include workshops at the Eastman School of Music, Michigan State University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Hart School of Music and the Inaugural United States Army Band’s “Pershing’s Own” conducting workshop.

 


The American Prize in Conducting,  Community Band/Wind Ensemble Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner (there was a tie):
Brian Hughes
Quad City Wind Ensemble
Davenport IA
Brian Hughes
The winner of the 2015 and 2016 American Prize in Band Conducting and lauded by Iowa Public Radio as a “major figure in Iowa arts,” Brian Hughes is an active conductor at home and abroad.  Since his 1993 European debut with the Northern Iowa Chamber Winds in Eger, Hungary, he has conducted concerts in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Russia.  In 1995, he founded the Tri-State Wind Symphony (Dubuque) and has continued to lead it through summer seasons of substantive growth. Brian is also the Music Director of the Quad City Wind Ensemble (Davenport). He holds degrees in music education and conducting from Olivet College (MI), the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brian lives in Dubuque with his precocious teenage daughter, Caitlyn. When not on the podium, Hughes is usually found in his favorite coffee shop or his kitchen—glass in hand--with his favorite utensil: his wok.


The American Prize winner (there was a tie):
Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Concert Band
Seattle WA

Shayna Stahl
Shayna Stahl (ABD) is currently in her final year in the Doctor of Music Arts/Instrumental Conducting program at the University of Washington. Currently she serves as Graduate Assistant Director of the UW Husky Marching Band, conductor for the UW Concert Band, and assistant conductor for the UW Wind Ensemble. Her previous experience includes ten years as a staff member in the athletic band program at Stony Brook University, including three years as Director of Athletic Bands. She also served for eight years as a music educator in the Middle Country Central School District where she taught Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. Shayna Stahl earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University and a Master in Music Education/Instrumental Conducting from The Hartt School of Music where she studied with Glen Adsit. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Temple University in Philadelphia.



2nd Place:
Gregory X. Whitmore
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble
Irvine CA

Gregory X. Whitmore
Dr. Gregory Whitmore is Director of Bands at Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA). Dr. Whitmore is also Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Youth Wind Ensemble (Irvine, CA). Dr. Whitmore received his Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education from The University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Whitmore received his Master's Degree in Music in Wind Conducting from California State University - Fullerton. Dr. Whitmore holds a Masters Degree, and Doctorate in Music and Music Education from Columbia University (Teachers College). Dr. Whitmore has conducted ensembles in such notable concert venues as The Musikverein (Vienna), The MuTh (Vienna), Segerstrom Concert Hall (Costa Mesa), Symphony Hall (Chicago), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Hall (New York City), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Holy Trinity Church (Stratford, England), St. John’s Smith Square (London), Chateau Vaux le Vicomte (Paris), and Heidelberg Castle (Germany).

 

3rd Place:
Richard J. Whitley
The Blacksburg Community Band
Blacksburg VA

Richard J. Whitley
Originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, Richard J. Whitley is a freelance conductor, composer/arranger, music educator, music director and oboist. He also serves as a certified judge with the National Judges Association and Tournament of Bands. Mr. Whitley holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Oboe Performance from Davis & Elkins College (Elkins, WV) and the Master of Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting from Radford University (Radford, VA). Throughout his music career, Mr. Whitley has performed with a variety of performance groups to include the Davis & Elkins College Concert Band, Concert Choir and Chamber Choir, as well as the Radford University Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert Choir. He has also been a regular and guest performer with the Blacksburg Community Band, Blacksburg Community Strings, Roanoke College Wind Ensemble, and Winds of the Blue Ridge.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Bradley Morrison
Bradley Morrison is the founder, conductor and director of the Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester, and is the Director of Cultural Arts for the Ossining Union Free School District, where he oversees the Music, Art, and Theater curricula and programs for the over 5000 students in the Ossining Schools. Under his direction the Ossining Schools have been recognized as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM foundation for the last 7 consecutive years; they have been a semifinalist in the GRAMMY Signature Schools program; and the Ossining Schools have been awarded the prestigious Program of Distinction Award for Music from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. He is currently President of the New York State Band Directors Association and President of the Westchester County Arts Leadership Association.



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Congratulations!

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