Thursday, July 19, 2018

WINNING ENSEMBLES: orchestras, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18. Congratulations!

NEW PRIZES: Because of the quality and depth of the orchestral field in the college/university division this year, we are presenting University Division and College Division awards separately. (See below.) Also, a special award, for Public Magnet School Orchestra, is being awarded in the 2017-18 contest year.

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 Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—professional division

The American Prize winner:
Allentown Symphony
Allentown PA
Diane Wittry, music director

Allentown Symphony
Now in its 67th season of bringing great orchestra music to the Lehigh Valley, the Allentown Symphony with Music Director & Conductor, Diane Wittry, plays time-honored masterworks, newly commissioned world premieres, and other intriguing repertoire, including new works by prominent composers.  Each year, the ASO (www.allentownsymphony.org) performs more than 20 classical, pops, and family concerts.

World-class artists that have performed with ASO include Midori, Emanuel Ax, Richard Stoltzman, Garrick Ohlsson, Angela Meade, and Peter Serkin, as well as jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and Broadway vocalist Christiane Noll.  Its musicians include players from the urban centers of New York, Baltimore-D.C., and Philadelphia.

The ASO has received grants from National Endowment of the Arts, and the League of American Orchestras in support of its El Sistema-inspired program for at-risk youth.  The Symphony also annually hosts the National Schadt String Competition, which attracts top young performers from over the world.


2nd Place:
Sinfonietta of Riverdale
Bronx NY

Mark Mandarano, music director
Sinfonietta of Riverdale
Founded in 2008 by Artistic Director and conductor Mark Mandarano, the Sinfonietta of Riverdale is a distinctive ensemble—large enough to perform chamber symphonies and small enough that each of its world class musicians is a featured soloist. It has been deemed “Off-the-hook fabulous” by Time Out New York, while The New Yorker declared that “High culture has flowed northward into the Bronx.” The ensemble has performed the music of world-renowned composers, notably Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Corigliano and Ellen Zwillich, who have attended its concerts. It has commissioned works from leading young composers, including Roger Zare, David Bruce, Alan Fletcher, Byron Adams and Oliver Caplan. The Sinfonietta has two recordings on the Arabesque label. Its first CD on Albany Records, New World Serenade, features music by several generations of American composers and has received critical praise: “The Sinfonietta of Riverdale under the direction of Mandarano brings all of [the music] off exceedingly well, with stellar playing—Exquisitely beautiful—highly recommended all around.” Fanfare. The Sinfonietta is now in its 9th season.


3rd Place:
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra
New York NY 

Jonathan Griffith, music director
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra
Founded in 2008 by esteemed choral and orchestral conductor, Jonathan Griffith, Distinguished Concerts Orchestra (DCO) is the resident orchestra for Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), the city’s preeminent producer of choral and orchestral concerts in New York’s most prestigious concert venues. The DCO is comprised of some of the top orchestral musicians in the area, including numerous graduates of Juilliard, The Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, and Boston Conservatory. While the vast majority of these players have performed in every DCINY production since its inception, those players who have left the New York area have gone on to permanent posts in orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the London Philharmonic. Under the direction of Jonathan Griffith and DCINY’s roster of notable guest conductors, the DCO performs at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—university division (the college division is separate this contest season (please see below)

The American Prize winner:
Baylor Symphony Orchestra
Waco TX 

Stephen Heyde, music director
Baylor Symphony Orchestra
The Baylor Symphony annually presents six concerts of standard repertoire, a full opera production, concerto accompaniments, new music readings, choral collaborations and children's concerts reaching an audience of 6000 area schoolchildren.

The Symphony has appeared at the T.M.E.A. Convention eight times, at Piccolo Spoleto and at a national convention of A.S.T.A and recorded a PBS Special seen by six million viewers. The Baylor Symphony has collaborated with many distinguished American performers including Van Cliburn, Joseph Gingold, Robert Shaw, Corey Cerovsek, Jacob Druckman, Lorin Hollander, Roberto Diaz, Andrew Balio and Peter Schickele among others. The BSO has taken international tours of Costa Rica (2004) and Belgium (2010) and has won the prestigious American Prize for three consecutive times (2015, 2016 and 2017).

Former members of the BSO have won positions in many professional orchestras including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Cincinnati and Fort Worth among others.


2nd Place:
Cornell Symphony Orchestra
Ithaca NY 

Chris Younghoon Kim, music director
Cornell Symphony Orchestra
Cornell Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Chris Younghoon Kim, present multiple concerts during each academic school year.  The membership of the orchestra is formed from students of all colleges and departments across the university-wide community.  It is the only non-music major orchestra to win first place among collegiate orchestras the ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary music during the 2008-2009 season. It has won the Adventurous awards for 6 years in a row from 2008-2014. For the last seven seasons Cornell Orchestras have been jointly producing the Ithaca International conducting masterclasses with Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra.


3rd Place:
UNCG Symphony Orchestra and Choirs
Greensboro NC 

Kevin M. Geraldi, music director
UNCG Symphony Orchestra and Choirs
The UNCG Orchestra program is recognized for performance excellence, adventurous programming, and high artistic standards.  The mission of the UNCG Orchestras is dedicated to the teaching, performance, study and cultivation of orchestral music of the highest quality. The UNCG Symphony Orchestra is a highly select ensemble of approximately ninety performers majoring in music. Performers include undergraduates through masters and doctoral candidates in music. Many members perform regularly with professional orchestras around the region, including the North Carolina Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, and others. Recent reviews described performances by the UNCG Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Kevin M. Geraldi as, "dramatic and incisive," "beautifully done," “with a wide palette of color and dynamics and vigorous rhythms,” and “at a professional level.”



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—college division
(the university division is separate this contest season (please see above)

The American Prize winner:
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC 

Tara Villa Keith, music director
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
The Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO), directed by Tara Villa Keith, is an active undergraduate ensemble in a top ten liberal arts setting.  The DCSO is composed of approximately fifty musicians, including students, faculty, and community members. Every January, the orchestra goes on a regional tour, performing concerts and giving clinics at various schools and churches. In addition to its regular four-concert season, the DCSO gives two outdoor concerts and performs during Family Weekend and in an annual Holiday Gala.  In addition, the DCSO features winners of the concerto competition and serves as a workshop orchestra for student conductors.  The DCSO is also in its ninth season of Concerts for a Cause, in which donations are accepted at the door at each of its main concerts.  One-hundred percent of the donations are given to various charitable organizations chosen by the Davidson students and community.  Please visit us at www.davidson.edu/academics/music/ensembles/symphony-orchestra.


2nd Place:
Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra
Hillsdale MI

James A. Holleman, music director
Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra
Professor Edwyn Hames founded the Hillsdale College/Community Orchestra in 1951 and served as Music Director through 1966. Professor James A. Holleman was named Music Director in the fall of 1997. The name of the ensemble was changed to The Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2010 to reflect the growth in personnel and rehearsal schedule of an ensemble primarily consisting of full-time Hillsdale College students, mostly non-music majors. Music department faculty members serve as coaches for each section of the orchestra. The orchestra typically performs four concert cycles per academic year, each with two performances. Annually students compete in the Concerto/Aria Competition with winners selected to perform as soloists with the orchestra during the March and May concerts. The orchestra was selected and performed at the 2017 CODA National Conference on the campus of George Mason University.


3rd Place:
College of William & Mary Symphony Orchestra
Williamsburg VA 

David Grandis, music director
College of William & Mary Symphony Orchestra
Now entering its 84th season, the William & Mary Symphony Orchestra is comprised of Non-Music Major students of the College of William & Mary; mostly undergraduates but also a few graduate students and community members. Its mission is to grow through performances of great orchestral literature and to contribute to the artistic community of the College and beyond. WMSO has performed major works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Dvorak, Mahler, Bartok, Ravel, Strauss and Tchaikovsky and offers additional opportunities such as guest artist collaborations, premieres, and tours. In 2002, WMSO took its first international tour to Italy and Sicily. The orchestra's domestic tours include performances at the Lang Recital Hall at Swarthmore College, PA (2012), the Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall at Towson University, MD (2013), and most recently at Bellefield Hall at University of Pittsburgh, PA (2014) and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (2015).



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—community division

The American Prize winner:
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle WA 

Anna Edwards, music director
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
The Seattle Collaborative Orchestra (SCO) is a diverse, multigenerational performing arts organization representative of the greater Seattle community. SCO is devoted to bringing classical and new symphonic works into local schools and communities. SCO musicians include students, community members, and professionals who work together to create a unique and collaborative musical experience dedicated to expanding beyond traditional organizational and musical boundaries to promote a more diverse performing and listening audience. SCO programs innovative and eclectic music, features music by female composers, and provides opportunities to emerging Pacific Northwest performing artists.

Our musical goals create engaging, educational, and collaborative experience by coupling committed student and community members with experienced professionals representing premier Seattle-area ensembles. Our organization provides an avenue for professional musicians wishing to contribute to the sustainability of orchestral music through nurturing and mentoring students within a challenging performance experience. Working alongside professional musicians, students learn to reach higher levels of musicianship and develop traits of professional responsibility.


2nd Place:
Texas Medical Center Orchestra
Houston TX 

Libi Lebel, music director
Texas Medical Center Orchestra
Established in November 2000, Texas Medical Center Orchestra (TMCO) is one of very few community orchestras in the United States and the world with its origin in the health professions. It includes physicians, dentists, nurses, medical students, biomedical scientists, social workers and other allied health professionals who are dedicated to making music. Part of the orchestra’s mission is to provide health care professionals a creative outlet; offer affordable concerts to a diverse public audience; and bring public attention and support for, medically related and/or educational charities. Performances have been mainly in Houston, and within Texas.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA 

Orlando Cela, music director
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Practically every Wednesday evening from September to June, members of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra gather to rehearse for one of the five concerts they perform in each season. The players range widely in age and experience, but all have in common the love of making music. Depending on the Orchestra’s needs, new members are welcome and no audition is necessary to join. Each new season features a sprinkling of new faces ranging from young students to seniors. Many members are loyal veterans – one violinist played with the Orchestra for 70 years, starting shortly after it was established in 1933! Under the baton of Music Director Orlando Cela, the Orchestra presents its first concert in November.  A joint concert follows in December in which the Orchestra and the Arlington-Belmont Chorale combine forces led by Chorale Music Director Barry Singer and Maestro Cela.  In February, the Orchestra performs a Family Concert designed to inspire youngsters of all ages. In May, the Orchestra and the Chorale are together again to present the Philharmonic Society’s Sponsors’ Concert. The season concludes with the POPS! Concert in June, which features both the Orchestra and the Chorale and is coupled with a delightful pre-concert Strawberry Festival. The Orchestra takes pride in presenting a broad spectrum of the traditional classical repertoire as well as modern works, including local composers. POPS, of course, predominately showcases lighter works taken from the worlds of jazz, show tunes and movie scores. In addition, the instrumental winner of the Philharmonic’s Young Artist Competition (as well as the occasional vocal winner) gets a performance as a soloist with the Orchestra.  These young instrumental soloists span the full range of instruments from piano to violin and never fail to deliver amazing performances.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Branchburg NJ 

Michael Avagliano, music director
Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra
The Central Jersey Symphony has been providing musical experiences for the communities of Somerset County and beyond for nearly 50 years. The orchestra's performance homes reflect its regional impact, from its ancestral home at Raritan Valley Community College to recent performances at Drew University. Under the leadership of music director Michael Avagliano, the CJSO brings together musicians from six counties in New Jersey to create a vibrant musical life for our community. Recent seasons have seen collaborations with Light Opera of New Jersey to present fully staged operas, world premieres of works by New Jersey composers, and the next generation of performers being showcased through the Young Pianists Competition of New Jersey. Visit our website, www.cjso.org, to find out more about our upcoming season.


The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—youth orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
Denver Young Artists Orchestra
Denver CO
Wes Kenney, conductor

Denver Young Artists Orchestra
The Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) was formed in 1977 under the auspices of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, now the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO).  It was started as a means for Colorado’s most talented young musicians to rehearse and perform together under demanding professional standards. 

The mission of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association (DYAO) is to provide the finest possible youth orchestra programs, inspiring and educating young musicians through the performance of great works of music, and offering valuable cultural opportunities to the community. For thirty-nine years, DYAO has nurtured the talents of the Rocky Mountain region’s finest young musicians. Today, the organization’s five orchestras and group strings classes train nearly 300 students ages seven to twenty-three annually. Wes Kenney has been the Music Director and Conductor for the Young Artists Orchestra since 2013.


2nd Place:
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX
Michael Webster, conductor

Houston Youth Symphony
Founded in 1946, Houston Youth Symphony (HYS) is the recipient of national acclaim including the 2016 first prize winner of the Mark of Excellence Award from The Foundation for Music Education and the 2016 American Prize in Orchestral Performance – Youth Orchestra Division Each season approximately 400 musicians between the ages of seven and 19 come from across the greater Houston area to perform in one of five HYS orchestras. In addition to the core orchestra program, HYS offers advanced musicians a chamber music training program and an annual concerto competition.

In the community, HYS provides free private music lessons for talented youth in select economically disadvantaged communities through the Melody Program. In January 2015, HYS launched the Coda Music Program, an after-school effort modeled after El Sistema that brings graduated, intensive string instruction to three elementary schools using classical music and group instruction to build community and social transformation. (www.HoustonYouthSymphony.com)


3rd Place:
Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra
Knoxville TN
James Fellenbaum, conductor

Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra
The mission of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra (KSYO) is to educate students through high-level orchestral training in a professional environment while developing new audiences for symphonic music. The KSYO strives to create connections for students and their families that inspire a life-long love of music and instill a sense of responsibility for the quality of the arts in their community. Sponsored by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the KSYO is an auditioned full symphonic orchestra and five string ensembles totaling over 325 student musicians. Students ages six through 18 are placed by audition in ensembles from a training string orchestra (Overture) through three beginning and intermediate string orchestras (Preludium, Philharmonia, Sinfonia), to a Youth Chamber Orchestra which performs professional level string repertoire, and a full orchestral ensemble (Youth Orchestra) which performs professional level orchestral works. Entering its 44th season, the KSYO performs four concerts annually at the Tennessee Theatre. Please visit http://www.knoxvillesymphony.com/youth-orchestra/.



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—public magnet school (special award)

The American Prize winner:
Denver School of the Arts Symphony
Denver CO 

Enrique Lasansky, conductor
Denver School of the Arts Symphony
DSAO is an intensive program for string musicians seeking to develop their talent, understanding, and passion for music. As the Rocky Mountain Region’s only public 6-12 school for the arts, and a member of the Denver Public Schools, DSA welcomes promising young students who seek a challenging and inspiring environment in which to pursue their musical passion. http://dsapresents.org/dsao/

The DSAO serves talented and dedicated string musicians who play the violin, viola, cello or double bass. Our program explores a diverse spectrum of musical styles and genres with an emphasis on classical technique and repertoire. Admittance into the program is by successful audition. Auditions are open to any student living in the United States. Although most of our students come from Colorado, students from as far away as Texas, Wisconsin and Florida have recently joined our orchestras. DSAO was selected to participate  in the Midwest Clinic during 2015-2016 as well as the ASTA’s National Orchestra Festival during 2015 and 2018.


The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2017-18—high school division

The American Prize winner:
Seven Lakes HS Symphony Orchestra
Katy TX

Desiree Overree & John Mays, conductors
Seven Lakes HS Symphony Orchestra
The Seven Lakes Orchestras have striven to be a leader in musical performance through innovative programming and presentation. We have sought to inspire our audiences and each other through diligent study and performance of the greatest string and symphonic music composed.

With a commitment to musical excellence, the ensembles have set out to reach the goal of being among the leading ensembles in Texas. The Symphony Orchestra has regularly placed in the top ten orchestras in TMEA’s Honor Orchestra competition. In July 2015, the ensemble was named the TMEA Honor Full Orchestra, winning our equivalency of the state championship. The Foundation of Music Education named the ensemble a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence for the National Honors Project in 2015. The Symphony earned the national title again in 2016. The Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Desiree Overree and John Mays.


2nd Place:
Seven Lakes High School Sinfonia
Katy TX 

Desiree Overree, conductor
Seven Lakes High School Sinfonia
The Seven Lakes Orchestras have striven to be a leader in musical performance through innovative programming and presentation. We have sought to inspire our audiences and each other through diligent study and performance of the greatest string and symphonic music composed.

With a commitment to excellence, we have set out to reach the goal of being among the leading ensembles in Texas. Since the school’s opening in 2005, this ensemble has consistently placed as one of the top 10 string ensembles in Texas. Individuals have earned top honors including membership at the Region, Area, and State level, and medaled at various competitions. The Foundation of Music Education named the Sinfonia Orchestra a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence / National Honors Project in 2015, and a Commended Winner in 2016. This ensemble is conducted by Desiree Overree.


3rd Place:
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Sugar Land TX 

Michael Isadore, conductor
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Located in Sugar Land, TX, The John Foster Dulles Orchestra program is one of the largest orchestra programs in Fort Bend ISD and one of the premiere orchestra programs in the state of Texas.  Located in Sugar Land, a southwest suburb of Houston, Fort Bend County and Dulles High School are among the most diverse schools in America.

The orchestra program in Fort Bend ISD began in 1990 and Dulles High School has only had two orchestra directors.  Michael Isadore became the director of orchestras in 1999 and today the program boasts over 170 members.  The Dulles Orchestra has been consistently awarded the Mark of Excellence National Honor Orchestra Award and Commended Award in the string and full orchestra categories, been runner up for TMEA Honor Orchestra and has performed at the Midwest Clinic in 2004 and 2016.


FINALIST Honorable Mention:
Jasper Legacy Orchestra
Plano TX 

Matthew Moreno, conductor
Jasper Legacy Orchestra
The Jasper High School Orchestra is proud to be recognized as one of the most accomplished orchestra programs in America. Jasper is a grade 9 and 10 campus in Plano, TX, a Dallas suburb. Their orchestra currently serves over 240 students in five orchestras. Since its inception in 1996, Jasper’s Legacy Orchestra has repeatedly ranked as one of the top three string orchestras in Texas, despite competing alongside high schools that fill their orchestras with 9th through 12th graders, and in 2014, the Jasper Symphony Orchestra was named TMEA Honor Full Orchestra, or first place in Texas. Jasper’s orchestras have also repeatedly earned top commendation at UIL competition and festival competitions across the nation. The program is led by Director of Orchestras, Matt Moreno.


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Congratulations!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

WINNING ENSEMBLES: band/wind ensembles, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 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 Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2017-18—college/university division

The American Prize winner:
Richard Tad Greig
Westminster College Wind Ensemble
New Wilmington PA

Westminster College Wind Ensemble
The Wind Ensemble is selected through audition and rehearses three times per week for one hour.  The Wind Ensemble performs a wide variety of the most challenging established and new works. This ensemble has received numerous commendations, most notably three guest appearances at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Conference over the past decade.  The conclusion of these performances was met with immediate standing ovations.  They have also received favorable mention in both recent NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) reviews. The Wind Ensemble also shared international performance tours with the Concert Choir to Spain and Scotland.  Along with their concert performances, the ensemble has accompanied numerous student and faculty soloists and guest artists. The ensemble has also had the privilege of working with notable composer/conductors including: Mark Camphouse, Dennis Fisher, Brian Balmages and Andrew Boysen Jr., to name only a few.  The Wind Ensemble has premiered numerous works and regularly records for area composers, providing recordings to submit to various publishing houses.



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

The American Prize winner:
Matthew D. Schlomer
Interlochen Arts Academy Band
Interlochen MI

Interlochen Arts Academy Band
The Interlochen Arts Academy Band presents frequent concerts of unparalleled quality and diversity. Performances feature collaborations with renowned soloists, composers, and artists from all genres. The band appears regularly in live online performances and on public radio.The Academy Band is at the forefront of exploring new collaborative performance formats with artists from dance, visual arts, creative writing, theater, film, scientists and the culinary arts. The Interlochen Center for the Arts is dedicated to creating lifelong passion for the arts.



2nd Place:
Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
The Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester (YWEW) is excited to be celebrating its Seventh season! YWEW is an ensemble for highly motivated high school students interested in playing music from the Wind Ensemble/Concert Band literature, based in Ossining, New York. Founded by Bradley Morrison, YWEW is the only ensemble of it's kind in Westchester County. The ensemble is comprised of Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Students from around Westchester County and represents students from over a dozen different area high schools, both public and private. Students rehearse and perform throughout the school year in public performances, as well as various competitions. YWEW has consistently received Superior Ratings as well as numerous 1st place awards. In 2017 the Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester was named a finalist in the High School Concert Band Division of the prestigious American Prize competition.

 

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

The American Prize winner:
Robert Truan
Decatur HS Wind Ensemble
Decatur GA

Decatur HS Wind Ensemble
This is Robert Truan’s third year as Director of Bands for Decatur High School where he teaches Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, IB Music, and other chamber ensembles.  While at Decatur, his ensembles have won a Grand Championship at the Southern Invitational Music Festival, have performed at the Georgia Music Educator’s Association Convention twice, and have performed at the Cork School of Music in Ireland.  His ensembles have also received straight superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation.  This is the second year Decatur has differentiated its band classes in two groups: Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.  After Wind Ensemble’s inaugural year, our recorded submission was selected to headline Music for All’s Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival. Robert Truan is heavily influenced by his wonderful mentors throughout the years: Reid Hall, Richard Brasco, Dr. Tony McCutchen, John Culvahouse, Dr. John P. Lynch, Dr. Laura Moates Stanley, and Jack Jean.  Mr. Truan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia and has a Master’s degree in Music Education.


2nd Place:
Curtis Melton
Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
North Las Vegas NV 


Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
The Legacy High School Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Curtis Melton, and is the most advanced concert band at Legacy High School in North Las Vegas, NV.  The Legacy Band Program was "re-born" in the fall of 2013 after not having a band program at the school for many years.  Since then, the band program has nearly tripled in membership for the upcoming fall of 2017.  The Legacy HS Wind Ensemble has received consistent "Superior" Ratings at festivals/contests since 2013-14.  The band has performed at special engagements throughout Las Vegas, performing for the Mayor, and the grand opening of the Las Vegas IKEA. The marching band also has performed in Los Angeles in the Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade in 2016 and 2017.  The Legacy HS Band Program offers marching band, three concert bands, a jazz ensemble, a colorguard/winterguard program, and an AP Music Theory class.



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Congratulations!

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!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

WINNING CONDUCTORS: orchestral programming, 2017-18 (Marijosius Award)

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce the 2017-18 winners, runners-up and honorable mentions 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. 

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


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

The American Prize Winner:
Thomas Taylor Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK
Thomas Taylor Dickey
Dr. Thomas Dickey is the Director of Orchestral Studies at Oklahoma State University, where he conducts the OSU Symphony Orchestra and guides all aspects of the orchestra and orchestral conducting programs.  He concurrently serves as Music Director & Conductor of the OSU Youth Orchestra and the Stillwater Community Orchestra.  Prior to his appointments in Oklahoma, he was the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Music Director & Conductor of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra (IA). He holds doctoral and master's degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University, respectively, and graduated with highest honors from Eastern Illinois University. He has worked with conductors such as Carl Topilow, Christopher Zimmerman, Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, and Diane Wittry, and further studied conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and numerous workshops and master classes.


2nd Place and Special Judges' Citation: Remarkable Growth in the Programming of Major Repertoire
Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC
Tara Villa Keith
Tara Villa Keith is in her fifteenth season as music director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) in Davidson, North Carolina and in her ninth season as music director of the Lee County Community Orchestra (LCCO) in Sanford, North Carolina.  Tara has won local and national awards for her work with both orchestras, and has enjoyed conducting orchestras, running clinics, and serving as a guest speaker throughout the south, northeast, and abroad.  For the past four seasons, Tara has served as a cover conductor and pre-concert speaker for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and enjoys introducing audiences to orchestral music through their new Symphony 101 adult education program. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Tara studied percussion and piano at the Preparatory of the Peabody Conservatory. Tara holds degrees from Franklin & Marshall College, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of South Carolina.  Please feel free to visit her website at taravillakeith.com.


3rd Place:
Johannes Dietrich
Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
Annville PA
Johannes Dietrich
Johannes Dietrich, a native of Bozeman, Montana, is the Newton and Adelaide Burgner Professor in Instrumental Music at Lebanon Valley College. Along with his duties as conductor of the LVC Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, he is active as a guest conductor and clinician. He has led festival, District, Region and State orchestras from New Jersey to Montana. His college orchestra has completed three, highly successful tours to Europe. He is also active as a violinist, performing regularly as a member of Duo Terlano with his wife, cellist Marie-Aline Cadieux.
Www.duoterlano.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca NY
Chris Younghoon Kim
Chris Younghoon Kim has been at Cornell University as the director of orchestras and associate professor of music, since 2004. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He has premiered over 200 works by contemporary composers worldwide. Cornell Symphony Orchestra has hosted two Meet the Composer New Partnership residencies. At Cornell University he directs the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, teaches conducting and works closely with the DMA composers in presenting their work in concert. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and most recently to Neuquén, Argentina for a collaborative project to perform Gustav Mahler’s 6th Symphony with the combined forces of the Sinfónica del Neuquén and the Cornell Symphony. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary among others.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David Alexander Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA
David Alexander Rahbee
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and teaches conducting. He also serves of faculty of the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival as Conducting Associate. He is recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007. He has recently worked with the Seattle Symphony, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja. He participated in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, and Zoltán Peskó. His principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Monteux School. He holds degrees from Indiana University, New England Conservatory, and University of Montreal. He also studied at Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna.


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

The American Prize Winner:
Annette Jurcevic
Shoreline Symphony
Muskegon MI
Annette Jurcevic
Described by contest judges as “an electric personality” and “what a dynamo!”, Annette Jurcevic brings vitality to each ensemble she leads. She currently directs the Star Gate Orchestra in Chicago, Illinois, and the Shoreline Symphony in Muskegon, Michigan.  While living in Texas, she conducted the Austin Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Edward’s University Orchestra, and the Austin Summer Pops Orchestra. Career highlights include premiering contemporary works, founding three orchestras, conducting a German version of Messiah, and collaborating with dance and theater companies.  Additionally, she gives pre-concert discussions, has taught at four universities, maintains a private teaching studio, and performs as a pianist, organist, and singer. Possessing music degrees in multiple fields – music history & literature, music theory, choral conducting, and vocal performance – Ms. Jurcevic approaches conducting with a breadth of expertise.  Training in dance and martial arts has expanded her understanding of movement and gesture. Read more at www.annettejurcevic.com.


2nd Place:
Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA
Reuben Blundell
Reuben Blundell is Music Director of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra near Philadelphia, and New York’s Riverside Orchestra. From Fall 2009 he transformed Hunter Symphony from a small group into a symphony orchestra: recent performances included major symphonies and the Ewazen Flute Concerto with Mindy Kaufman of the NY Philharmonic. He recently completed his fifth season as a Chelsea Symphony conductor. His Gowanus Arts Ensemble CD, American Romantics, garnered outstanding reviews, including Gramophone Magazine. Blundell has performed in his native Australia, in Austria, Chile, Holland, Iraq, Japan, and Lebanon. He conducted the New World Symphony in their 2013 John Cage festival. After studies in Melbourne and Sydney, he was a Tanglewood Fellow (’02 & ’03) and a principal New World Symphony violinist (2003-05). He attended the Monteux School (’05 & ’06) and Eastman, earning a DMA in conducting with Neil Varon and studying violin with Zvi Zeitlin. Website: www.reubenblundell.com


3rd Place:
Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA
Orlando Cela
Venezuelan conductor Orlando Cela has recently been awarded second place in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the performance of American music, and second place in the London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition for his rendition of Beethoven’s Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. His experience includes launching the orchestral department at Ningbo University in China and conducting the inaugural concert of the Ningbo City Symphony Orchestra. In the US, his conducting positions include work with orchestras and choruses at Randolph College (VA) and UMass Dartmouth (MA). Guest conducting credits include the Marquette Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Northern Michigan State University Orchestra (MI), Brandeis New Music Ensemble (MA).  He is currently the music director and conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, with which he has performed world and American premieres by composers like Salvatore Sciarrino, Chen Yi, Hector Parra, Rebecca Saunders, and many others.



The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—youth orchestra division

The American Prize Winner:
Robert Boardman
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra
South Bend IN
Robert Boardman
Robert Boardman has been music director and conductor of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras (SBYSO) since 2011. In 2015, he was named winner of the American Prize in Orchestral Programming for his work with SBYSO. Since 2012, Boardman has been artistic director of Live from Orchestra Hall, the free webcasts of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, for which he frequently serves as cover conductor. In 2015 and 2017, Boardman led the Grand Central Symphony of New York City on a national tour, collaborating with Bollywood star Arijit Singh and his rock band. The tour visited sold-out venues across the United States. Since 2006, Boardman has been assistant conductor for The Lord of the Rings Symphony, assisting in more than 75 performances, including tours of North America and Europe. Other recent artistic engagements include the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he was assistant conductor for two seasons. As assistant to music director Marin Alsop, he worked with dozens of composers, including John Adams, Philip Glass, and Jennifer Higdon. Recently, Boardman assisted Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony in a semi-staged production of John Adams’ opera Nixon in China. He also performed and recorded the world premiere performance of Lembit Beecher’s multimedia oratorio And Then I Remember, a musical documentary about Beecher’s grandmother and her escape from Estonia during World War II. Boardman has conducted 14 world premieres and more than 30 orchestras worldwide, including the Houston Symphony, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Boardman studied conducting with Alsop, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, and Kenneth Kiesler. He also has participated in numerous master classes, workshops, and seminars with major orchestras and conductors throughout the United States. In May 2010, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


2nd Place:
Chad Hutchinson
SD Symphony Youth Orchestra
Sioux Falls SD
Chad Hutchinson
Chad Hutchinson is the Interim Director of Orchestras, Assistant Professor of Conducting and Conductor of University Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He conducts the Symphony Orchestra in 5 concerts annually, leads University Opera productions and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses. Prior to his time in Madison, Dr. Hutchinson was the Assistant Conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras.  As comfortable in the pit as on the stage, he has recently led productions at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Morningside College. Committed to education, Dr. Hutchinson taught orchestra in the public schools for nine years in Sioux Falls, SD and Williamsville, NY.  He later taught collegiately at Northwestern College(IA) and was the Coordinator/Music Director of the Siouxland Youth Orchestras in Sioux City, Iowa.  He holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Morningside College (IA).


Third Place:
Tigran Arakelyan
Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra
Bainbridge Island WA
Tigran Arakelyan
Armenian-American conductor Tigran Arakelyan is the Music Director of Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras, Federal Way Youth Symphony and the Artistic Director and Conductor of Port Townsend Community Orchestra. Arakelyan held conducting positions with California Philharmonic, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Whatcom Symphony, Rainier Symphony, and the Northridge Youth Philharmonic.  His recent conducting engagements are with the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Armenian Pops Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Northwest Mahler Festival, a second international tour of South Korea, and the inaugural Bainbridge Island String Orchestra Festival.

 Arakelyan helped in creating youth scholarship programs, festivals, young composer competitions, and led performances at unconventional venues. He conducted the Pacific Northwest premiere of Hindemith Kammermuzik Nr. 1. Arakelyan played alongside Sir James Galway during his induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame with the LA Philharmonic. He received a D.M.A. from the University of Washington under the mentorship of Ludovic Morlot and David Alexander Rahbee. www.TigranArakelyan.com


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Congratulations!