Monday, September 9, 2019

WINNERS: conductors (band/wind ensemble), 2018-19

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting, 2018-19, in band/wind ensemble divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—band/wind ensemble (college/university division), 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Jacob Wallace
SDSU Wind Symphony
Brookings SD      
Jacob Wallace
An accomplished conductor, educator, and writer, Jacob Wallace is an emergent personality in the performance of contemporary instrumental music. Ensembles under his direction have presented world premieres by such composers as Rusty Banks, John Mackey, Jonathan Newman, and James Syler, among others. Dr. Wallace is currently on the faculty of South Dakota State University, where he serves as Director of Concert Bands. In this capacity, he conducts and administrates the wind ensemble activities of the Department of Music as a whole. Prior to this, he served as Director of Bands at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. During summers, he has served on the conducting faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Tuscany, Italy. Dr. Wallace holds a DMA from The University of Georgia. He also has degrees from Baylor University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He remains active as an adjudicator, conductor, and clinician throughout the United States.


2nd Place & Career Encouragement Citation:
Pamornpan Komolpamorn
The University of Texas Wind Ensembles
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 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 serves as
founding director and conductor of the Amass Chamber Ensemble (ACE) since 2010, performing various composers and periods from early to contemporary music. Her repertoire ranges from music of the seventeenth century to contemporary work and encompasses all genres: symphonic orchestral and wind, operatic, chamber and contemporary music. She has conducted ensembles in a number of different countries such as Italy, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United
States.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Timothy Shade
Wichita State University Wind Ensemble
Wichita KS
Timothy Shade
Dr. Timothy Shade is currently the Director of Bands at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. Previous appointments include Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Alhambra Orchestra (FL), Visiting Director of Orchestras at Florida Atlantic University, and Director of Instrumental Music at Bethel College (KS). He has garnered praise for his exciting programming, engaging personality and “marvelous conducting.” Equally comfortable in the orchestral and wind realms, Shade has worked with Greater Miami Symphonic Band, The New River Orchestra, The Naples Philharmonic, The Frost Wind Ensemble, The Florida Youth Symphony, The Wichita Wind Ensemble, The Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Delano Chamber Orchestra.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Chris David Westover
Denison University Wind Ensemble
Granville OH  
Chris David Westover
Prior to his current appointment as assistant professor of music at Denison, Westover led wind ensembles, orchestras and operatic performances at Bethel College (KS), the University of Oklahoma, and the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He is in constant demand as a conductor and has received acclaim for his performances with educational and professional ensembles. Westover’s conducting has been described as “elegant, bold, vibrant, inspiring and centered,” by Augusta Read Thomas.

He is currently completing a critical wind-band transcription of Persichetti's Seventh Symphony to be premiered in the 2018-2019 season. He has lectured at Hong Kong Baptist University and CBDNA and will give a paper at the Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik in July

2019. He has conducted across the United States and in the People's Republic of China and is currently developing artistic projects in Sri Lanka.

His career spans operatic performances and educational work with young singers and community orchestras. Westover commands a broad and diverse repertoire including the core symphonic repertoire and the contemporary repertoire of the symphony orchestra and wind ensemble. He served as a staff conductor for the 4x4 Prizes at OU, and has commissioned and premiered works by Ching-chu Hu, HyeKyung Lee, Kathryn Salfelder, Ken Amis, Michael Weinstein, Brad Baumgardner, Andrew McManus, and Dan Lazerescou. 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. Westover’s conducting teachers include Jonathan Shames, John Carmichael, Jack Delaney, Kenneth Kiesler, and Eric Smedley. Dr. Westover is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Southern Methodist University, and Western Kentucky University.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Joseph Higgins
Rowan University Wind Ensemble
Glassboro NJ     
Joseph Higgins
Joseph Higgins is a musician who strives to inspire curiosity, creativity, and understanding through art. He believes in the expressive power of new music to communicate with modern audiences and is a passionate advocate of socially conscious programming. In 2015, Joseph joined the faculty of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, where he conducts the wind ensembles and teaches courses in conducting. He was awarded the University’s 2018 Values Award for Inclusivity in recognition of his curating a “Music of Social Justice” performance series. Joseph regularly serves as a guest conductor-clinician with outstanding professional, community, and student ensembles throughout the country. He earned doctor and master of music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University, where his primary teacher was Mallory Thompson, and a bachelor of music degree in music education from the University of Georgia. Prior to graduate study, he taught at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Devin Otto
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Wind Ensemble
Oshkosh WI   
Devin Otto
Dr. Devin Otto is the Director of Bands and Instructor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, with previous faculty positions at Minot State University, Eastern Washington University, and the University of Idaho. Committed to music education at all levels, Dr. Otto is in demand as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and presenter.  His ongoing research in the use of improvisational theater games for conducting study resulted in well-received presentations at the 2013 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association and the 2016 International Society for Music Education Conference.

Dr. Otto holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting and Literature degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was a student of Allan McMurray. He has attended conducting symposiums under many of today’s outstanding wind conductors including H. Robert Reynolds, Craig Kirchhoff, Thomas Lee, Dick Floyd, Gary Hill, Mallory Thompson, and Rodney Winther.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Wind Ensemble
Seattle WA
Shayna Stahl
Dr. Shayna Stahl is the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In this role, Dr. Stahl serves as the Director of the “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band and the 49ers Basketball Band. She also serves as the conductor of the Symphonic Band and teaches a course in marching band techniques. Additionally, Dr. Stahl serves as the conductor for the Charlotte Youth Symphonic Band of the Charlotte Youth Wind Ensembles (CYWE).

Dr. Stahl holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Temple University, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University, a Master of Music Education/Wind Band Conducting from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting from The University of Washington.


The American Prize in Conducting—band/wind ensemble (community division), 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Concert Band
Seattle WA   
Shayna Stahl
Dr. Shayna Stahl is the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In this role, Dr. Stahl serves as the Director of the “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band and the 49ers Basketball Band. She also serves as the conductor of the Symphonic Band and teaches a course in marching band techniques. Additionally, Dr. Stahl serves as the conductor for the Charlotte Youth Symphonic Band of the Charlotte Youth Wind Ensembles (CYWE).

Dr. Stahl holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Temple University, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University, a Master of Music Education/Wind Band Conducting from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting from The University of Washington.


2nd Place:
Curt Ebersole
Westchester Symphonic Winds
Tarrytown NY 
Curt Ebersole
Curt Ebersole has served as the Conductor/Music Director (John P. Paynter Memorial Chair) of the Westchester Symphonic Winds since 2008. He led the ensemble in their Lincoln Center debut in March 2010 at Avery Fisher Hall, convention and exchange performances in Chicago, Poughkeepsie, Stamford, and Syracuse, and five sold-out summer festival performances at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah, NY). He retired from high school teaching in 2013 and now teaches at The Masters School, in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Ebersole earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music in Conducting degree from Northwestern University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Clarinet Performance from SUNY-Purchase. He is the founding coordinator of the Music Educators of Bergen County Wind Conducting Symposium. Ebersole is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and speaker; his TED Talk, Framing Failure, premiered in September 2017.  


3rd Place:
Andrew Pease
Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble
Oneonta NY  
Andrew Pease
Andrew Pease serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Music at Hartwick College and co-conductor of the Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble, both in Oneonta, NY. His guest conducting work has taken him to several states, including two appearances at Carnegie Hall with bands from Hartwick College and Columbia University. After earning degrees from Dartmouth, Columbia, and Hofstra, he completed a DMA degree in wind conducting at Arizona State University, studying with Gary Hill. His work there earned him the 2017 American Prize in Collegiate Wind Band Conducting. He started his career in New York City, where he directed the Columbia University Wind Ensemble and the community band Columbia Summer Winds. Other past teaching positions have ranged from elementary to adult levels in New York and Arizona. He runs two websites dedicated to wind band repertoire: Wind Band Literature (http://windliterature.org) and The Wind Band Symphony Archive (http://windsymphonies.org).



The American Prize in Conducting—band/wind ensemble (high school division), 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Philip Carter
Huntley High School Wind Ensemble
Huntley IL  
Philip Carter
Philip Carter is originally from Collinsville, IL. Philip attended Illinois State University, earning a Bachelor’s in Music Education with a Minor in Jazz Performance. From 2015-2018, Philip served as Director of Bands at Huntley High School in Huntley, IL. He taught three Concert Bands, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and AP Music Theory as well as the extracurricular Marching Band and Pep Band. Under his direction, the Saxophone Quartet performed at the 2018 Music for All National Chamber Music Festival and the Wind Ensemble performed at the 2018 Illinois Music Education Conference and the 2018 Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival. Philip currently is serving in his first year as Assistant Director of Bands of the nationally recognized O’Fallon Township High School Band Program. Philip has participated in conducting symposia at the University of Minnesota, Ball State University, the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory, the University of Illinois, and Northwestern University.


2nd Place:
Justin Swaim
Wharton High School Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band
Tampa FL   
Justin Swaim
Mr. Justin O. Swaim has experiences in orchestral, wind, and chamber music settings. He currently serves as Director of Bands at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida where he oversees all aspects of the music program and serves as department chair. His career began in North Carolina where his students earned honors at the NCMEA Orchestra MPA as well as positions in county and state honors events. He holds a BM in Music Education and a MM in Instrumental Conducting from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. At UNCG, he studied instrumental conducting with Dr. John Locke and Dr. Kevin Geraldi. At UNCG he made appearances with the Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia, Wind Ensemble, Casella Sinfonietta, and Symphonic Band. He served as Assistant Conductor of the University Band, was a graduate assistant for the Music Education department, and was a founding member of the Foothills Chamber Ensemble of Winston-Salem, NC. Website: www.justinswaim.us


*** 
Congratulations!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

WINNERS: composers (instrumental chamber music). 2018-19

This listing includes the results of three composition contests in instrumental chamber music:  1) works for solo instrument or instrumental duo; 2) works for larger chamber ensembles, and, 3) instrumental chamber works by student composers. —DK

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, honorable mentions and citation recipient of The American Prize in Composition, 2018-19, instrumental chamber music division. 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—(instrumental chamber music— solos & duos) professional division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Robert Denham
La Mirada CA
Goldgräber

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


2nd Place:
Clement Reid
Lakewood WA
Morrell Variations

Clement Reid
Clement Reid was born in New York City, studying with Allen Brings, then graduating from the Eastman School of Music and University of Southern California. Studies continued with Joseph Schwantner,  Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Frederick Lesemann, and Earle Brown. He has written for band, orchestra, chamber ensembles, educational books in composition, piano, and guitar. His music has been featured at Juilliard, Steinway Hall, Aspen Composers Conference, PLU Artist Series, WSMTA Joy of Piano Trios Festival, Classical Tuesdays, Lyrica-Choral Ensemble, Classic King FM-Seattle. Commissions and grants have included the AGO, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Arts Commission, and the Freeman Foundation (composer exchange program in China). He was a  panelist for Artist Trust, board member-WCF, Semi-Finalist for the  American Prize in Composition (2013, 2018), Global Music Awards Silver Medal, Outstanding Achievement (2017, 2018), and Washington State Commissioned Composer of the Year (1999) by the MTNA.


3rd Place: (there was a tie): 
Olga Amelkina-Vera
Plano TX 

The Heaven's Hundred
Olga Amelkina-Vera
Olga Amelkina-Vera’s works have been called “the discovery of the evening” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune),  “brilliant” (The Royal Gazette), “incandescent” and “hypnotic” (Fort Worth Star Telegram), and “exotic” (Soundboard).  Originally from Belarus, Olga has resided in the United States since 1997. She holds an MM in Composition from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, as well as MM and DMA degrees in guitar performance from the University of North Texas. Olga’s works won top prizes in The American Prize Composition Competition, The Japan Guitar Ensemble Composition Competition, and Austin Classical Guitar Society Composition Competition.  She was the Irving Symphony Orchestra 2016-2017 SMU Student Composer-in-Residence.  Olga’s compositions for guitar are published by Les Productions d’Oz. To learn more about Olga, please visit www.olgaamelkinavera.com.
 
 
3rd Place: (there was a tie): 
Andrew Sigler
Knoxville TN
Jacana

Andrew Sigler
Andrew Sigler’s music has been commissioned, performed, and awarded by the Wellesley Composers Conference, Composer’s Inc. Suzanne and Lee Ettelson award, Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition, Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers, SCI National Festival, NACUSA National Festival, Meir Rimon Commissioning Fund of the International Horn Society, Oregon Bach Festival, Seasons Festival, International Brass Symposium, TUTTI Festival, The American Prize, Open Space New Music Festival, University of Texas New Music Ensemble, University of Tennessee Faculty Brass Quintet, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Hear No Evil, Compositum Musicae Novae, New Music Conflagration, Simple Measures, Bold City Contemporary Ensemble, and Fast>>Forward>>Austin, and his writing has been featured in Opera News and NewMusicBox. His music is published by Editions Musica-Ferrum and he serves as a board member of NACUSA. Andrew is Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Tennessee. Do you want to know more? Go to andrewsigler.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Walter Saul
Fresno CA
Quiltings

Walter Saul
Walter Saul (waltersaul.com) joined the Fresno Pacific University music faculty in 2003. His bachelor’s degree is from Duke University and his M.M. and D.M.A. are from the Eastman School of Music. He was named “Composer of the Year” in North Carolina and in Oregon, and his compositions have been performed in 24 states and five nations. Saul has won ASCAP Special Awards each year since 1990 and performed and presented clinics on the East and West coasts. His CDs include Out of Darkness Into His Marvelous Light, From Alpha to Omega, Songs of Requited Love (with FPU Professor Emeritus Larry Warkentin), Walter Saul: Sonatas and Meditations for Piano, Quiltings (CD/DVD), Walter Saul: Sonatinas and Bagatelles and the Naxos CD of Saul’s orchestral works: Kiev 2014, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine under the direction of Theodore Kuchar and featuring James Buswell, violinist, and Rong-Huey Liu, oboist.   


The American Prize in Composition—(instrumental chamber music— larger ensembles) professional division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Dante De Silva
Tarzana CA
Hungry

Dante De Silva
Dante De Silva is a Los Angeles-based composer and musician. His music has been described as “haunting” (Classical Sonoma) and “beautiful” (Los Angeles Times) to “sparkling” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “fun” (Sequenza21). From his early days in a rock band up until the present, Dante has always aimed to create music that evokes emotions ranging from the simple to the complex. To conjure those emotions, his compositions incorporate a characteristic balance of lyricism, simplicity, humor, fragility, and even savagery.

He has received commissions from Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng, Opera Parallele, the B Band, and the Humboldt State University Percussion Ensemble, among others. Performers of his work include Talea Ensemble, Pacific Serenades, pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, What’s Next, and Composers Inc. His music has been performed throughout the U.S., as well as parts of Canada and Europe. Dante holds degrees from UCLA, UC Santa Cruz and Humboldt State University. www.dantedesilva.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Arthur Gottschalk
Houston TX
Benny, Zoot & Teddy

Arthur Gottschalk
A man whose music has been described as “rapturous, argumentative, and prickly” (Gramophone Magazine), and “fascinatingly strange” (BBC Music Magazine), Arthur Gottschalk is Professor of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He studied with renowned composers William Bolcom, Ross Lee Finney, and Leslie Bassett, and is a recipient of the Charles Ives Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, annual ASCAP Awards since 1980, and has been a Composer-in-Residence at the famed Columbia/Princeton Electronic Music Center, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. He has recently been named as the composer-in-residence for the Thailand International Composition Festival, won First Prize in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Competition for Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand, honored with a prestigious Bogliasco Fellowship, and received the First Prize in the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Originale, Corciano, for his Concerto for Violin and Symphonic Winds.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Robert Scott Thompson
Roswell GA
Metta

Robert Scott Thompson
Robert Scott Thompson is a composer of instrumental and electroacoustic music and is Professor of Music Composition at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He is the recipient of several prizes and distinctions for his music including the First Prize in the 2003 Musica Nova Competition, the First Prize in the 2001 Pierre Schaeffer Competition and awards in the Concorso Internazionale "Luigi Russolo", Irino Prize Foundation Competition for Chamber Music, and Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges - including the Commande Commission 2007. His work has been presented in festivals such as the Koriyama Bienalle, Helsinki Bienalle, Sound, Présences, Synthèse, Sonorities, ICMC, SEAMUS and the Cabrillo Music Festival, and broadcast on Radio France, BBC, NHK, ABC, WDR, and NPR. His music is published on numerous solo recordings and compilations by EMF Media, Neuma, Drimala, Capstone, Hypnos, Oasis/Mirage, Groove, Lens, Space for Music, Zero Music, Twelfth Root, Relaxed Machinery and Aucourant record labels, among others.


3rd Place (there was a three-way tie):
Rodrigo Bussad Cesar
Chicago IL 
Nimbi

Rodrigo Bussad Cesar
Rodrigo Bussad (Sao Paulo, Brazil. b.1985) is the winner of the 2014 American Prize in Composition category in the Student Chamber Music Division with the work Loin. He was also winner of the same competition in two other occasions. Bussad is the winning composer of the 2017 Ukho Ensemble Workshop and the 2015 Valencia International Performance Academy (VIPA). He has his works premiered on three continents and selected for Music festivals and conferences such as the IRCAM’S Manifeste, Ukho Ensemble Workshop, Mise-en Festival, Composit, SoundSCAPE Festival among others. His music has travelled the Americas, Italy, Spain, France, Germnay, Ukraine, Moldova, Taiwan and Korea. Renowned ensembles highlighting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Frost Symphony Orchestra, Spektral Quartet, Imani Winds, Ukho Ensemble, Brower Trio:B3, Ensemble motoContraio, cross.art Ensemble, Ensemble Paramirabo, NanaFormosa Percussion Duo, and performers such as Svet Stoyanov, Ermis Theodorakis, Allison Balcetis, Céline Papion and Pedro Gadelha, have commissioned/worked with him. Bussad is currently pursuing his PhD degree in Composition at The University of Chicago.  


3rd Place (there was a three-way tie):
Jun Yi Chow
Astoria NY
Neighbor

Jun Yi Chow
Malaysia-born New York-based Composer, Multi-instrumentalist and Improviser. Chow's music has been lauded by Financial Times for its "skilful contrasts in both volume and texture".  His music explores the indefinite possibilities of tone colour and sound. Chow’s thorough knowledge of skills and characteristics of both Chinese and Western instruments has made him a leading figure in merging music of East and West. March 2017, he received the Grand Prize of Best Orchestra Work by Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra International Composition Competition. He is currently the Composer-In-Residence of Teng Company (Singapore) and Vivo Experimental Orchestra (Malaysia).


3rd Place (there was a three-way tie): 
Joseph T. Spaniola
Pensacola FL
Dream     

Joseph T. Spaniola
Joseph T. Spaniola is active as a composer, arranger, educator, conductor, lecturer, producer, clinician, and adjudicator.  He has composed works for band, orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, voice, choir, and electronic tape.  His award-winning compositions have been performed and recorded by a wide variety of artists, ensembles and institutions in the North America, Europe, Japan, South America, Israel, China, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.  His works have been premiered or presented at conferences and festivals hosted by The College Music Society, The American Bandmasters Association, The International Trombone Association, The International Clarinet Association, The Midwest Clinic, The Tuba/Euphonium Conference, The International Double Reed Society and others.  Works by the composer are available from Musica Propria, Kagarice Brass Editions, Tuba Euphonium Press, and Joseph T. Spaniola Music (www.josephspaniola.com).  Dr. Spaniola is a Professor of Music, and the Director of Music Theory and Jazz Studies at the University of West Florida.  


Finalist Special Judges' Citation: 
"Raising Awareness and Understanding for those Affilcted with Epilepsy"
Cynthia Folio
Wynnewood PA
When the Spirit Catches You…   

Cynthia Folio
Cynthia Folio is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music Studies at Temple University, where she was honored with the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1994 and the Creative Achievement Award in 2012. She received her Ph.D. in music theory and Performers Certificate in flute from the Eastman School of Music. Cynthia’s compositions have been described by reviewers as “confident and musical in expressing ideas of great substance,” “intriguing and enjoyable,” and “imaginatively scored.” Cynthia’s pieces are recorded on many CD’s, including Inverno Azul, featuring nine of her compositions (BCM+D); a recording by the Relâche Ensemble, Press Play (Meyer Music); Flute Loops: Chamber Music for Flute (Centaur Records), featuring eight of her compositions; and a jazz flute CD, Portfolio (Centaur Records), including four original compositions. She just returned from Cuba, where PARMA Records recorded her women’s choir piece, At the Edge of Great Quiet. www.cynthiafolio.com


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Kyle Kindred
Humble TX
Inundacion  

Kyle Kindred
The melodramatic and occasionally theatrical works of Kyle Kindred (b.1978) have been performed throughout the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, and South America. Kindred is a two-time finalist in the American Prize competition. Recent projects include Symphony No. 1 for Winds and Percussion: The Remnant and A Longmont Overture, an orchestral commission by the Longmont Symphony of Longmont, Colorado. In 2015, Kindred was commissioned to compose a Spanish oratorio for the musicians of the 2015 Encuentro de Jóvenes Músicos Bolivianos and Sam Houston State University. Kindred is a featured composer in the GIA Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series as well as a contributing author for GIA Publications’ Composers on Composing for Band, Volume 4, edited by Mark Camphouse.  His principal teachers were Walter Mays, Dean Roush, Donald Grantham, and 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts. Kindred is currently Associate Professor and Director of Composition Studies at Sam Houston State University.


The American Prize in Composition—(instrumental chamber music) student division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Maria Kaoutzani  
Chicago IL
jaune doré

Maria Kaoutzani 
Maria Kaoutzani (b. 1993) is a composer originally, from Cyprus based in Chicago, IL. Color and texture are central elements in her work, and she enjoys exploring how a number of instruments can function as a unified entity that evolves in time. She is also interested in the creation of musical spaces that surround the listener, where distinct layers can be heard developing and interacting with one another. Kaoutzani's works have been performed in Europe, the US and Latin America. Her influences include Kaija Saariaho, György Ligeti and Tania León. Kaoutzani is studying towards a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Chicago, and holds a Master’s in Music Theory and Composition from New York University  and an undergraduate degree in music from the University of York.  Past collaborators include Arizona-based poet and cellist Ruth Wegner and Greek visual artist Nicos Kyprianou.  |  mariakaoutzani.com


2nd Place:
Josiah Tayag Catalan
Sacramento CA 

Wanderlust
Josiah Tayag Catalan
Josiah Tayag Catalan is a Filipino-American born in New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a recipient of the first prize of the NACUSA Young Composer's Competition and the Sacramento State Festival of New American Music’s Student Composer’s Competition. His recent compositional interests have become concerned with exploiting varying degrees of pitch and timbral resonance combined with subtle colorations of extended techniques across instruments, while taking inspiration from a wide array of topics from social issues to phenomenology. Josiah's music has been performed across North America by individuals and groups such as the Empyrean Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet, Chris Froh, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, and the AMF Contemporary Music Ensemble. There are several premieres and performances in 2018 including a piece for harp and electronics (Jennifer Ellis), solo violin (Miranda Cuckson), the Lydian String Quartet, and ensemble Mise-en.

Outside of music, Josiah enjoys moderately binging series and sitcoms, reading, hiking, tennis, baseball, basketball, and spending time with his adopted mutt, pippin. Presently, Josiah is pursuing his Ph.D. in music theory and composition at the University of California, Davis. He has studied composition with Sam Nichols, and is currently studying with Kurt Rhode. More info can be found at josiahcatalan.com


3rd Place:
Mikaela Rose
Nashville TN
Weather Quartet: Dust Storm / Sun Shower

Minuet: Transformation of a Caterpillar  
Mikaela Rose
Mikaela Rose is a senior composition student at Belmont University. Her early ventures into music included studying piano and theory at Blair School of Music. She entered college with the plan of solely pursing a piano performance degree as a Woods Piano Scholar, but discovered she had a passion for creating music in addition to performing it. Adding a Composition degree in her sophomore year, Mikaela quickly developed as a composer under the tutelage of Dr. William Purcell and Dr. Mark Volker. Drawing from abundant creativity, extensive travel, and a vivid imagination, Mikaela seeks to create compositions that reflect the world around her, capturing beauty and wonder that are often overlooked. Performances of her works include Belmont University’s New Music Ensemble Concert, Belmont University’s Composer Honors Concert, and Luna Nova Ensemble Reading. After graduation, Mikaela anticipates further exploring her passion for creating music through composition and film scoring.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Jake Boring
San Diego CA
Miniatures

Jake Boring
Jake Boring studies composition at UCLA with the support of the Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini Award and Colburn Scholarships. Jake has received national recognition for his work for the concert stage. In 2017, he was a national finalist in Finale’s Young Composers Contest, selected for the American Composers Concert at Liberty Hall and commissioned by the FreeLAncers concert series.
Jake has composed the music to over 20 films enabling emerging Los Angeles directors and students to win film competitions, create Web series and promote UCLA events. Jake has scored two Jury award winning Campus Movie Fest film entries that advanced to Nationals and three short films that were accepted to the Cannes festival.

In Spring 2018 Jake conducted a UCLA production of Sister Act. As a performer, Jake made the California All-State Wind Symphony four consecutive years on alto saxophone and won the All-Star Concerto Contest as a UCLA Freshman.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Kyle Krause
Marengo IL
Chrysalism

Kyle Krause
Kyle Krause is a Chicago-based composer and pianist. He holds bachelor's degrees in composition and piano performance from Northern Illinois University, and a master's degree in composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. While at the Peabody Institute, Kyle studied with Pulitzer prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. Kyle’s most recent awards include 1st place in the 2017-2018 Los Angeles Percussion Quartet Composer Initiative, and 1st place in the 2016 Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University DeLillo Composition Competition. His latest collaborations include writing for Arcomusical, the Milieu Percussion Quartet, CISUM Percussion, and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. Kyle was recently featured on concerts by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project and the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale. More information about Kyle can be found on his website - kylekrausecomposer.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Pablo Rubin-Jurado
New York NY
Bats Hunting

Pablo Rubin-Jurado
Pablo Rubin-Jurado has been in the Juilliard pre-college program since 2013. He’s been in the NYYS Composition Program since 2015, and was a finalist for the ASCAP competition in 2017. In 2012, he sang “Amahl” in "Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Menotti at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. In 2013, he was the understudy for "Real Jake" in the Met Opera’s "Two Boys" by Muhly. As a guest artist at HPAF In 2014, he played “Miles” in “The Turn of the Screw” by Britten. In the American Protégé International Vocal Competition, he won first place and a judges’ distinction award in 2014, 2nd place in 2016, and sang in the 10th Anniversary Showcase at Stern Auditorium in 2017. In 2017, he also won 2nd place in both the Hal Leonard Vocal and the New York Lyric Opera competitions. In 2018, he won the grand prize, best vocal technique, and most expressive performer awards in the Forte International Music Competition; a grand prize in the Enkor International Music Competition; a first place in the Rondo Vanguard Competition; and a second place in the New York Lyric Opera competition.

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Congratulations!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

WINNERS: Bacon Award (American Music Performance), solo division, 2018-19

Ernst Bacon as a young man
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of the ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, 2018-19, in the solo division. Congratulations! (An announcement in the ensemble division will be made separately.)

Among the many contests of The American Prize, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music is unique. It recognizes and rewards the best performances of American music by ensembles and individual artists worldwide, based on submitted recordings. Applications are accepted from professional, college/university, community and high school age solo artists, chamber ensembles or conducted ensembles, competing in separate divisions, and from composers with excellent recordings of their works. Beginning in 2017-18, categories were expanded to encompass performances of American music in practically any instrumentation or genre, with very few repertoire restrictions.

Focused exclusively on works by American composers from any period and in any style, the contest not only judges performances, but in the case of new or unfamiliar works, the music itself.

Ernst Bacon (1898—1990) was one of that pioneering generation of composers who, along with Thomson, Copland, Harris, and others, found a voice for American music. Winner of a Pulitzer Scholarship (for his Symphony in D minor) and no fewer than three Guggenheim Fellowships, Ernst Bacon set out to create compositions that expressed the vitality and affirmative spirit of our country. It is fitting, and with honor, that The American Prize creates an annual award in the memory of Ernst Bacon, recognizing the finest performances of American orchestral music worldwide. To learn more about the music & legacy of Ernst Bacon, please visit the website of the Ernst Bacon Society.


The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, PROFESSIONAL division, soloists or composers, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Reed Tetzloff, pianist
Minneapolis MN
Ives—Piano Sonata #2 (Concord)
Griffes—Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan / Sonata
Rzewski—Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues

Reed Tetzloff, pianist
The American pianist Reed Tetzloff has distinguished himself as one of the brightest stars of a new generation of musicians.  He enthralls audiences with his “magical tone” (The Cincinnati Enquirer) and “ebullient” virtuosity (Gramophone).  

He made his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2012, and now showcases his gifts in concert across three continents.

At the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition , Reed Tetzloff’s career received a major boost after being named one of twelve semifinalists.  His performances were praised in Russian media, which dubbed him “the lyric hero of the competition” and noted by music connoisseurs worldwide.  

He won prizes from other international competitions, including the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, and the Cleveland and Tbilisi International Piano Competitions.  At Mannes College, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he won the two largest awards available to pianists: the Concerto Competition (as a freshman) and the Nadia Reisenberg Competition (as a sophomore).  He was awarded a career grant in 2018 from Salon de Virtuosi.

 His debut solo album, “Sounds of Transcendence,” was released in 2017 to wide acclaim. Reviewing the album, Patrick Rucker of Gramophone praised his version of the Griffes Sonata as “ranking easily with the recordings of Garrick Ohlsson and Stephen Beus as the finest available,” in addition to extolling his “refined touch,” “rhetorical aptness,” and “fervent rapture” in music of Franck and Scriabin.  Marc Rochester, reviewing the album for MusicWeb International, also lauded his “performance of immense individuality and conviction.”
 

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Chris Gekker, trumpet
University of Maryland
College Park MD
Ghost Dialogues

Chris Gekker, trumpet
Chris Gekker is Professor of Trumpet at the University of Maryland School of Music. Previously a member of the American Brass Quintet for eighteen years, he served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Columbia University. He has been involved with composers his whole career, premiering and recording many new works for trumpet solo as well as chamber music.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Ian Mitchell, clarinet
London, England
Isn’t This a Time? - American Music for Clarinet
Ian Mitchell, clarinet
Ian Mitchell studied the clarinet with Alan Hacker at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and subsequently read Music at the University of London. He has performed worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician and recorded both as a soloist and with ensembles as diverse as The Monteverdi Orchestra, the improvising group AMM, The Michael Nyman Band, Gemini and Liria, an Albanian folk band. Ian has commissioned over 60 works for either clarinet or bass clarinet, and his CD of solo bass clarinet repertoire (on Black Box, released 2000) was the first by a British artist. He is currently Director of the chamber ensemble Gemini, renowned for its concerts, recordings (three being chosen as Disc of the Year by the music press) and for its education projects. He was Lecturer in Music Performance at the University of Exeter (1996-2007), and latterly Director of Music there. He held the position of Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London from 2007-2014. He now devotes his time solely to clarinet and bass clarinet performance.


3rd Place:
Ching-chu Hu, composer 
Denison University
Granville, OH
Hu—Spheres of Influence

Ching-chu Hu, composer
Ching-chu Hu has received performances around the world in festivals and concert series, including the Alternativa Festival in Moscow, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, American Music Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, Wigmore Hall, Beijing Forbidden City Concert Hall, Chicago Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Ensembles performing his work include: Kiev Philharmonic, National Dance and Opera Orchestra of China, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, Moscow Conservatory’s Studio New Music Ensemble, ETHEL, Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, Brave New Works, Now Ensemble, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

He teaches at Denison University (Granville, Ohio), where he holds the Richard Lucier Endowed Professorship.  Also active as a pianist and conductor, Hu holds degrees from Yale University, The University of Iowa and the University of Michigan. His music can be heard on the Albany Records, Capstone Records, and ERM Media. More info: www.chingchuhu.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Lansing McLoskey, composer    
The Crossing / Philadelphia PA
McLoskey—Zealot Canticles

Lansing McLoskey, composer    
Lansing McLoskey’s music has been performed in twenty countries on six continents, and has won more than two dozen national/international awards, including the 2016 American Prize, the 2016 Robert Avalon International Composition Prize, two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2017/18 Copland House Award. He has been commissioned by the Fromm Foundation, NEA, Meet The Composer, Pew Charitable Trusts, Barlow Endowment, the International Joint Wind Quintet Project, and numerous ensembles. Recent commissions include a Barlow Commission for an 80-minute oratorio for The Crossing; a full-length opera for Guerilla Opera (Boston); The Copland House; ensemberlino vocale (Berlin); the New Spectrum Foundation for violinist Miranda Cuckson; Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion; Passepartout Duo (Berlin); and oboist ToniMarie Marchioni. Professor at the Frost School of Music, his music is released on Albany Records, WergoSchallplatten, Capstone, Tantara, Equilibrium/Soundset, and Beauport Classics. Most importantly, he is an avid surfer, skateboarder, and cyclist. www.lansingmcloskey.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Patrice Michaels, composer & soprano
Chicago IL
Michaels—The Long View: A Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
   
Patrice Michaels, composer & soprano
Composer - soprano Patrice Michaels creates lyrical soundscapes with a curious ear and an exceptional artistic range that allows her to make captivating music – sometimes out of even the most unexpected source material. A passion for both performance and composing sets Michaels apart.

The breadth of Michaels’ talents are fully expressed in her latest project, Notorious RBG in Song, a salute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Cedille Records) with pianist Kuang-Hao Huang. Michaels channels her talents as composer and singer on the album, distilling the Justice’s legal opinions, letters, and lectures with deft sensitivity, creating “an engrossing, episodic portrait of the legal thinker, wife, mother and feminist icon” (WQXR). The prismatic album of world premieres has earned praise as “a remarkable tribute” (AllMusic) delivered in “an attractive, post-modern tonal idiom” (Classics Today). The project has been so well received that it will premiere as a concert with chamber orchestra, narrative, and multi-media elements with upcoming performances at the Skirball Center (Los Angeles) and in Washington, DC, produced by The Constitution Center of Philadelphia.


Finalist Honorable Mention:  
Kenneth Thompkins, trombone
Detroit MI
Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals

Kenneth Thompkins, trombone
Kenneth Thompkins was appointed Principal Trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Neeme Järvi.   Prior to this appointment, he held positions in the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra.

Thompkins has been invited to perform and conduct master classes at many music schools, including the Curtis Institute of Music, The Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Academy.   An active chamber musician, Thompkins performs frequently in recital and is a member of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings.  Thompkins has performed concertos with both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.

Thompkins can be heard on recordings by Detroit Chamber Winds, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  His solo trombone recording; Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals features the music of Alec Wilder, Philip Wharton, Stephen A. Taylor and William Grant Still.

Please visit www.kenneththompkins.com for more information about the musical activities of Kenneth Thompkins.


Honorable Mention:
Lee Actor, composer
Presidential Symphony Orchestra 

Ankara Turkey
Actor—Symphony No. 3 

Lee Actor, composer
Composer and conductor Lee Actor (http://www.leeactor.com) has received numerous commissions, and has won many awards for his compositions, which are characterized by their dramatic impact and emotional expressivity. Since 2001, he has created an extensive catalog of works for large ensembles, including 3 symphonies and 9 concertos, which have been performed by nearly 80 orchestras and bands in the U.S. and around the world.  He has studied composition with Donald Sur, Brent Heisinger, Charles Jones, and Andrew Imbrie, and conducting with Angelo Frascarelli, David Epstein and Higo Harada.  Actor has been Composer-in-Residence of the Palo Alto Philharmonic since 2002, following his appointment as Assistant Conductor in 2001.  In 2014 he was one of the first five composers selected as an "Honored Artist of the American Prize".  In March 2018 he was invited to
conduct two all-Actor programs with the top professional orchestras in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey.



The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, college/university division, soloists or composers, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Solene Le Van
Princeton University Orchestra 

Princeton NJ
Barber—Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Solene Le Van
Soprano Solène Le Van was born in France and moved to America at five years old, when she made her orchestral debut. She has been invited to perform nationally and internationally, notably in the Brunneby Concert Series (Sweden), the Committee of the LA Philharmonic Series, Carnegie Hall, and the Vianden Festival (Luxembourg) under the patronage of the US Embassy. Ms. Le Van recorded her debut recording to be released with Sheva Collection, an internationally distributed label, featuring works by Hahn and world premieres by Paladilhe.

Ms. Le Van has won the David W. Scott Vocal Competition, the David Weiss Scholarship, the AADGT International Competition, and the YMF Debut Concerto Competition. She performed with the Princeton University Orchestra as a two-time concerto competition winner and as a soloist in Handel’s “Dixit Dominus”, the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, the RCM Big Band and Orchestra, and the Nassau Sinfonia at the American Handel Society with conductor John Butt. Recent roles include Mabel in "The Pirates of Penzance" and "La Musica" in "L’Orfeo" under the direction of English National Opera director Tom Guthrie.

Ms. Le Van has studied with Metropolitan Opera singers Cynthia Munzer, Kim Josephson, Jon West, and Carole Farley and received coaching at Juilliard. In 2016, she attended the Royal College of Music, where she was given first class honors for dual study in voice with Russell Smythe and violin with Daniel Rowland. At fifteen, she was accepted into Princeton with a concentration in French and certificates in Vocal Performance, Italian, and Musical Theater.

Versatile in many styles, including jazz, folk, and musical theater, Ms. Le Van recently was a standby for a lead role in “Rocktopia” on Broadway.


2nd Place:
John Wilson, pianist
New World Symphony
Miami FL
Bernstein—Symphony No. 2: Age of Anxiety 
Copland—Four Piano Blues

John Wilson, pianist
Hailed for his “Virtuosity” (Miami Herald), “elegance and energy” (Classical Miami Magazine),“inventiveness” (San Diego Tribune) and described as a “marvelous, musical mad scientist” (Music Critics Association of North America) American pianist John Wilson performs equally brilliantly as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral pianist. Most recently Wilson was featured in the San Francisco Symphony’s 2018 Carnegie Hall tour, under the direction of Mo. Michael Tilson Thomas, performing the solo pianoforte part to Stravinsky’s “Petrushka (1947). His playing was subsequently described as “brilliant” by the “Classical Voice” publication. His performances have been broadcast on WQXR, and Wilson has recorded for MSR Classics. Wilson has just been awarded an artist grant from The Belin Foundation which will sponsor a recording during the 2019-2020 season of all American solo piano music, which will include works by Michael Tilson Thomas, George Gershwin, and Aaron Copland, among others.

Wilson has performed extensively in North America, South America and Europe, in recital halls such as the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center and at The American Academy of Arts and Letters. As a soloist he has performed with the New World Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra, and both the New Amsterdam Symphony and Orchestra Camerata Notturna in New York City. He most recently won the prize for the "Best Performance of an American Work" at the 2017 Liszt- Garrison International Piano Competition.

An avid chamber musician, he has appeared in chamber ensembles with musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, violin soloist Anthony Marwood, and San Diego Symphony where his pianism was described as “highly inventive” by the San Diego Tribune. He has performed in duo recital with violinist Joshua Bell numerous times, cellist Johannes Moser, and soprano Audra McDonald.


3rd Place:
Martin Hebel, composer
Hamden CT
Brno Philharmonic Orcherstra
Hebel—Symphony No.3 in E Minor 

Martin Hebel, composer
Martin Hebel composes expressive, emotionally direct music for a wide variety of ensembles. His catalog includes instrumental and vocal chamber works, orchestral works, and pieces for educational ensembles.

In his orchestral compositions, Martin explores strategies for engaging audiences, seeking to enrich and enhance concert experiences for contemporary listeners. By combining traditional symphonic forms with a contemporary chromatic language, he hopes to help expand audiences for concert performance of contemporary classical music.

Martin Hebel’s Symphony No.3 in E Minor: Concert in Three Acts, recorded by Mikel Toms and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, was released internationally in August 2016 by ABLAZE Records. An evening-long chamber-orchestral hybrid composition, Symphony No.3 was selected as a Finalist in the 2015 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and received its broadcast premiere by WPRB Princeton University’s Classical Discoveries program on August 30, 2016.

In addition to composing, Martin maintains a self-designed, high-performance computer workstation to render high-quality simulations of digital scores, an application of his interest in adapting technology to serve music composition.

Born in Hamden, Connecticut in 1990, Martin Hebel began composing in high school, winning the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Frances L. Lauro Scholarship in 2009. Martin Hebel received his M.M. in composition from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2018 where he studied with Douglas Knehans and Ellen Ruth Harrison. He graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut in 2015, where he studied composition with Dr. Kenneth Fuchs and trumpet performance with Dr. Louis Hanzlik.



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Congratulations!



Thursday, August 29, 2019

WINNERS: orchestras, 2018-19

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, and citation recipients of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2018-19, in all 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 Orchestral Performance, professional division, 2018-19
 

The American Prize winner:
Symphony Number One
Jordan Randall Smith
Baltimore MD      

Symphony Number One
New Baltimore chamber orchestra Symphony Number One performs substantial works by emerging composers, riveting masterworks, and a twist of pop. Symphony Number One brings together great composers of the past, virtuoso performers of the present, and the leading compositional voices of the future.

Praised for presenting "full-length freshness on each program," by the Baltimore Sun, Symphony Number One has premiered over forty compositions, released four "must get" albums, and performed at Baltimore's inaugural Light City Festival. The orchestra was also highlighted in Baltimore STYLE as "brazen...like an indie rock band", featured twice on MPT Artworks, awarded the "Category Buster" prize by Baltimore Magazine for Best of Baltimore 2016, and chosen as runner up for Baltimore's Best Band in the 2016 Best of Baltimore Reader's Poll.

Symphony Number One develops close relationships with emerging composers, gives new works multiple hearings, and creates electrifying concert experiences for all of Baltimore.


2nd Place:
Michigan Philharmonic
Nan Harrison Washburn
Plymouth MI 

Michigan Philharmonic
The Michigan Philharmonic, one of the most innovative and dynamic professional orchestras in Southeast Michigan, was recently awarded The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for Performance of American Music having also received 2nd and 3rd Place honors from TAP in the professional orchestra division. Nan Washburn, Music Director since 1999, was the TAP Professional Conducting Winner in 2013 and has won 19 ASCAP Awards for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music from the League of American Orchestras. Michigan Phil brings its events into an ever-expanding roster of Michigan communities, including Plymouth, Canton, Brighton, downtown Detroit, and many others. The organization is committed to reaching out to a broad and diverse array of audiences. Currently in its 73rd Season, the orchestra plays a full, year-round season of concerts including classical, pops, outdoor, Bollywood and fusion concerts. The Philharmonic also has an extensive education program that includes the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. website: http://www.michiganphil.org


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra 
Jonathan Griffith
New York NY   

Distinguished Concerts Orchestra 
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra: Founded in 2008 by esteemed choral and orchestral conductor, Dr. 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, 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 Dr. Jonathan Griffith and DCINY’s roster of notable guest conductors, the DCO performs in Carnegie Hall and in Lincoln Center. www.DCINY.org


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Western Piedmont Symphony
John Gordon Ross
Hickory NC

Western Piedmont Symphony
Western Piedmont Symphony was founded as the Hickory Symphony in 1964 and changed its name in the early 70’s. WPS has provided classical music of distinction for 53 years in the Greater Hickory area. WPS is one of two professional orchestras in Western, NC (Asheville is the other). Approximately 90% of the concerts and outreach are focused in the Hickory area. According to the NC Arts Council, WPS outreach programs in the area schools rank next to the NC Symphony as the most extensive in the state with over 25,000 students reached each year. String quartet programs are also reaching significant numbers of preschoolers and senior adults. The Western Piedmont Youth Symphony (WPYS) was started in 1972 and serves students from a 7-county area.  The Hickory Metro String Quartet Residency currently hosts the Tesla Quartet.  Since 1991 the orchestra has been led by John Gordon Ross who has just retired. 


Special Judges' Citation: "Championing the Music of Forgotten Americans"
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell
Brooklyn NY   

Gowanus Arts Ensemble
New Focus Records released the Gowanus Arts Ensemble’s second CD conducted by Reuben Blundell, in December 2017. Garnering outstanding reviews, it continues to be featured on radio stations across the USA. The group is named after Brooklyn’s Gowanus Arts Building, in a formerly industrial corner of Brooklyn. The Ensemble comprises some of New York’s finest musicians. Members for this CD are violinists Orlando Wells (concertmaster), Keats Dieffenbach, Heather Frank-Olsen, Yuiko Kamakari and Una Tone, violists Margaret Dyer Harris and Beth Meyers, cellists Julian Schwarz and Jeanette Stenson, and bassist Rick Ostrovsky. Reuben Blundell directs the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra near Philadelphia, and New York’s Riverside Orchestra, and has served as a Chelsea Symphony conductor for five years. He’s a faculty member at Trinity School. Blundell has performed in his native Australia, in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and across the Americas, and earned a doctorate in conducting with Neil Varon. www.reubenblundell.com.



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, college/university division, 2018-19
 

The American Prize winner:
St. Olaf Orchestra
Steven Amundson
Northfield MN   

St. Olaf Orchestra
The St. Olaf Orchestra, which dates back to 1906, has grown into the finest of its kind.  The orchestra won the 2013 American Prize in Orchestral Performance among colleges and universities and has been featured at regional and national conferences. The fully undergraduate orchestra has concertized in most of the United States and internationally to Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, China, Norway, Argentina, and Uruguay. They have performed in prestigious venues such as the Bejing Concert Hall, Rudolfinum in Prague, Meistersinger Hall in Nuremberg, Ballena Azul (Blue Whale) in Buenos Aries, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and Carnegie Hall in New York.  They have performed with world renowned performers and conductors including Leon Fleisher, Sarah Chang, Robert Shaw, and Krzysztof Penderecki.

The St. Olaf Orchestra has been featured on National Public Television and on National Public Radio, including several features on Performance Today. Their conductor, Steven Amundson, is in his 38th year leading the orchestra.


2nd Place:
Baylor Symphony Orchestra 
Stephen Heyde
Waco TX  

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 conventions of A.S.T.A and the College Orchestra Directors Association and recorded a PBS Special seen by over 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 in 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.


3rd Place (there was a three-way tie): 
FSU Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Jimenez
Tallahassee FL   

FSU Symphony Orchestra
The Florida State University Symphony Orchestra (USO) is the premier orchestral ensemble of the College of Music. Comprised of a diverse group of graduate and undergraduate students, the USO performs extensively throughout the year. Under the direction of Dr. Alexander Jiménez, the orchestra has recorded on the Naxos, Mark, and Koch labels, has been featured in national PBS broadcasts, and was the featured orchestra of the national meeting of the American String Teachers Association in 2016. With a long history going back to its founding in 1926, the orchestra has performed under the batons of such conductors as Ernst von Dohnányi, Richard Burgin, Aaron Copland, Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, and Matthias Bamert. In addition to orchestral concerts, the orchestras work with the FSU opera and choral programs, host two different concerto competitions yearly, read student compositions and orchestration projects, and accompany faculty and guest soloists.


3rd Place (there was a three-way tie):
ASU Symphony Orchestra
Jeffery Meyer
Tempe AZ   

ASU Symphony Orchestra
An accomplished conductor, pianist, and educator, Jeffery Meyer launched his career as a champion of contemporary orchestral music and innovative collaborations. He currently holds positions as Director of Orchestras at Arizona State University and as the Artistic Director of the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic. In recent concert seasons, he has performed as a chamber musician and conductor throughout North America, Europe, China, Russia, and Southeast Asia.

In 2010, he led the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in its United States debut with three performances at Symphony Space’s “Wall-to-Wall” Festival in New York City which the New York Times called “impressive”, “powerful”, “splendid”, and “blazing.” His programming in the United States has been recognized with three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. He was a prizewinner in the 2008 International Conducting Competition “Antonio Pedrotti” and the winner of the 2013 American Prize in Conducting.


3rd Place (there was a three-way tie):
The Concordia Orchestra
Kevin Sutterlin
Moorhead MN   

The Concordia Orchestra
The nationally and internationally acclaimed Concordia Orchestra was founded in 1967. The college’s musical ensembles earned the prestigious EMMY award for its nationally broadcasted 2016 Christmas Concert productions. The Concordia Orchestra has concertized extensively across the globe, the most recent tours including Greece (2018) and The Holy Land (2014). Concordia Orchestra members have gone on to significant professional careers, as well as faculty positions at public schools, colleges and universities nationwide. About half of the students in the orchestra choose to major in fields outside of music. Regardless of career choice, the experience of performing outstanding repertoire for audiences both home and abroad is among the most cherished memories for alumni of The Concordia Orchestra. In 2016 the college welcomed Dr. Kevin F.E. Sütterlin as the fourth orchestra conductor in the history of the college. At Concordia he is also founding Music Director of The Concordia Opera. www.ConcordiaCollege.edu/orchestra


Special Judges' Citation: "Exceptional Orchestra of Non-Music Majors"
William & Mary Symphony Orchestra 
David Grandis
Williamsburg VA   

William & Mary Symphony Orchestra 
Now entering its 85th 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, community division, 2018-19
 

The American Prize winner:
Springfield Drury Civic Orchestra 
Christopher Koch
Springfield MO   

Springfield Drury Civic Orchestra 
Founded in 2005, the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra is southwest Missouri’s regional civic orchestra. Comprising more than 100 talented professionals, students, and enthusiasts, the SDCO presents a yearly concert season of great orchestral masterworks, often performing regional premieres of newly composed works as well as masterworks of the orchestral canon.  In recent years, the orchestra has received national recognition and collaborated with numerous guest artists and arts organizations.  sdco.drury.edu


2nd Place:
Carlisle Chamber Orchestra 
Kathleen Chick
Carlisle MA  

Carlisle Chamber Orchestra 
The Carlisle Chamber Orchestra was formed in 2014 by two amateur musicians after decades of experience playing difficult avant-garde music with a community orchestra achieving limited community recognition. They reasoned that a community ensemble composed of carefully vetted volunteers performing works accessible to the players and audience would achieve much greater community acceptance and recognition. Furthermore, the successful establishment of a new classical ensemble and growth of a suitable audience in a town of only 5000 would serve as a “petri-dish” example that locally well-performed classical music can not only serve the membership and community but will potentially foster the appreciation of classical music generally. Now as we approach the close of our fourth season we are gratified to see a continued increase in audience attendance.  Among them are many examples of "significant others” new to classical concerts and many on fixed income, attracted by our donation-based admissions.  CCOrch.org


3rd Place:
Austin Civic Orchestra
Lois Ferrari
Austin TX  

Austin Civic Orchestra
The Austin Civic Orchestra was founded in 1977 and has since evolved into an 80-piece fully volunteer symphonic orchestra. The ACO is committed to bringing high quality classical music to Austin area communities and to supporting young musicians in particular. To this end, the Orchestra offers free admittance to all students under the age of 18 and sponsors the annual Pearl Amster Chamber Music Festival as well as the Texas Rising Stars Concerto Contest in conjunction with the University of Texas. A champion of new music, ACO Music Director Lois Ferrari founded the bi-annual Composition Contest in 2005. Also noteworthy is the ACO’s 2017-2018 season, entitled Made in America, which was devoted to performing music written entirely by American composers. The ACO was awarded 2nd place in the 2016 American Prize competition and was named finalist in 2014 and 2012.   www.austincivicorchestra.org



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, youth orchestra division, 2018-19
 

The American Prize winner:
Houston Youth Symphony
Sarah D. Loudermilk
Houston TX  

Michael Webster, conductor 
Houston Youth Symphony
Founded in 1946, Houston Youth Symphony (HYS) is the recipient of national acclaim including the 2017 first prize winner of the Mark of Excellence Award from The Foundation for Music Education and the 2017 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.org) 


2nd Place:
Denver Young Artists Orchestra
Kelly Waltrip
Denver CO  
Wes Kenney, music director

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. 


3rd Place:
Portland Youth Philharmonic
Noreen Murdock
Portland OR 
David Hattner, conductor 

Portland Youth Philharmonic
The Portland Youth Philharmonic Association (PYP), founded in 1924 as America’s first youth orchestra, supports two full symphony orchestras, a chamber orchestra, a wind ensemble, and a string orchestra. Membership in the Philharmonic Orchestra is reserved for outstanding players whose technical level is highly advanced. PYP has taken eight national and international concert tours and PYP’s YouTube channel has attracted hundreds of thousands of views. In 2014, as part of its 90th anniversary season, PYP performed at Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival. The Chicago Tribune wrote, "The performance was brilliant in all departments."

David Hattner is the fifth Musical Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic Association. David Hattner’s conducting credits include the  Phoenix Symphony,  Oregon Symphony, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and multi-media work with silent film in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.



The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, high school orchestra division, 2018-19
 

The American Prize winner:
Klein Chamber Orchestra
Creston Herron
Klein TX   

Klein Chamber Orchestra
The Klein High School Orchestra Program has a long-standing rich tradition of excellence. Klein orchestras have enjoyed the success of consistent UIL Sweepstakes awards, first division ratings and “best in class” awards at festivals across the country. The Chamber and Symphony orchestras at Klein High have consistently ranked as finalists each year in the prestigious TMEA Honor Orchestra Competition, in both the string and full orchestra divisions. They have been named Grand Champions twice at Festival Disney in Orlando, Florida. In 2017, both the Klein High School Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra were named National winners in the Mark of Excellence Competition. For the first time in the history of Klein ISD, The Klein High School Chamber Orchestra claimed the Texas State Championship, earning the title of TMEA Honor String Orchestra in 2017. In 2018, Klein High was named Grand Champion of the National Orchestra Cup Competition.


2nd Place:
Klein Oak HS Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra
Tanner Ledford
Houston TX   

Klein Oak HS Chamber Orchestra

Klein Oak HS Symphony Orchestra
In Klein ISD our students begin music instruction in Kindergarten.  In the fifth grade our students can begin after school strings instruction which meets twice a week. In middle school and high school, string instruction is daily for around 48 minutes. In addition, at the intermediate and high school levels, the students stay before and after school to practice through a combination of targeted sectionals and supervised open practice. Around 20% of our students are enrolled in a private lesson program. Currently there are 135 string students in our clusters’ 5th grade program, 350 in our middle school programs, and 250 in our high school program. Klein Oak High School is located in the northern part of the district in a small residential suburban community. It is approximately 45 minutes from downtown Houston. Klein Oak High School is comprised of grades 9-12 with an enrollment of approximately 4000 students.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Herricks HS Chamber Orchestra
Catherine Fish
New Hyde Park NY  

Herricks HS Chamber Orchestra
The Herricks High School Chamber Orchestra is an elite string orchestra from New Hyde Park, NY. Acceptance to this curricular honors-level ensemble is by audition only, resulting in a highly competitive audition process and a rigorous rehearsal environment. Under the direction of teacher/conductor Catherine Fish, the Herricks High School Chamber Orchestra has grown into a nationally recognized ensemble, acclaimed for their performance of challenging repertoire and their nuanced musicianship. In March of 2018, the ensemble won First Prize High School String Orchestra in the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Orchestra Festival competition, held in Atlanta, GA. The orchestra’s recent credits also include ratings of “Gold with Distinction” four years in a row at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Major Organization Festival, a 2017 performance at Carnegie Hall, and annual participation in the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society’s Young Musicians Program competition.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Westwood Symphony Orchestra
Joshua Thompson
Austin TX   

Westwood Symphony Orchestra
Located 17 miles north of downtown Austin, Texas, Westwood High School is one of five high schools in the Round Rock Independent School District, and features an enrollment of 2600 students.  The orchestra program is currently under the musical leadership of Joshua Thompson and Justin Anderson. The Orchestra program at Westwood High School currently has 172 members, placed in four different skills-based orchestras.  The Symphony Orchestra at Westwood is a perennial finalist in the Texas Music Educator Association’s Honor Orchestra Competition, which is one of the most competitive music competitions in the country.  The Westwood Symphony Orchestra has been selected as the TMEA Honor Orchestra four times: in 2000, 2006, 2010 as the TMEA Honor Full Orchestra, and in 2013 as the Honor String Orchestra.  The Symphony Orchestra has also performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, in 2013.  www.westwoodorchestra.com


Special Judges' Citation: "Exceptional Middle School Orchestra"
 Sartartia Middle School Symphony Orchestra 
Sophia Hsieh
Sugar Land TX   

Sartartia Middle School Symphony Orchestra 
The Sartartia Middle School Orchestra program opened in 2001 with 80 students.  The program has grown to over 250 students and two full time orchestra directors, Ms Hsieh and Ms Vu.

Over ninety percent of Sartartia Orchestra students start as beginners.  Beginning string classes are taught in homogenous classes divided into upper and lower strings.  They meet daily, with an emphasis on posture, tone production, and music reading skills.  The intermediate classes focus on ensemble and performance skills.

The Sartartia Symphony honors include: Five performances at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Texas Honor Orchestra, Winner of the American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival in Reno, Nevada, Performances on the Great Wall, Beijing, and Tianjin, featured orchestra of the National American Strings Teachers’ Association Convention, National Winner of Foundations for Music Education’s Mark of Excellence, and was featured on YouTube by Live from Lincoln Center.




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Congratulations!