Monday, January 18, 2010

APPLICATIONS have begun to arrive...

Applications have begun to arrive for the spring 2010 round of The American Prize, a series of new, non-profit national competitions now underway, including ones from conductors, choruses and orchestras.

The American Prize is unique in scope and structure, providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded ensemble performances each year in the United States. There are separate categories for professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school orchestras, choruses and their conductors.

(Additional competitions for 2010—for wind ensemble/concert band, children’s choir and composition—will be announced this spring.)

The judging panel for The American Prize, which includes several current and former board members of The Conductors Guild, is as varied in background and experience and as geographically diverse as we hope the winners of The American Prize to be.

Complete information and downloadable application forms may be found on the website The postmark deadline for the current round of competitions is March 1, 2010.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The following seven principles guide the administration of The American Prize, insuring that the competitions are fair and valuable to all contestants.

1. The American Prize competitions adhere to strict timelines.
Individuals or organizations who apply to compete for The American Prize receive timely communication from the competition office and know before they apply when semi-finalists, finalists and winners will be announced.

2. The American Prize is more than monetary.
In addition to cash prizes, the competitions provide winners with professional adjudication, and recognition for their achievement. Finalists will be announced and winners profiled on The American Prize website and blog, with links to winning performances. The competition office will communicate news directly to local, regional and national media on behalf of applicants.

3. The American Prize judging panel will be varied in skills and geography.
The judges of The American Prize will be individuals with broad experience, from all over the country,
collectively representing professional, community, faith-based and public school performing artists
and educators.

4. The American Prize provides constructive adjudication.
Evaluations from judges will be at all times positive, useful and respectful.

5. Application fees for The American Prize will remain modest.
The American Prize is non-profit, and does not glorify or memorialize any named individual. The applicants (and subsequently, the winners) are the primary focus of its attention.

6. The American Prize provides diversity of opportunity.
The competitions will be annual events, broad enough in scope to provide opportunity to organizations and individuals who might not otherwise be invited to compete nationally. In addition to categories for professional ensembles, applications will be welcomed from community, school and faith-based organizations and their artistic leaders. Neither the size, make-up, location or repertoire of any qualified
organization will limit its eligibility. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the
selection of finalists and winners.

7. The American Prize will expand, when practical, to include other performing artists
and ensembles.

Beginning in spring 2010, The American Prize will add competitions for Wind Ensemble/Concert Band, Children’s Chorus and Composition. Competitions for other ensembles and performers will be added semi-annually.

Applications and complete information on our website:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Judge David Gardner profiled

David Gardner, associate professor of music and director of choirs at Southwestern College, was profiled in the Winfield (Kansas) Courier after being chosen as a judge for The American Prize. Click this link to read the article.