Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Marilyn Miller
The American Prize is pleased to announce the WINNERS and runners-up for The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2012. (For opera and other ensemble winners, please scroll down.)

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

The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2012
High School Division

The American Prize winner:
George Mason High School, Falls Church, VA
George Mason High School—Les Mis

George Mason High School Theater Department hosts two full scale theater productions per year.  Casting is open to all students and casts are drawn from high school grades 8-12.  The school, located in Falls Church, Virginia, offers introductory theater classes to its 8th to 10th grade students and offers International Baccalaureate Theater and Music classes to advanced 11th and 12th grade students.  The philosophy of the theater director is collaborative and developmental, with emphasis on the learning process above the final product.

Youth Musical Theater Company of Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Youth Music Theater Company—Ragtime
Youth Musical Theater Company is a non-profit, Berkeley-based company which produces professional caliber musical theater while providing exceptional theater training to students from the 7th grade through university level.  We bring together the Bay Area’s most talented and dedicated young singer/actors with professional directors, designers, and musicians to create theater that takes on challenging and sophisticated musical and dramatic themes, and that is always accompanied by a full, live orchestra. From the time it incorporated as a non-profit in 2004, YMTC has grown into a year round production company, producing three fully mounted musicals as well as small scale workshop productions and training workshops throughout the year. Many YMTC graduates have gone on to study music and theater at some of the best conservatories in the United States and abroad; all of them, wherever they go, take with them confidence, empathy, responsibility, and the capacity to imagine. We passionately believe that when young people have opportunities to participate in exceptional training in the arts, they are becoming not only the next generation of artists and arts appreciators, but the next generation of engaged citizens: empowered to pay attention, communicate, and energetically participate in a collaborative process.

East Rockaway Junior/Senior High School, Long Island, NY
East Rockaway Junior/Senior High School—Crazy for You
The East Rockaway Junior/Senior High School company consists of students from grades seven through twelve. Students are chosen each year based on auditions - cast as well as orchestra. Some performers have been involved for a number of years and some are brand new to performing. Being a tight-knit community, a few faculty members (including the school's principal, Mr. Bill Fortgang) participate in the orchestra and behind the scenes. This year's show, "Crazy for You" was directed by Ms. Pam Murano, music directed by Mr. Tom Schloen, vocal music directed by Mr. Daniel Ezell and choreographed by Ms. Shari Berman.


The American Prize in Conducting—Musical Theater Division—high school

The American Prize winner:
Mary Jo West, George Mason High School, Falls Church, VA (Les Mis)
Mary Jo West has been actively conducting musicals in both educational and professional settings for the past 27 years.  Ms West has conducted numerous high school productions in a variety of educational settings including high school musicals in Japan, community college productions in California and the current productions at George Mason High School. As well, Ms West has conducted a variety of local professional and community theater productions including “Aida”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Chicago” and others.

David Crews Moschler, Youth Musical Theater Company of Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (Ragtime)
David Möschler works as a conductor and musical director throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He has music directed over seventy-five fully-staged productions, most recently with Center Repertory Theater, Shotgun Players, Ray of Light Theatre, Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, Youth Musical Theater Company of Berkeley and Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento. During the summer Möschler is a principal conductor with College Light Opera Company in Cape Cod, where he has served on the music staff for six seasons. He received his Master of Arts in Music from UC Davis, where he studied orchestral and choral conducting with D. Kern Holoman and Jeffrey Thomas.

Patrick Towey—Ken-Ton Summer Theatre Arts Group Experience (The Wiz) 
Patrick Towey – has served as the Music Director and Pit Orchestra Conductor for Ken-Ton STAGE since 2010 and played in the pit orchestras since 2006. He is currently pursuing a degree in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. As a pianist, he has played with the Eastman Wind Orchestra, University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble, and has accompanied soloists. As a trombonist, he has played with the Eastman Trombone Choir, U of R Wind Symphony, U of R Brass Choir. He is a 2010 graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute where he was very active in the music department.


Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.

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