band/wind ensemble, youth orchestra, and community orchestra.
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The judges reserve the right to award special citations and honorable mentions to any entrant at their discretion.
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The American Prize winner:
Kennesaw State Univ. Wind Ensemble David Thomas Kehler, director—Kennesaw, GA
|Kennesaw State Univ. Wind Ensemble|
Among judges' comments: "Great brass sound. Good pitch and style. This is a very well rehearsed group. All sections have excellent tone, including percussion. Precise ensemble throughout."
Clear Creek High School Wind Ensemble Stephen Meyer, director—League City, TX
|Clear Creek High School Wind Ensemble|
Among judges' comments: "...it is a very good performance...one of the top HS Wind Ensembles in the country, I would venture to say. Overall score 90."
Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble Teren Shaffer, director—Santa Ana, CA
|Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble|
Among judges comments: "Excellent energy and ensemble...quite a good group. Appropriate rep was performed and done well."
The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—community orchestra
The American Prize winner:
Park Avenue Chamber Symphony David Bernard, music director—New York, NY
|Park Avenue Chamber Symphony|
The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony’s performances have been acclaimed by critics nationwide.
· “Highly polished and highly disciplined performances. These readings are interpretively probing and emotionally satisfying….unconditionally recommended.” – Fanfare Magazine
· “The dynamic range and attention to detail surpass any performance of these works. The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony is a World-Class Orchestra” – Lucid Culture
· “David Bernard brought raw, dramatic intensity to the urgent sections, while conducting the noble transfiguration theme with utmost tenderness and lovely, sustained pacing. Balances were unusually clear, bringing out woodwind details, while the brass shined with solid, blended playing…the orchestra plays with a strong sense of style and commitment…with the depth and fervor of the old school European orchestras…. a real triumph!” – New York Concert Review
The ensemble regularly features important soloists including Carter Brey (principal cellist, New York Philharmonic), David Chan (concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Jon Manasse (clarinet soloist) and Whoopi Goldberg (Oscar Winning Actor and Entertainer), as well as emerging artists from Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music and Mannes. The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony performs at All Saints Church on the Upper East Side of NYC, with additional performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.
Through its fundraising efforts, the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony has helped establish a new Scholarship Fund for students at the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, as well as support The Harmony Program—a New York City organization that provides music lessons to economically disadvantaged children and is modeled after Venezuela's world-famous model of music education, "El Sistema".
Among judges' comments: "The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony exemplifies the epitome of the best of the current community orchestra scene: professional level performance of incredibly difficult repertoire."
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra Anna Edwards, music director—Seattle, WA
|Seattle Collaborative Orchestra|
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra Mission Statement: Seattle Collaborative Orchestra is an intergenerational, semi-professional community orchestra with a strong educational component based in collaboration. Musicians of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra largely consist of members or alumni of Seattle high schools and University of Washington music students, in addition to members of professional music ensembles in the Seattle area (i.e. Seattle Symphony and Pacific Northwest Ballet). It is our aspiration to spread musical enjoyment to our Seattle metropolitan community.
Among judges comments: "Prodigious achievement of style, rhythm, and articulation throughout. Bravo on your excellent, crisp rhythm."
Clark College Orchestra Donald L. Appert, music director—Vancouver, WA
|Clark College Orchestra|
Among judges comments: "The group really shines on the Fandango to the end: effective clean strings, great balance, wonderful dynamic contrasts, technique, and articulation."
The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—youth orchestra
The American Prize winner:
Vivace Jonathan Handman, music director—Poughkeepsie, NY
Stringendo’s most advanced orchestra, Vivace, this year includes 25 high school students. Over the years the orchestra has performed a broad repertoire, including Serenades by Dvorak, Elgar, Suk and Tchaikovsky, Diamond’s Rounds, Shostakovich’s Eighth Chamber Symphony, and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence. Vivace participated in the ASTA National String Orchestra Festival, a competition for school and youth orchestras throughout the United States, and was named Grand Champion in 2009.
Among judges' comments: "Obvious trust, confidence and capability were coupled to stylistic assurance. The emotional content was always made clear to the audience who responded with highly merited applause."
Houston Youth Symphony Michael Webster, music director—Houston, TX
|Houston Youth Symphony|
Among judges comments: "The performance of the chosen literature demonstrated the thrill of playing large orchestral repertory...the orchestra played with zest. It is good to perform major works that have moments of challenge and is an important aspect of development. Congratulations on undertaking those challenges. "
Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra Gioacchino Longobardi, music director—Saratoga Springs, NY
|Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra|
Conductor, Maestro Gioacchino Longobardi, with diplomas in Piano, Conducting and Composition from the Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella, in Naples, Italy, brings a European perspective to a new world endeavor. He has introduced SSYO to a unique and challenging repertoire comprised primarily of Early Baroque and Romantic period pieces. The SSYO program offers young musicians the opportunity to perform orchestral masterworks directed by a professional musician/conductor, while pursuing their own personal aspirations and a lifelong love for music.
Among judges comments: "The playing was most compelling in the Fantasia as the melody of the hymn tune was passed around. The Piazzolla had some very warm moments...This is a program that should continue to build in the future."
Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.