Thursday, August 28, 2014

VOCAL WINNERS: high school men

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the men's high school division of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2014. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize winner:
Lookout Mountain  TN
Thomas West
Thomas West is an 18 year old baritone from Lookout Mountain, Tennessee but is currently living and studying classical voice at The Juilliard School in New York City, NY. Over the past two years, Thomas has taken first prize in many regional and national vocal competitions including the Performing Arts League Vocal Competition in Chattanooga, TN, the Knoxville Choral Society Young Classical Musicians Competition, the University of Kentucky Young Singers Competition, Georgia NATS, and the Music Teachers National Association National Competition. Thomas was also featured on the NPR radio show “From the Top” both in 2012 and 2014, and was a 2014 National Young Arts Finalist and Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Thomas is also the founder of ReGenerate, an arts leadership program dedicated to advocating and fundraising for the arts in the public schools of Chattanooga. So far, the group has raised over $14,000 dollars for arts education in his hometown. For more information, please go to

Among judges' comments: "His production is free, flowing and beautiful.  Mr. West sings with fine artistry and musicality."

2nd Place:

Greenville  SC
Matthew Burn

Matthew Burn, a native of Greenville SC, is currently a senior studying under Thomas Dickinson at the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities. He also attended the Fine Arts Center as a vocal student and studied for two years under Karen Parks. Matthew received a full scholarship to Walnut Hill Summer Opera program where he was able to sing in Milan, Italy and most recently accepted into a program with the Washington National Opera where he sang at the Kennedy Center. He hopes to attend a music conservatory next fall and pursue a career in vocal performance.

Among judges' comments: "an excellent young performer."

3rd Place:

Worcester  MA
Nathan Kessel

I am a senior at Shrewsbury High School and reside in Worcester, MA. I sing as a baritone and have won seats in the Massachusetts Central District Honors Choir, MA All-State Honors Choir, the NAFME All-National Honors Choir, and the DCINY International Honors Choir. I attended the Boston University Tanglewood institute in the summer of 2013 as a member of the Young Artist Vocal program. I currently sing at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School’s Youth Chorale and Youth Camerata. I am also singing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Festival Choir. I am the youngest male member in the history of the choir, accepted at age 16. I am currently auditioning at conservatories in my hopes to pursue music as a career.

Among judges' comments: "a talented young singer with a good, resonant voice."


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