Sunday, October 19, 2014

CONDUCTOR WINNERS, RUNNERS-UP: youth/high school orchestra

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—youth/high school orchestra division. Congratulations! All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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 Conducting
—youth/high school orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
ANGEL VELEZ, student teacher
Santa Monica High School Symphony
Santa Monica, CA
Originally from Indiana, Angel Velez currently works in Los Angeles as a conductor and orchestrator while completing graduate studies at the University of Southern California and working with the renowned Santa Monica High School orchestra program. Velez has worked on projects such as Family Guy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, James Bond: Goldeneye for Wii, Rouge Bresil, Madison, and others. He has extensive experience as an orchestral conductor, working with orchestras such as the Berlin Sinfonietta, Yakima Symphony Chamber, Opus Orchestra of Indianapolis, and many others. He has held positions at Taylor University (Indiana) and most recently Marian University (Indiana) where he was the director of bands and head of the percussion department. Velez is a student of conducting pedagogues, Donald Thulean and Kenneth Kiesler, and holds degrees from Butler University, Berklee College of Music, and the University of Southern California.

Among judges' comments: "His technique is clear and rehearsal style relaxed yet focused and productive."

2nd Place:
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston, TX
Michael Webster is Professor of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Artistic Director of Houston Youth Symphony.  Formerly Principal Clarinet with the Rochester Philharmonic and Acting Principal Clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony, Webster has been soloist with many orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra with Aaron Copland and the Boston Pops with John Williams.  A winner of Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Tokyo, Cleveland, Ying, Muir, Chester, and Enso String Quartets, and festivals such as Marlboro, Santa Fe, Norfolk, Chamber Music Northwest, Victoria, Stratford, Domaine Forget, Angel Fire, Sitka, Maui, Steamboat Springs and Park City. He has also performed and taught in South and Central America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China.  Webster has been on the clarinet and conducting faculties of Eastman, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan.

Among judges' comments: " experienced conductor conducting a superb group of musicians through difficult repertory."

3rd Place:
YPO Soloist Ensemble
San Diego, CA

Presently Ms. Dreiling is on the adjunct faculty at University of San Diego and faculty for the USD Chamber Music Festival and is adjunct faculty at Grossmont College. She is the violinist with Trio Licenza, the piano trio, in residence at USD, and she also performs as violist with Grossmont Symphony String Quartet. She is the violinist with The California Consort, founded by legendary contrabassist, Bertram Turetzky. Alyze Dreiling was born in Detroit, Michigan. She began her studies with Mischa Mischakoff. Ms. Dreiling graduated from Indiana University where she studied with Josef Gingold. Since then she has appeared as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Philharmonica Hungarica at the Vienna Summer Festival, the Florida Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony, Knoxville Chamber Orchestra to name a few. Ms. Dreiling was founding Artistic Director/ Conductor of Classics for Kids. Alyze also served as the Violinist/Conductor of the International Chamber Players at USIU. She has played concertmaster for Donna Summers, Smoky Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Tom Scott, and for shows at the Old Globe, Civic Auditorium, LaJolla Playhouse, Lawrence Welk and Starlight Theater. She has also played with San Diego Symphony, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and Hutchins Consort.

Among judges' comments: "…a very effective conductor…"



  1. Congratulations Angel. Very proud of your success.

  2. Congratulations Angel! So proud of all you have achieved and will in the future. Well-deserved!