Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ORCHESTRA WINNERS: high school division

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the high school orchestra division of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, 2014. 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 Orchestral Performance
—high school orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
David DeVoto, conductor
Allen  TX
Allen High School Orchestra
The Allen ISD Orchestra program began in 1997 at the 6th grade level with approximately 50 students. By 2002, the 30 member Allen High School orchestra began performing in their first concerts and festivals and earned their first “sweepstakes” UIL award.  In the next 12 years, the AHS orchestra program grew to 300+ students, placed in the finals of the Texas Honor Orchestra Competition in 2004, 2006, and 2007, and was accepted to the Midwest Clinic in 2006.  Today, there are over 1,100 orchestra students in Allen ISD: seventeen elementary orchestras, three middle school orchestra programs with four orchestras each, a freshman center orchestra program with a full orchestra and four string orchestras, and the high school orchestra program with a full orchestra and five string orchestras. The Allen High School Symphony Full Orchestra consists of the top two string orchestras and members from the AHS Wind Ensemble.

Among judges' comments: "The sound and style is breathtaking; fantastic performance!"

2nd Place:
Ryan Ross, conductor
Plano  TX

Jasper High School Legacy Orchestra
The Jasper High School Orchestra is proud to be one of the most accomplished orchestra programs in Texas. Jasper is a grade 9 and 10 campus in Plano, TX, a Dallas suburb. Their orchestra currently serves over 200 students in five orchestras. Since its inception in 1996, Jasper’s top string ensemble, Legacy Orchestra, has repeatedly ranked as one of the top five string orchestras in Texas, competing alongside high schools that fill their orchestras with 9th through 12th graders, and in 2013 they were named the winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (HS Division).  That same year, the Jasper Symphony was also named the 2014 TMEA Honor Full Orchestra of Texas.  Jasper feeds Plano West Senior High School and pulls from Rice and Robinson Middle Schools. Today, the Jasper Orchestra program is led by Ryan Ross and Assistant Director Brad Davis.  The string program is proud to frequently collaborate with band directors Jackie Digby and Charlie Hendrix.

Among judges' comments: "...exciting, mature performances of several difficult repertoire pieces..."

3rd Place:
Jonathan Handman, conductor
Lagrangeville  NY
Arlington High School Philharmonia
Arlington High School's Philharmonia is the most advanced of five orchestras in the school and was the Grand Champion of the ASTA National Orchestra Festival in March 2012.  The program consists of two ninth grade string orchestra and three symphonic orchestras for students in grades 10-12, of which Ms. Elizabeth Handman, Mr. Jonathan Handman and Mr. John Harper are the directors.  In total, the program has over 250 string students and 75 wind/percussion members that join the strings every other day as their second ensemble in addition to the band program that they are members of.  Arlington Central School District’s High School Principal is Mr. Paul Fanuele and Music Coordinator is Mr. Richard Guillen.

Among judges' comments: "Your exciting off your considerable technical ability and sonority."


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