Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: community orchestra division, 2015

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting: Community Orchestra Division, 2015. 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: Community Orchestra Division, 2015.

The American Prize winner:
Walter Morales
    Undercroft Opera Orchestra    Pittsburgh, PA

Walter Morales
Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of Undercroft Opera, Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, Head of Music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Assistant Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He has been a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, University of Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra, University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra and Rutgers Chamber Orchestra.  He has also served as cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

An active concert pianist and recording artist, Morales has toured through out the United States, Central and South America. His recordings as conductor and pianist can be heard on the Centaur, Mode, Zimbel, and Quindecim labels.

2nd Place:
Matthew Hooper
    West Shore Symphony Orchestra    Carlisle, PA

Matthew Hooper
MATTHEW HOOPER is in his third season as the Music Director and Conductor of the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in Mechanicsburg and Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 2015, he debuted with the Wilmington (DE) Community Orchestra as a finalist for their Music Director position. Previously, Hooper served as Assistant Conductor of the Muncie Symphony and Ball State University Orchestras in Muncie, Indiana. He has served as the Resident Music Director of the Muncie Civic Theatre and Music Director for Indiana Public Radio's annual live radio dramas. Hooper holds a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Ball State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College.  Wherever he conducts, speaks, or presents, Hooper brings a message and desire for the spread of great music to new audiences.  Matthew resides in Oxford, PA with his wife Alison. More information about Matthew Hooper is available at his website:

3rd Place:
Ted Vives
    Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra    Los Alamos, NM

Ted Vives
Ted Vives is originally from Auburn, Alabama. His musical experience began with piano lessons but his interests changed to trombone performance and composition upon entering the public school system. Vives holds bachelor's degrees in both composition and music education from Florida State University. He also holds a Masters of Music in Composition and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Florida  Dr. Vives has taught in the public schools in Florida and has served as a clinician at band and music camps in many states. Dr. Vives resides in Los Alamos, New Mexico with his wife, Paula, son, Alex, and daughter Abby.  He serves on the Boards of Directors for both the Los Alamos Symphony and the Santa Fe Community Orchestra where he is principal trombone for both ensembles.


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