Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: youth orchestra, 2015

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

The American Prize winner:
Allen Tinkham
    Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras    Chicago, IL

Allen Tinkham
Allen Tinkham is hailed by the Chicago Tribune as one of Chicago's most important "educators, mentors and inspirational guides in the training of tomorrow's orchestral professionals," working "wonders" in concerts performed at a "professional-level."  As Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Tinkham has led them to critical acclaim on four continents, winning nine ASCAP Awards for the Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Recent guest appearances include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He is on faculty at the New York Summer Music Festival and the Columbia College of Chicago and conducts all-state and other youth festival orchestras across the country, including the 2015 NAfME All-Northwest and All-Eastern orchestras. Tinkham holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. He began his career as an Apprentice Conductor of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra under Music Director James DePreist.

2nd Place:
Deanna Tham
    Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra    Boise, ID

Deanna Tham
Deanna Tham is currently the Music Director and conductor of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in Boise, Idaho. She also conducts with Ballet Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic. Tham previously was cover conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. She was also resident music director of the American Chamber Opera, based in Chicago, Illinois. Her work with the company has included a groundbreaking semi-staged production of Mendelssohn's oratorio, Elijah, and Mozart's Don Giovanni, staged in English. Additionally, Tham’s work with the National Music Festival has been presented on National Public Radio and American Public Media. 

Tham received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. She received her Master of Music degree in conducting from Northwestern University studying with Dr. Mallory Thompson. She additionally has a Professional Studies Certificate in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Carl Topilow.

3rd Place:
Benjamin Firer
    Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra
    State College, PA

Benjamin Firer
Benjamin Firer is currently in his third season as Music Director and Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestras the Juniata College Orchestra in Pennsylvania. He also directs the Penn State Campus Orchestra and serves as Assistant Conductor of the Penn State Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras under the direction of Maestro Gerardo Edelstein. Benjamin holds a master’s degree from the Yale University School of Music where he was Conductor of the Yale Saybrook College Orchestra and served as Teaching Assistant for graduate music theory courses.  As a trombonist, Benjamin was the winner of the 2012 Woolsey Concerto Competition, the 2011 Yale Chamber Music Competition and a fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.   He was a featured performer in Yale in New York series "De Profundis" at Carnegie Hall.  As founder of the Aries Chamber Ensemble, he was awarded the 2010 SUNY Thayer Fellowship in the Arts. Other conducting experiences include guest conducting at the National Music Festival, New Music New Haven and the Lake George Music Festival.  Benjamin was chosen as Assistant Conductor for l’Orchestra de la Francophonie in Montreal, Quebec for the Summer 2014 where he assisted Jean-Philippe Tremblay for six weeks of of orchestral concerts including a residency at Le Domaine Forget.

Eric Meincke
    The Music Education Benefit Concert Orchestra
    Little Rock, AR

Eric Meincke
Eric Meincke is a senior at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He is the drum major of the Central marching band and plays trumpet in the concert and jazz bands as well as the orchestra.  He was awarded Best Brass at Central High the past three years.  He plays principal trumpet in the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and, in May 2015, conducted the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.   He also conducted the Music Education Benefit Concert Orchestra in 2015.  He serves on the Wildwood Academy for Music and the Arts Task Force.  He attended Interlochen Summer Camp for the Arts for trumpet and vocals.  Eric sings in both the adult and youth choirs at Second Presbyterian Church.  He has also composed many orchestral works which include symphonies, concertos and solo pieces for various instruments.  


1 comment:

  1. Youth orchestras are so important to keep orchestral players well trained. I remember years ago there was the National Orchestral Association a youth training orchestra conducted by an excellent musician, Leon Barzin. It was a good orchestra giving concerts in Carnegie Hall. My brother, now deceased, was it's woodwind coach and first Clarinet.