Tuesday, April 10, 2018

WINNING COMPOSERS: band/wind ensemble divisions, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in band/wind ensemble divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

REMINDER: The final postmark deadline for composers to apply for The American Prize, 2018-19, is APRIL 30, 2018.  There is no need to email in advance to take advantage of the April date. Please note that although the deadline date on application forms will not be changed, your application will be accepted through the final deadline.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Composition—BAND/WIND ENSEMBLE, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Robert Denham   La Mirada CA
    Gregory Blues
Robert Denham
Robert Denham’s music includes works of every genre and has been performed to great acclaim across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.  He has worked closely with Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra, who recently premiered his 65-minute oratorio, Under the Shadow with the Biola University Chorale.  Other recent premiers include his three-movement Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (first performed by Brian Bensing and the Cambrian Symphony Orchestra) and The Way Home for two sopranos and piano (commissioned by the “Soprani Compagni” trio).  Other champions of Denham’s music include Timothy Lees (Concertmaster, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Rodney Winther (Conductor, CCM Wind Symphony and Chamber Players), Elizabeth Larson (Credo Trio), and singers Susan Ali, Tyler Thompson, and Joel Balzun.  Recent prizes include first prize in the Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition (solo flute with piano) and an Honorable Mention for the 2017 American Prize (choral division). 

2nd Place:
Jennifer Jolley   Delaware OH
    The Eyes of the World Are Upon You
Jennifer Jolley
Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is an Ohio-based composer and sound artist influenced by urban environments and nostalgia. She also authors Why Compose When You Can Blog?, a web log about contemporary composing. Jennifer’s works have been commissioned and performed by various soloists and ensembles throughout the United States and Europe, including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Opera MODO, the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and many others. Current commissions include works for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the University of Texas Wind Ensemble. As an educator of new music, Jennifer is an active composer mentor with Music-COMP, and has joined the Interlochen Arts Camp music faculty in 2015. Jennifer has been a faculty member at Ohio Wesleyan University since 2012. For more information, please visit www.jenniferjolley.com.

3rd Place:
Craig Thomas Naylor   Kalispell MT
Craig Thomas Naylor
The music of Craig Thomas Naylor (b. 1954) has been played worldwide by ensembles ranging from elementary school band to the orchestral soundtrack for the IMAX film "To The Limit."  His commissions include the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, The "President's Own" Marine Band Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, the Wind Ensembles of the Universities of Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Colorado State, Yale, Cornell, California at Los Angeles, numerous professional musicians and chamber ensembles, and community college, high, middle and elementary school choirs, bands, and orchestras. He received two Continental Harmony commission/residencies from the American Composers Forum. Recent residencies include Illinois Wesleyan University, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, San Jose State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Richmond. Craig earned his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Humboldt State University and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Composition from the University of Southern California. 

Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Recognizing Fluency and Craft in Abundance"
Gregory Fritze   Daytona Beach Shores FL
    Con-Tse-To; An American in Valencia;  
Vadit Super Pozolum
Gregory Fritze
Gregory Fritze is a prize-winning composer and Fulbright Scholar, as well as an active performer. He recently retired from Berklee College of Music where he was Professor and Chair of Composition, serving on the faculty from 1979 to 2016. He has written over seventy compositions for orchestra, band, chamber ensembles and soloists.  He has won over fifty composition awards both nationally and internationally.  His compositions include works published by several publishers in the United States, South America and Europe that have been performed extensively throughout the world. His compositions are recorded on Albany Records, MSR Classics, Crystal Records, Mark Records and others. He has been a guest lecturer, conductor and performer at many colleges, universities and music festivals in the United States, Canada, Japan, South America and Europe. He was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and has Composition degrees from the Boston Conservatory and Indiana University. He now resides in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida.

Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Recognizing Theatrical Skill and Real Humor"
William Vollinger   Woodcliff Lake NJ
    "It Takes a Long Time to Grow Up in New Jersey"
William Vollinger
William Vollinger’s music is described as “3D: different, direct and deep”, performed by artists including the Gregg Smith Singers and NY Vocal Arts Ensemble, whose performance of “Three Songs About the Resurrection” won first prize at the Geneva International Competition. His music is published by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, and Laurendale. Five works were editor's choices in the J.W. Pepper Catalogue. Recent premieres included Jackson State Symphony, San Francisco Choral Artists, Ridgewood Concert Band, and Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony. “An Empty Swing” was nominated for the American Prize in orchestral music and “Raspberry Man” for chamber music in 2015. Four compositions were nominated for the 2016 American Prize, with “Stalin and the Little Girl” receiving a Judge's Citation for "Exceptional Theatrical Sense in a Unique Monodrama." Hartshorn Recordings will be releasing an album of his works in 2017.

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Daniel McCarthy   Akron OH
    KraftHammer—Symphonic Winds
Daniel McCarthy
McCarthy has over 30 recordings of his music on Albany, Centaur, d'Note Classics, Gasparo, and Klavier Records, and 100 publications with C. Alan Publications, Ludwig Music, and The American Composer’s Edition  His music has been performed and recorded by artists such as The Harrington, Avalon, and Arianna String Quartets, Eugene Corporon and The North Texas Wind Symphony, The Brevard Festival Orchestra, The Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, The World Youth Symphony Orchestra (Interlochen, Michigan), The Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, The Naples Symphony Orchestra, Rhythm & Brass, and The United State Marine Corps., Bands and Tuba/Euphonium Quartet, and the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors. A winner of numerous awards, McCarthy has been recognized as Distinguished Research Scholar at The Indiana State University School of Music and The University of Akron. He also has held positions as Visiting Scholar at The University of Michigan, Ohio University and Freie Universität Berlin. danielmccarthy.net

Finalist—Honorable Mention:
Mark W. Phillips   Athens OH
    Breaking News
Mark W. Phillips
Ohio University Distinguished Professor Mark Phillips won the 1988 Barlow International Competition for Orchestral Music, leading to collaborations with conductor Leonard Slatkin. His Violin Power was voted onto the SEAMUS 2015 conference CD. The World Saxophone Congress commissioned and premiered his What If for 101 saxophones in 2015. His music as been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Wigmore Hall, the Festival Internacional de Música de Bogotá, and numerous other festivals and conferences around the world. Commissioned for a 2005 Memphis premiere, his Dreams Interrupted has received performances across the country. He has received orchestral performances by groups such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the NHK Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra — and has been recorded by Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lark Quartet, and several solo artists. More information is available at www.coolvillemusic.com. 

Special Judges' Citation: "Music for Use: well crafted and eminently playable"
Curtis Melton   Las Vegas NV 
   The Genesis Effect, Forever Through The Fire
Curtis Melton
Dr. Curtis J. Melton is an American composer and conductor.  He currently is the Director of Bands at Legacy High School in North Las Vegas, NV.  As a composer, he has composed original marching band shows and concert band works, dedicating the most recent of these to the Legacy High School Band, and premiered by them at concerts and band shows.  A few of his works are published through Gary P. Gilroy Publications, and he has also composed movie soundtracks for short films.  His original film scores have received nominations for “Best Original Score” and one of them won “Best Original Song”, all at various film festivals in the Southwestern United States.  His concert bands at the high schools he’s taught have consistently received “Superior” Ratings at concert band contests over the last 12 years.  He continues to write original music every year for both concert and marching bands.

The American Prize in Composition—BAND/WIND ENSEMBLE, student division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Tyler Bouque   Troy MI
    Love Speaks
Tyler Bouque
Tyler Bouque, a senior at Troy High School, Michigan, began his musical career as a singer, only discovering composition at age ten. He has gone on to have a premieres at Lincoln Center, Frost School of Music, and The Macomb Center for Performing Arts, where he debuted his symphony for wind ensemble in the memory of a fellow student and musician who had passed away in 2009. Though currently making his Detroit Opera House debut as Gandalf in Dean Burry’s The Hobbit, Bouque continues to balance his vocal career with his passion for composition, with a May premiere of Dreams of Enough, his concerto for voice and orchestra with the Troy High School Symphony Orchestra. He is ever grateful for teachers like Jennifer Jolley, Lindsey Jacob, and Lisa Coons for shaping his work, his parents for their support, and for God for the blessing of music.

2nd Place:
Christopher Lowry   Antioch TN
    A Cypress Prelude, Celebration Overture
Christopher Lowry
Nashville native Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and most performed composers of his generation. A two-time winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Lowry has won prizes in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition (2015), The Vox Novus Call for Scores "Celebrating 200 Years with the West Point Band" (2017), The American Prize in Composition (Orchestral and Chamber Divisions, 2016), 2016 Oklahoma Youth Winds Composition Competition, 2016 Salford International Composing Contest, 2016 Alabama Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, 2016 BandWidth Music Festival Call for Scores, 2016 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project Composition Competition, 2016 ABLAZE Orchestral Masters Call for Scores, NAfME Composition Competition (2015, 2012), Frank Van Der Stucken Composition Award (2015), Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra Composition Competition (2015), and the Anton Stadler International Basset Clarinet Composition Competition (2010), among others. Lowry’s orchestral piece Golden Rhapsody received honorable mention in the 2016 Maurice Ravel International Composer’s Competition. He is also a two-time winner of the World Projects Composition Competition, winning in 2015 with Tranquillo for Orchestra (premiered in Carnegie Hall, June 2016) and in 2016 with Calm After - Chorale-Fanfare for Orchestra (to be premiered June 2017, Walt Disney Concert Hall). His music has been recorded by the Brno Filharmonie (Czech Republic) and performed by the Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Imperial Symphony, Nashville Philharmonic, Louisiana State University Symphony, Austin Peay State University Symphony, Middle Tennessee State University Symphony, Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Chamber Ensemble, and many others. A doctoral candidate at LSU, he holds a Master’s Degree from LSU and a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.

3rd Place:
Seth M. Wright   Oklahoma City OK
    Divergent Winds
Seth M. Wright
Seth Wright is an American composer of art and film music, actively writing music that synthesizes authenticity, skill, and boundless energy. Wright believes that music is for everyone, and seeks to offset the nature of what listeners expect from art music and popular music. His music is approachable, but challenging – and, as one reviewer noted in 2016: “uniquely honest”. In 2016, he was selected as one of only twenty American composers to study composition and harmony in Paris as a member of the European American Musical Alliance. He has studied with composers like David Conte, Sarah Hutchings, David Hanner, Benjamin C. S. Boyle, and James Vernon. His works have been commissioned by soloists, choirs, bands, chamber ensembles, steel pan ensembles, and marching bands throughout the United States. Keep up with Seth or commission new music at sethwrightmusic.com."


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