Wednesday, May 23, 2018

FINALIST orchestras, 2017-18

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST orchestras for 2017-18 in all categories. Congratulations!

"Many orchestras have been advanced, which is not to say they are all of the same quality. Each program is unique: some are large, performing major repertoire, others much smaller; each furthers the cause of great music (and music education) in its own way, for its particular constituency; all those listed below were deemed worthy of further evaluation beyond semi-finalist status."—DK

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until complete results in the contest are announced officially. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email:

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—professional division,

Diane Wittry, music director
Allentown Symphony
Allentown PA

Jonathan Griffith
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra
New York NY

Mark Mandarano
Sinfonietta of Riverdale
Bronx NY

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—college/university division,  2017-18

Reuben Blundell
The Hunter Symphony
New York NY

Thomas Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK

Kevin M. Geraldi
UNCG Symphony Orchestra and Choirs
Greensboro NC

David Grandis
College of William & Mary Symphony Orchestra.
Williamsburg VA

Stephen Heyde
Baylor Symphony Orchestra
Waco TX

James A. Holleman
Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra
Hillsdale MI

Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC

Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Chamber Orchestra
Ithaca NY

Mark Mandarano
Macalester Symphony Orchestra
Saint Paul MN

Daniel O'Bryant
NAU Symphony
Flagstaff AZ

David A. Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA

Marguerite Richardson
Jacksonville University Orchestra
Jacksonville FL

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—community orchestra division, 2017-18

Donald L. Appert
Oregon Sinfonietta
Portland OR

Michael Avagliano
Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Branchburg NJ

Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA

Patricia Brown
Texas Medical Center Orchestra
Houston TX
Libi Lebel, conductor

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philarmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA

Anna Edwards
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle WA

John B. Gordon
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra
Round Rock TX
Dr. Thomas E. Rainey, conductor

Steve N. Lewis, Jr.
Midwest Chamber Ensemble
Prairie Village KS

Charles Salembier
Waynesboro Symphony
Waynesboro VA
Peter Wilson, conductor

David P. Sartor
Parthenon Chamber Orchesttra
Nashville TN

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—youth orchestra division, 2017-18

Jennifer Harrell
Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra
Knoxville TN
James Fellenbaum, conductor

Sarah Loudermilk
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX
Michael Webster, conductor

Joanne Walle
Oakland Youth Orchestras
Rochester MI
Zeljko Milicevic, conductor

Kelly Waltrip
Denver Young Artists Orchestra
Denver CO
Wes Kenney, conductor

Enrique Lasansky
Denver School of the Arts Symphony
Denver CO

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—high school orchestra division, 2017-18

David DeVoto
Allen HS Symphony Orchestra
Allen TX

Nse Ekpo
Lakeside School Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA

Katharine Hafner
Iolani Orchestra
Honolulu HI

Michael Isadore
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Sugar Land TX

Ralph T. Jackson
Bridle Path/Montgomery Select String Ensemble
Lansdale PA

Tanner Ledford
Klein Oak Symphony Orchestra
Spring TX

Matthew Moreno
Jasper Legacy Orchestra
Plano TX

Desiree Overree & John Mays
Seven Lakes HS Symphony Orchestra
Katy TX

Desiree Overree
Sinfonia Orchestra
Katy TX

Ulli Reiner
Poway Unified School District-Bernardo Heights
and Twin Peaks Middle School Orch.
Poway/San Diego CA


We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: or follow the news on Facebook: or Twitter: "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

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