Wednesday, May 23, 2018

FINALISTS: orchestra conductors, 2017-18

The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in orchestra divisions. Congratulations!

"There is certainly variety here, in terms of repertoire, and quality of program (and conducting), but each candidate below was considered deserving of a written evaluation, to encourage, confirm good points, identity any bad habits, give advice."—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:

#At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

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 Conducting—professional orchestra division, 2017-18

Roberta Carpenter
Janacek Philharmonic
Ostrava Czech Republic

Orlando Cela
London Classical Soloists
London UK

Cheung Chau
Lublin Philharmonic / Hunan Symphony / Kielce Philharmonic
Lublin/Kielce Poland / Hunan China

Nse Ekpo
Pazardjik Symphony
Pazardjik Bulgaria

Charles Gambetta
Vidin Sinfonietta
Vidin Bulgaria

Chris Younghoon Kim
Ensemble X
Ithaca NY

Yutaka Kono
Burlington Chamber Orchestra
Burlington VT

Chia-Hsuan Lin
Richmond Symphony
Richmond VA

Enrico Lopez-Yanez
Nashville Symphony
Nashville TN

Mark Mandarano
Sinfonietta of Riverdale
New York NY

Paul Mauffray
Hradec Kralove Philharmonic
Hradec Kralove Czech Rep.

Chris David Westover
Longview Symphony Orchestra
Longview TX

Dean Whiteside
New World Symphony
Miami Beach FL

Julius P. Williams
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jamaica Plain MA

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university orchestra division, 2017-18

Mathias Elmer
University of Memphis Symphony
Memphis TN

Kevin M. Geraldi
UNCG Symphony Orchestrta and Choirs
Greensboro NC

James A. Holleman
Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra
Hillsdale MI

Chad Hutchinson
University Symphony Orchestra of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN

Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC

Danh T. Pham
Washington State University Symphony Orchestra
Pullman WA

Marguerite Richardson
Jacksonville University Orchestra
Jacksonville FL

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

Michael Avagliano
Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Branchburg NJ

Reuben Blundell
Chelsea Symphony / Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
New York NY / Lansdowne PA

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA

Anna Edwards
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle WA

Walter Morales
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh PA

Ty Turley-Trejo
Utah Philharmonic Orchestra
Riverton UT

Chris David
Westover Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra
North Newton KS

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

Ryan Murray
Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra
Modesto CA

Brad Smith
The HS for the Performing and Visual Arts
Houston TX

Michael Webster
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX

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

Katharine Hafner
Iolani Orchestra
Honolulu HI

Michael Isadore
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Sugar Land TX


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! I've 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 my 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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