Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Semi-finalists: INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS, 2019-20

The American Prize is delighted to announce SEMI-FINALIST instrumental soloists for 2019-20. Congratulations! (Be sure to check all divisions. The American Prize may have moved an audition to a more appropriate category.) As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from these lists. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

We invite semi-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. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Instrumental Performance, 2019-20, professional division:

Mary Elizabeth Bowden
Winston-Salem  NC 
Trumpet 

Mili Chang 
Jersey City NJ 
Flute
 
Christopher Dickey
Pullman WA 
Tuba 
 
Andrew Harrison
Riverside CA 
Alto Saxaphone 
 
Cora Swenson Lee
Rochester NY 
Cello
 
Christopher Leslie
New York NY 
Euphonium 
 
Sam Nelson
Sarasota  FL 
Organ
 
Todd Oxford
Austin TX 
Saxophone 
 
Sarah Shin  
Centreville VA 
Flute
 
Kellach Waddle
Austin TX 
Bass 


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Instrumental Performance, 2019-20, college/university division:

Nicholas Buonanni
Lansing MI 
Flute
 
Giorgio Consolati  
Baltimore MD 
Flute
 
Logan Fox
Greenwood IN 
Percussion
 
Anita Graef 
Evanston IL 
Cello
 
Sooah Jung  
Rochester NY 
Violin  
 
Rajan Kapoor
Hebron CT 
Cello
 
Zachary Ploeger 
Pipestone MN 
Trumpet 


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Instrumental Performance, 2019-20, high school division:

Aaron Hsia 
Santa Clara CA
Violin 
 
Phoebe Wang 
Englewood CO
Cello
 
Christian Wong 
Huntington NY
Violin 

Sheeline Yu
Brentwood TN
Violin  


***

Semi-finalists: make the most of your selection by announcing it on your facebook page, tweet the news, and include a link to this announcement on your website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a SEMI-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 FINALISTS in my division later this year. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all semi-finalists!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Semi-finalists: CHAMBER MUSIC ENSEMBLES, 2019-20

(This list was updated on 12/6/19 to correct a clerical error.—DK)

The American Prize is delighted to announce SEMI-FINALIST chamber ensembles for 2019-20. Congratulations! (Be sure to check all divisions. In certain cases, The American Prize may have moved an auditioning ensemble to a more appropriate category.)

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from these lists. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

We invite semi-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. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, professional division:

Szlubowska-Belsky Duo
Svetlana Belsky
Northbrook  IL

Fidelis Quartet
Jeffrey Butler
Houston TX

Amosa Duo 
Chia-Ying Chan 
Urbana IL

Anima Vox
Carole Jean Ott Coelho
Greensboro NC

Duo MemDi
Igor Kalnin
Decorah IA
 
Prairie Duo
Jessica Koebbe
Leawood KS

Serenade Duo
Michelle LaPorte
Saint James NY

Pure Winds
Natalie Law
Lansing MI

Pegasus Chamber Ensemble
Jonathan Lusher
Guanajuato  GTO

RASHAN
Aria Minasian
Bainbridge Island WA

Fenglire
Ashley Rollins
McKinney TX

Eason-Seregow Duo
Michael Seregow
Muncie IN

Sophia Tegart and Michael Seregow
Michael Seregow
Muncie IN

Luna Nova
Sabrina Laney Warren
Cordova TN


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, college/university division:

The Raritan Trio
Alexander Bui
Egg Harbor  NJ

Khroma Quartet
Michael Chapa
The Colony  TX

Tsukervanik-Liu Duo
Ming-Jui Liu
Arcadia  CA


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, high school division:

Zeitlos Trio
Tia Chang 
Palo Alto  CA 

Trio Centauri
Lei Gui 
San Jose CA 

Vivo String Quartet 
Ya-Fei Hsu 
Pittsburgh PA 

Quantum Quartet
Mark Smith 
Carrollton TX 



***

Semi-finalists: make the most of your selection by announcing it on your facebook page, tweet the news, and include a link to this announcement on your website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble just been selected as a SEMI-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 FINALISTS in my division later this year. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all semi-finalists!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Remembering TAP Laureate Composer NANCY BLOOMER DEUSSEN

NANCY BLOOMER DEUSSEN
The American Prize notes with sadness the passing of TAP Laureate composer, Nancy Bloomer Deussen. A multi-year participant in The American Prize competitions, she was a second place winner in chamber music in 2013, received several honorable mentions for her music and was one of the first Honored Artists of The American Prize, presented in 2014. She was 88.

Nancy Bloomer Deussen, a prominent Californian, was co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area National Association of Composers, also serving on the national body for a number of years.

Deussen was educated at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, USC School of Music and San Jose State University, studying composition with Vittorio Giannini, Lukas Foss, Ingolf Dahl and Wilson Coker.

Bloomer Deussen’s was an advocate of accessible contemporary music, a fact reflected in her own style, which is melodic and tonal. She also was known for using the natural world as a source for inspiration.

A recipient of many grants, including The Peninsula Community, Silicon Valley Arts Council, The American Composer's Forum, The Contemporary Record Society and the Mu Phi Epsilon Memorial Foundation, she also won the Mu Phi Epsilon Original Composition Contest for her Woodwind Quartet (1987), The Bay Area Composer's Symposium Award for Reflections on the Hudson, for orchestra (1994), The Britten on-the-Bay Prize for Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano (1996) and the Mu Phi Epsilon Original Composition Contest for Concerto for Clarinet and Small Orchestra (1999).

Maestro David Katz writes: "Nancy was a composer of gracious insight and lovely, lyrical music. We communicated often and I was delighted to conduct her music more than once. I was so pleased to be able to extend to her additional recognition when she was named one of the first Honored Artists of The American Prize. Lovely lady. She will be missed."

Saturday, November 9, 2019

WINNERS: The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award, 2019 (MESSIAH SOLOISTS)

The four individuals below have been selected to perform the solo roles in Handel's MESSIAH with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus in St James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago, as winners of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award, 2019. Congratulations! The performance, Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm, will be under the direction of Maestro Stephen Blackwelder, director of the CBA Chorus.

The winners are:
Laura STRICKLING, soprano
St Thomas VI

Kara MORGAN, mezzo-soprano
Andover MN

Daniel O'HEARN, tenor
Tinley Park IL

Will HUGHES, baritone
Richardson TX

Purchase tickets here. (Substantial savings for advance purchase.)

***

Laura STRICKLING
Soprano
St Thomas VI


First place winner of the inaugural American Prize in Vocal Performance (Opera, Professional Division, 2011) Laura Strickling was praised by The New York Times for her, "flexible voice, crystalline diction, and warm presence." She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, National Sawdust, Trinity Church on Wall Street, Washington National Cathedral, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival, Songfest at the Colburn School, Mexicoliederfest, Liederfest in Suzhou (China), and the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. An acclaimed oratorio soloist, she has appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Berkshire Choral International, and the Cathedral Choral Society. Ms. Strickling created the role of Fanni Radnòti in the World Premiere of Tom Cipullo's opera The Parting with Music of Remembrance. A devoted recitalist, she curated The NewMusicShelf Anthology for Soprano, and has appeared with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, Yellow Barn Music Festival, New Music Gathering, Lyric Fest of Philadelphia, and Trinity Concerts at One. Her discography includes her recording of James Matheson's Times Alone , Glen Roven's The Vineyard Songs, Jake Heggie's Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Tom Cipullo's Of a Certain Age. A Chicago native, Ms. Strickling is an avid traveler, having lived in Morocco, where she studied classical Arabic at the Arabic Language Institute of Fez, and Afghanistan, where her husband was the founding chair of the Department of Law at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. She currently makes her home in St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands. For further information, visit www.laurastrickling.com.


Kara MORGAN
Mezzo-soprano
Andover MN


Kara Morgan is a mezzo soprano pursuing her passion to make a name for herself in the opera house and on the concert stage. This fall, Kara returned to Fargo-Moorhead Opera as Hansel in their production of Hansel and Gretel after making her company and role debuts earlier this year singing Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Mercédès (Carmen) as a Gate City Bank Young Artist. Kara spent her summer with the Lakes Area Music Festival covering the title role in their production of Offenbach's La belle Hélène and with Mill City Summer Opera covering Dorabella in Così fan tutte. Kara has sung lead roles with The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company (Melissa, Princess Ida) and the College Light Opera Company (Mad Margaret, Ruddigore) and was heard as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera in 2017. As a student, Kara realized the roles of Ottone (Agrippina), Angelina (La Cenerentola), the Old Prioress (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Mrs. Soames (Our Town), Katisha (The Mikado) and Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte) among others. A longtime lover of concert and choral repertoire, Kara made her debut with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota this November as a soloist in their performance of Duruflé's Requiem and Roger-Ducasse's Crux Fidelis. Kara is an alumna of Drake University (BM '14) and the New England Conservatory (MM '16). More information about Kara and her upcoming events can be found on her website at kmorganmezzo.com.


Daniel O'HEARN
Tenor
Tinley Park IL


Daniel O'Hearn is a tenor from Tinley Park, Illinois. He has most recently performed as Egisto in Francesco Cavalli's "L'Egisto," Captain Macheath in John Gay/Benjamin Britten's "The Beggar's Opera," and as Endymion in J.S. Bach's "Hunting Cantata." Within the last year, Daniel was the Casa Italia Vocal Scholarship Raimondi Scholar 2018, first place winner of the graduate division of the  Kleinman Vocal Competition 2019, and the first place winner of the Joseph P. Glimco Vocal Competition 2019. Daniel was the 2018 Musica nella Marche Angeli Scholar, and received a scholarship to sing, study opera, and learn the Italian language in Urbino, Florence, Verona, and Venice last summer. He is currently working on his master's degree in operatic vocal performance at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, Illinois, where he studies with the tenor on the school's faculty, Scott Ramsay. Daniel also performs the national anthem for the DePaul Blue Demons at sporting events throughout the school year. Outside of the world of public performance and academia, Daniel has been on the faculty at The House of Music in Orland Park, IL as a private voice instructor for over four years, where he teaches people of all ages from all over Chicagoland how to sing.


Will HUGHES
Baritone
Richardson TX


Will Hughes, a Dallas, TX native, has recently performed and covered roles in La bohème (Schaunard), Doctor Atomic (Jack Hubbard), Ariadne auf Naxos (Harlequin), Madama Butterfly (Yamadori, Yakusidé), Les pêcheurs de perles (Zurga), The Consul (John Sorel), Così fan tutte (Guglielmo), and the title role in Billy Budd for The Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Florida Grand Opera. He has also performed scenes from Wuthering Heights (Heathcliff), A Street Scene (Henry), and the title role in Gianni Schicchi with The Santa Fe Opera and Iphigénie en Tauride (Oreste) and Sweeney Todd (Anthony) with Des Moines Metro Opera.

Will has recently sung the title role in a fully staged version of Elijah. His other concert work includes the baritone solos in the requiems of Brahms, Duruflé, and Fauré: the latter of which he sang under the baton of Maestro Rutter along with the baritone solo in the maestro's Mass of the Children. Will has also sung the role of Petrus in a partially staged version of Bach's Matthäus-Passion with the Philadelphia Symphony under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Will earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Wheaton College and Westminster Choir College respectively.