Monday, June 8, 2020

Winners: COMPOSERS (major choral works), 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.
 


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mention of The American Prize in Composition, 2019-20, in the major choral music division. Winners in the choral division (shorter works) will be announced in the next post, today at 6 pm. 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: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21, In addition, we will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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


The American Prize in Composition—Major Choral works (professional division), 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
John Muehleisen 
Mukilteo  WA       
But Who Shall Return Us Our Children: 

A Kipling Passion    
John Muehleisen 
John Muehleisen’s 150+ vocal and choral works have been described as “masterful …imaginatively harmonized…beautifully realized…and brilliantly crafted.” He has been Composer-in-Residence for Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble since 1996, for the Dale Warland Singers (2003–2004), and for Choral Arts Northwest (2011-2012, 2016–2017). Other commissioning ensembles include Conspirare, The Esoterics, Harvard Glee Club, Seattle Girl’s Choir, Seattle Pro Musica, and Volti. More than 80 of his compositions have been recorded commercially, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia by esteemed conductors including John Alexander, Anton Armstrong, and Craig Hella Johnson. His oratorios about compassion (Piet√†) and WWI (But Who Shall Return Us Our Children – A Kipling Passion) have received more than 20 performances. Awards include the 1988 Louisville Orchestra Composition Prize, the 2014 Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award, and Third Place (2013) & Honorable Mention (2018) in the American Prize Professional Choral Composition Division.


2nd Place & Special Judges' Citation: 
Outstanding Achievement in Orchestration & Scoring
Robert G. Patterson  
Memphis   TN       
Requiem     

Robert G. Patterson  
Robert G. Patterson resides in Memphis, Tennessee. His music is infused with the popular rhythms and melodic fragments around him, and these provide source material for his personal voice. A student of George Crumb and Don Freund, he is a resident composer with the Luna Nova Ensemble. Recent accomplishments include commissions from Opera Memphis, the One Coin Concert series in Osaka, Japan, and First Prize in the NATS Art Song Composition Award. His Requiem for massed choir, soloists, and orchestra received its premiere in November, 2018 by the Rhodes Mastersingers and Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his musical activities, Patterson also has been a professional software developer. This led him to become an expert in musical engraving using a computer. His Patterson Plug-Ins Collection for Finale software is a staple of composers and copyists worldwide.
 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Julian David Bryson     
Jacksonville         FL       
The Field      

Julian David Bryson     
Julian David Bryson (www.julianbryson.com) is Director of Choral Studies at Jacksonville University (FL) and a founding member of Triad: Boston’s Choral Collective.  He holds a doctoral degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky, writing his dissertation on choral collectives. He also earned degrees in conducting and composition from the University of Tennessee.  His A Parable of Choices won the Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition and is a finalist for the American Prize.  Redemption Mass won the American Choral Directors Association Brock Memorial Student Composition Competition, and the Florida Vocal Association commissioned Clarion Call for their All-State Men’s Chorus and Concert Band.  Other recent commissions include San Jacinto College (TX), Hazel Green United Methodist Church (AL), the University of Kentucky, First Baptist Church of Huntsville (AL), and the Huntsville Community Chorus, among several other organizations.  Previously, he taught musicians at Curry College in Milton, MA, the Randolph School of Huntsville, AL and Carlisle School of Martinsville, VA, also accompanying community, regional, and state music events including Alabama and Kentucky All-State Choirs.  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Timothy C. Takach     
Big Lake  MN       
Helios

Timothy C. Takach     
With music reviewed as “gorgeous” (Washington Post) and “stunning” (Lawrence Journal-World), award-winning composer Timothy C. Takach is applauded for his melodic lines and rich, intriguing harmonies. Takach has been commissioned and performed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Roomful of Teeth, the St. Olaf Band, Cantus, Lorelei Ensemble, VocalEssence, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, The Rose Ensemble, and numerous other organizations. His compositions have been performed on A Prairie Home Companion, The Boston Pops holiday tour, multiple All-State and festival programs and at venues such as the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center and Royal Opera House Muscat. He is a co-creator of the theatrical production of All is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914, by Peter Rothstein. He has frequent national work as a composer-in-residence, presenter, conductor, clinician and lecturer. He is a full-time composer and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons. For more information visit TimothyCTakach.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Aaron Alter      
Carlsbad  CA       
Lo Lanu Ha-Shem (a setting of Psalm 115)         

Aaron Alter      
 Chicago-born composer Aaron Alter received his Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University, where he studied piano with Frances Larimer and Gui Mombaerts, and composition with Lynden DeYoung and David Noon. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Princeton University, where he studied with Milton Babbitt and James K. Randall.

Aaron’s new music, first performed in 2015, to which he refers as his “New Beginning,” is an exploration of a new style and energy that defies categorization.  Works such as "Solar Rays" (winner of a Silver Medal at the 2018 Global Music Awards) and "Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry" defy genres and exist in Classical ensemble and Jazz Big Band versions. His music can be found on recordings on the Sarton and Phasma Music labels. He is a regular contributor of compositions to the repertoire of the The New Mexico Performing Arts Society and Composers Concordance in New York.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Allan Laino      
Mt. Rainier  MD        

Gloria   
Allan Laino      
Allan Laino is a conductor, composer, educator, singer, and keyboard artist in the DC metro area. He made his debut on the Kennedy Center stage as a choral conductor for the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors, leading The Washington Chorus in a tribute performance with the Philip Glass Ensemble for 2018 honoree Philip Glass. As Assistant Conductor for The Washington Chorus, Laino stepped in on short notice to finish choral preparation for the world premiere of Auerbach’s ARCTICA with the National Symphony Orchestra. He directs The Catholic University Singers at the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art. He also serves as Associate Conductor of The Washington Chorus, and Director of Music Ministry at Western Presbyterian Church. He completed his DMA in Choral Conducting at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his MFA in Choral Conducting and BA in Voice at the University of California, Irvine.

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