Monday, June 29, 2020

Winners: CONDUCTORS (musical theater), 2019-20

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

The American Prize, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting, Musical Theater Division, 2019-20. 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.

REMINDER—COVID EXTENSIONS: 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, July 20, 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 for complete contest information.

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Conducting,  Musical Theater Division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:  
Michelle Perrin Blair
Revival Theatre Company              
Cedar Rapids  IA    
Sunday in the Park with George 

Michelle Perrin Blair
Director of Orchestras and Assistant Professor of Music at Coe College, Michelle Perrin Blair was one of twelve fellows for the 2018 International Women's Conducting Workshop in New York City. Blair's other recent honors include the Perrine Faculty Fellowship (2016), the PEO Scholar Award (2014), the Schissler Fellowship in Orchestral Conducting (2013), and the Bernard Osher Scholarship (Monteux School 2012). Blair currently serves as Founder & Artistic Director of PREMIER Chamber Orchestra, Conductor-in-Residence of Revival Theatre Company, and Conductor of Durward Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Blair holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Houston, where she studied with Franz Anton Krager and served as Assistant Director of the AURA Contemporary Ensemble. Blair earned her Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Texas at Arlington under Dr. Clifton Evans. An active violinist, Blair holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Southwestern University.

2nd Place:
Russell G. McCutcheon           
Department of Theater & Sunderman Conservatory of Music      
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg PA                
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Russell G. McCutcheon           
Russell McCutcheon serves as Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he conducts the Wind Symphony and teaches courses in conducting and music education.

Dr. McCutcheon received his Ph.D. in Music Education with a concentration in Wind Conducting from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he studied conducting with Dr. David A. Waybright. He earned an M.S. in Music Education from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.

McCutcheon is the founding conductor of the Atlantic Chamber Winds and Musical Director of the Pennsylvania Lions All-State Band. Bands under his direction have performed at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Smetana Hall in Prague, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He is a contributor to the best-selling book series, “Teaching Music through Performance in Bands,” and is an active clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator.

3rd Place:
Ana Flavia Zuim 
NYU Steinhardt School
New York   NY                
Anything Goes

Ana Flavia Zuim 
Ana Flavia is an award winning musical director, an accomplished conductor, pianist, singing health specialist and electric bassist. She is a Music Assistant Professor serving as Director of Vocal Performance at Steinhardt School at NYU. She concluded her bachelors at State University of Londrina (UEL - 2003) in her native country, Brazil. She holds a Masters in piano performance (Lynn University - 2006), a Doctorate - PhD in Fine and Performing Arts (FAU - 2012) and a Vocology certification (University of Utah -2015).

 Prior to joining NYU she served as Director of Contemporary Voice at the Frost School of Music with a secondary appointment as Lecturer of Otolaryngology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. Among her credits are the Broadway Musical Hamilton (Rehearsal Pianist), the Broadway Across America tours of Billy Elliot (Associate Conductor/Vocal Coach), and key’s sub on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Matilda, Kinky Boots, The Wizard of Oz, Annie and The Sound of Music. Website:


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