Sunday, July 5, 2020

DAVID DANIELS is posthumous recipient of The American Prize National Arts Award

Maestro David Daniels
Conductor, colleague, mentor, professor and historian DAVID DANIELS has been selected posthumously as the first recipient of The American Prize National Arts Award, given annually at this time of year to an individual (or organization) who has provided exceptional service to the art and profession.

The award, which consists of a beautifully framed citation recognizing important contributions to the art, coincides with the announcement of the David Daniels Scholarship Endowment Fund, created by The American Prize organization to provide up to 80% fee assistance to high school-age musicians who wish to apply for the contests of The American Prize in any eligible category.

David Daniels, author of five editions of "Daniels' Orchestral Music" spanning almost 50 years, passed away Friday morning, April 24, 2020 of natural causes in Rochester Hills, Michigan. David Daniels was an easy friend, colleague and mentor to many. He humbly and openly shared his extensive knowledge. His smile was contagious, his patience had no boundaries, and his eyes sparkled when he was ready to share something humorous. People knew of him locally, nationally, and internationally. Yet, he had an innocence to his fame and name recognition.

Daniels had five published editions of the "Daniels' Orchestral Music" (the "Daniels") with the 1st edition printed in 1972 and the 5th edition in 2015. Daniels had the forethought to recruit two conductors, David Rahbee and David Oertel, (both laureates of The American Prize), to carry on his work. The 6th edition will be released in 2022 on the 50th anniversary of his 1st edition. More editions of the “Daniels” are already planned for the years to come. A website also hosts his database and is updated monthly. His legacy continues. 

Daniels is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Jimmie Sue, and his three children.

The announcement of The American Prize National Arts Award, the first of a number of new initiates The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions will be announcing in the month of July 2020, was in the works before David's passing. Following his death, the family's gave its permission for this recognition. Abigail Daniels, daughter of the recipient, wrote "(we) would be proud to accept The American Prize National Arts Award on Dad's behalf…And having the scholarship program named in his memory -- that is an amazing gesture, and I know it would have been very near and dear to Dad's heart.  Thank you for bestowing these honors on Dad.  As I've said before, my brothers and I grew up knowing Dad touched many people's lives through his teaching and conducting, and it's only been as adults that we have realized just how much of an impact he has had on the classical music world through his books.  It's been an eye-opening experience, learning about his influence from people all over the world…"

Donations to The American Prize David Daniels Scholarship Endowment Fund may be made through this Paypal link.
 (Hat City Music Theater, Inc. is the registered  501(c)3 nonprofit organization that administers The American Prize contests.) Donors wishing to give to the Fund in other ways should contact David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, at All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law, each will be listed on our website, and all will receive an emailed receipt for their tax records. Donations to the Daniels Scholarship Endowment Fund are held in perpetuity. Only the income of the Fund maybe used for scholarship purposes.

Parents, teachers and others interested in applying for a Daniels Scholarship, which covers up to 80% of application fees to The American Prize contests for high school-age students only (currently enrolled or home schooled in any U.S. state, territory or protectorate), please write to David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, at Place the words "Daniels Scholarship Endowment" in the subject line of the email. The number of scholarships is limited. Please apply early. Sorry, there are no refunds for previously submitted applications but those current high school applicants who request it will be on the top of the list to receive scholarships for the 2021-22 season of contests.

Upon his passing, David Katz, founder and chief judge of The American Prize, wrote on the death of David Daniels: "David Daniels was a wonderful colleague who I had the pleasure to know for close to thirty years.

We first became acquainted via our podiums, a couple of dozen miles apart in southeast Michigan. Later, he was an early, lasting and vocal champion of The American Prize. Even later he provided meaningful opportunities for me to share with his audiences “Muse of Fire,” my one-man play about Charles Bruck and the art of conducting.

He was a warm, gracious and kind friend and I will miss him dearly.

God’s speed, David. The whole profession thanks you."

To read more about the contests of The American Prize, please visit:

To read more about the life and accomplishments of David Daniels, please follow this link:

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