Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Winners: CONDUCTORS (chorus), 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 and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting, 2019-20, in the choral divisions. 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.

COVID EXTENSION: 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, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit for complete contest information.

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The American Prize in Conducting—chorus (community division), 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Anthony Blake Clark, conductor
Baltimore Choral Arts Society        
Baltimore MD

Anthony Blake Clark
Music Director Anthony Blake Clark has conducted Baltimore Choral Arts for three seasons and is one of the freshest young voices in classical music. Mr. Clark is Director of Choral Activities in The George Washington University’s Corcoran School of Art and Design. He has prepared choruses for esteemed maestros Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Halsey, CBE, and Gijs Leenaars for concerts with internationally renowned ensembles, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Clark prepared choruses for David Lang’s 1,000-voice the public domain and John Luther Adams’ In the Name of the Earth at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

A Texas native, Mr. Clark studied composition and conducting at Baylor University School of Music and earned a Master of Music in conducting from the University of Birmingham under Simon Halsey, CBE. His compositions have been heard across the U.S. and Europe.

2nd Place:
Timothy McDonnell            
Catholic University of America Chamber Choir  
Washington DC

Timothy McDonnell            
Timothy McDonnell has served as the Director of Choral Activities at The Catholic University of America since 2016.  Before coming to CUA, he served as the Director of Choral Activities at Ave Maria University in Florida where he led the Ave Maria University Choir and the Ave Maria University Chamber Choir.   Under McDonnell’s direction, the University ensembles won enthusiastic recognition and critical acclaim for their self-produced concerts as well as their collaborations with the Naples Philharmonic and the Southwest Florida Symphony in numerous masterworks.  In spring of 2018, McDonnell prepared the CUA Chamber Choir for a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel.  Dr. McDonnell is active as a composer and arranger.  His works have been performed by orchestras and choruses around the world, including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Chamber Orchestra of Flanders, the Kennet Symphony, and the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

3rd Place:
Carol M. Cei 
Paoli Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir  
Paoli   PA 

Carol M. Cei 
Carol Cei, B. Mus Ed., M.M., Ch.M.  is Director of Traditional Music at Paoli Presbyterian Church.  Ms. Cei has conducted choruses in area private schools, and at numerous area churches.  She also spent a year as interim Artistic Director/Conductor for the Choristers, based in Lansdale, PA.

During the summer months, Ms. Cei participates in Choral and Orchestral Conducting Institutes. In June 2018, she was an Honorable Mention for the Respighi Prize for Orchestral Conducting with the Chamber Orchestra of NY.  She was also recognized by Thomas LaVoy for her conducting of “I Shall Not Live In Vain”.  Chosen by audition, Ms. Cei will participate in the first Women’s Conducting Institute and Halifax Conducting Institute in Nova Scotia where she conducted in a public concert in August 2019. Recently, Ms. Cei was named Conductor of the New Horizons Glee Club in Narberth, PA.

The American Prize in Conducting—chorus (school division), 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Philip Brown                
Angelica Cantanti Treble Singers
Bloomington   MN

Philip Brown                
Philip Brown is the director of choral activities at Thomas Jefferson Senior High School in Bloomington and conductor of the Treble Singers and Cantanti Singers with Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs. He graduated summa cum laude from Bethany College (KS), majoring in K-12 music education. He received his M.M. degree in music education from Northern Arizona University. His choral groups have been selected for performances at CMEA Conference, CU-Boulder Madrigal Festival, MMEA Mid-Winter Conference, ACDA-MN Fall Conference, NC-ACDA Conference, MSU-Mankato Choral Festival, ACDA-MN Choral Arts Finale, St. Olaf College Choir Festival, Concordia College Choir Festival, and the Northern Voice Festival. Choirs under his conducting have collaborated with the Minnesota Oratorio Society, Minnesota Choral Artists - The Singers (Morten Lauridsen Festival), Great Northern Union, VocalEssence (!Cantare!), Northern Lights Chorale, and Cantus. While on tours to New York, Florida, Wisconsin, and Illinois, his choirs have consistently received superior ratings, best in class awards, and grand sweepstakes awards.

2nd Place:
Brian J. Winnie               
Western IL University Singers             
Macomb    IL

Brian J. Winnie               
Brian J. Winnie, D.M.A., is the Director of Choral Activities at Western Illinois University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting & literature courses and conducts the University Singers. An active festival conductor and adjudicator, Dr. Winnie has worked with festival choirs throughout the United States and in Russia. He has presented at state and regional NAfME, ACDA, and International Conferences. He has published articles in the Voice and Speech Review, ChorTeach, and is editor and contributing author of "The Voice Teacher's Cookbook."

Dr. Winnie received his B.S. in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University, Master of Music Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. He is an Estill Master Trainer and Estill Mentor & Course Instructor of Estill Voice Training, and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Voice and Speech Review.

3rd Place:
Michael G. Martin, conductor      
Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir       
Hilliard  OH   

Michael G. Martin
Michael G. Martin is the Director of Choral Activities at Hilliard Darby High School. Martin pursued a college career at The Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor, Masters, and Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in choral music education and conducting.

While at OSU, Martin had the opportunity to study with and serve as accompanist for Robert Shaw. He has performed and conducted major concerts throughout Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, and France and performed on the BBC network. Martin has conducted the Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir on tours of England, Ireland, Italy, and the United States.

Martin has prepared choirs for notable conductors, and his compositions are published with Alliance Music, Lawson Gould, and Alfred Publications.

He currently serves as Director of Music for New Albany Methodist Church and is called upon as clinician and commissioned composer for various honor choirs and festivals throughout the Great Lakes region.


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