Saturday, August 1, 2020

WELCOME four new DISTINGUISHED JUDGES of The American Prize

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, founder and chief judge, is honored to welcome four new judges to its distinguished panel of national adjudicators. Please find their photos and bios below. Biographies and photos of all The American Prize judges maybe found here:
Maestro Katz is profiled here:

The four newest members of The American Prize judging panel are:

SVETLANA BELSKY, pianist, chamber music specialist, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

R. TAD GREIG, conductor, instrumental specialist, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

MARK J. MORETTE, owner, recording specialist, Mark Custom Recording Service, Clarence, NY

THOMAS R. VOZZELLA, conductor and organist, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Staff Organist at The Community of Christ World Headquarters, Kansas City, Missouri.

CALL for JUDGES: If you are interested in being considered as a judge for The American Prize, please contact Maestro Katz by emailing Judges in all music and theater disciplines are welcomed, with special needs in the areas of composition, stage directing, musical theater, string instruments, and wind and brass instruments. As part of the selection process, potential judges will be asked to write one or more sample evaluations of current or former applicants. The American Prize adheres to a strict bias and conflict of interest policy and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age, race, spiritual or personal belief, disability, sexual preference or gender identification. All judges of The American Prize receive modest honorariums for their work.

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, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, October 14, 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, October 14, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit for complete contest information.


SVETLANA BELSKY, pianist and chamber music specialist, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Critically acclaimed as "a passionate pianist and scholar," Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. She has appeared in Italy, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Dr. Belsky has received awards both for her performances in international piano competitions, and for her advocacy of new American music.

Her recordings have been heard on radio stations worldwide. The American Record Guide hails her CD of the solo version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (Centaur, 2014) as an “extraordinary performance.” The album is the recipient of a Global Music Award. 

While Svetlana’s musical interests range from performing early Baroque masterpieces on harpsichord to premiering new music commissioned by her chamber ensembles, the love of her musical life is the music and the legacy of Ferruccio Busoni.  She is the author of Busoni as Pianist (an annotated translation from the Russian, Eastman Studies in Music, 2010), which was featured on BBC radio in December 2016.  Her most recent CD Busoni: The Late Works (Ravello, 2019) is described as "Marrying awe-inducing technical capabilities to an artistic intuition of mind-boggling depth.”

Following emigration from the Soviet Union, Dr. Belsky studied with Emilio Del Rosario in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude and Master's degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, studying with Ann Schein. Later, she earned her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, working with Nina Svetlanova. As the Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Chicago, Dr. Belsky teaches students from four continents, among many other academic responsibilities.

R. TAD GREIG, conductor, instrumental specialist, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA
Dr. R. Tad Greig is the Director of Instrumental Activities and Professor of Music in the School of Music at Westminster College. As the Director of Instrumental Activities, Dr. Greig is the founder and conductor of the Wind Ensemble. He also directs the Symphonic Band and “Titan” Marching Band, and conducted the Jazz Ensemble from 1993- 2003. In Music Education, Dr. Greig co-supervises student teachers, teaches Secondary Instrumental Methods, Instrumental Conducting,
Advanced Conducting, Band Literature and Marching Band Techniques. Dr. Greig is also the faculty advisor to the Westminster College Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association and the past Collegiate Representative for Curriculum and Instruction for District Five PMEA. He is responsible for maintaining and evaluating all music for the PMEA Assessment Performance list and is an advocate for Musical Performance Assessment in Pennsylvania. Dr. Greig is also the conductor of the North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band, Pittsburgh, PA.

Under the leadership of Dr. Greig, as former chair and budget administrator and current director of instrumental activities, the Westminster College School of Music has become a leader in music education training and music performance in the region over the past twenty years. Dr. Greig is an active Guest Conductor, Clinician and Adjudicator throughout the Eastern United States, most recently having been the guest conductor for the Pennsylvania Music Educators All-State Wind Ensemble. His ensembles at Westminster have earned guest appearances at the PMEA State Conference on numerous occasions and received specific mention by the National Association of Schools of Music in their last two accreditation visits, and received 1st place in The America’s Prize national competition for Collegiate Ensembles in 2017. He has given numerous lectures and presentations on ensemble rehearsal techniques, literature selection and various topics regarding music education. He has also been a guest panelist for multiple Collegiate Band Directors National Association conferences related to successful programs in smaller institutions. Dr. Greig has studied conducting with Dr. Leslie Hicken (Furman University) and Dr. Wayne Gorder (Kent State University) as well as participating in the renowned University of Colorado Conducting Symposium with Allan McMurray, Craig Kirchhoff and Frank Ticheli. As a Trombonist, Dr. Greig currently performs with the Youngstown Fine Arts Brass (Quintet), the Butler Symphony as well as being a free-lance musician throughout the Youngstown and Pittsburgh areas.

MARK J. MORETTE, owner, recording specialist, Mark Custom Recording Service, Clarence, NY
Mark J. Morette is the second-generation owner of Mark Custom Recording Service, Inc. Based in Clarence, New York, Mark Recording was founded in 1958 and incorporated in 1962 by Vincent S. Morette, a music technology pioneer and innovator who brought together music education and the tape recorder. Mark followed in his father’s footsteps and has been recording for over 40 years. Mark has been privileged to work with some of the finest names in music. This includes Jazz greats, Dizzy Gillespie, Allen Vizzutti, John Faddis, Jeff Tyzik, Steve Houghton, Ellis, Winton, and Branford Marsalis, Chuck and Gap Mangione, Jeff Jarvis, Bobby McFerrin, Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Shelly Berg. Pop and classical music favorites; Ginger Baker, Richie Havens, Denny Laine, 10,000 Maniacs, Goo Goo Dolls, Misfits, Storm Troopers of Death (Anthrax), Doyle, Jerry Only, Classical artists; Eric Whitacre, Fred Mills (Canadian Brass), PentraBrass (Italy), Joe Alessi, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Houston Opera, Chicago Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (Japan), The United States Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy, Coast Guard Bands and choirs, Korean National Military Band, Singapore Armed Forces Band, German Federal Army Band, Taiwan Armed Forces Wind Orchestra, UNTx Wind Symphony and Symphonic Bands, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Vancouver, Canada), Lone Star Wind Orchestra (TX), vocalists and ensembles: Hila Plitmann, Conspirare, New York Voices, St. Olaf Choir (MN), Westminster Choir (NJ), Moses Hogan, to name a scant few. 

Mark has collaborated on projects with composers such as Karel Husa, Frank Ticheli (3), Eric Whitacre (2), BCM, Julie Giroux (2), David R. Holsinger (12), David R. Gillingham (2) , Robert Jager (2), James Barnes, Dr. Mark Hindsley, Alfred Reed, Robert W. Smith, Roger Cichy, Andrew Boysen, just to name a few.

Mark Recording specializes in recording and producing recordings of large international music conferences. A few of our current clients include The Midwest Clinic, WASBE, ACDA, New York State Band Director’s Association, All-State music conferences in Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania.

Mark is also a widely sought after lecturer and panelist on all aspects of music business. This includes; “Copyright, Copywrong, Copy Confusion” a clinic on copyrights for the educator, “The Role of the Producer in the Studio,” “Recording Techniques for Classical Ensembles,” “Jazz Band Recording Techniques,” “The History of the Wind Band and It’s Recorded Archives” are a few of his clinic titles. 

THOMAS R. VOZZELLA, conductor and organist, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Staff Organist at The Community of Christ World Headquarters, Kansas City, Missouri.
Thomas R. Vozzella, BS, MM, DMA, FFSC is Director of Music—Organist at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, USA,  and a Staff Organist at the Community of Christ World Headquarters. He has served the American Guild of Organists as Dean of the Black Hills Chapter, American Choral Directors Association as the National and South Dakota Chair for Music in Worship, has taught at institutions of higher education in Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Kansas, and on the faculty at Waldon University’s online Ph.D program in Fine Arts. His choirs have sung for Tennessee ACDA, The White House, by invitation of President and Mrs. George W. Bush, The Harlem Globetrotters. His choirs have also received invitations to perform at Kansas Music Educators Association and Texas Choral Directors Association conventions. 

As a presenter/performer, he has presented at state, regional and national American Choral Directors Association and American Guild of Organists Conventions, toured in twenty-six states, the District of Columbia and eleven countries, most recently in Germany. His compositions appear in six catalogues and have received five ASCAP Plus Awards. Vozzella’s biography has appeared in International Who's Who in Music, in America, and in the World. Thomas holds degrees from the University of South Carolina, The University of Louisiana-Monroe, Eastern Nazarene College, with additional study at The Royal School of Church Music—UK, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Nazarene Theological Seminary.  Advanced conducting study has been as a Fellow at the Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina twice with Donald Portnoy, in the Czech Republic with Tsung-Ye, and Bulgaria with Harold Farberman. Vozzella has studied choral conducting with Greg Larkin, Ed Deckard, Larry Wyatt and Richard Conant; organ with Lambert Brandes, John Ditto, master classes with Peter Hurford, Marie-Claire Alain and John Obetz. 


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