Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Winners: BACON AWARD (American Music Performance), ensembles, 2019-20

Ernst Bacon as a young man

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 announce winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions of the ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, 2019-20, in the ensemble division. Congratulations! (An announcement in the solo division has been made separately.)

Among the many contests of The American Prize, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music is unique. It recognizes and rewards the best performances of American music by ensembles and individual artists worldwide, based on submitted recordings. Applications are accepted from professional, college/university, community and high school age solo artists, chamber ensembles or conducted ensembles, competing in separate divisions, and from composers with excellent recordings of their works. Beginning in 2017-18, categories were expanded to encompass performances of American music in practically any instrumentation or genre, with very few repertoire restrictions.

Focused exclusively on works by American composers from any period and in any style, the contest not only judges performances, but in the case of new or unfamiliar works, the music itself.

Ernst Bacon (1898—1990) was one of that pioneering generation of composers who, along with Thomson, Copland, Harris, and others, found a voice for American music. Winner of a Pulitzer Scholarship (for his Symphony in D minor) and no fewer than three Guggenheim Fellowships, Ernst Bacon set out to create compositions that expressed the vitality and affirmative spirit of our country. It is fitting, and with honor, that The American Prize creates an annual award in the memory of Ernst Bacon, recognizing the finest performances of American orchestral music worldwide. To learn more about the music & legacy of Ernst Bacon, please visit the website of the Ernst Bacon Society.

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.

The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, PROFESSIONAL ensemble division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Oliver Caplan 
Juventas New Music Ensemble
Boston   MA
Shell & Wing (David Biedenbender)

Juventas New Music Ensemble
Juventas New Music Ensemble is a contemporary chamber group with a special focus on emerging voices. Juventas shares classical music as a vibrant, living art form. We bring audiences music from a diverse array of composers that live in today’s world and respond to our time.

Since its founding in 2005, Juventas has performed the music of over 200 living composers. The ensemble has earned a reputation as a curator with a keen eye for new talent. It opens doors for composers with top-notch professional performances that present their work in the best possible light.

Recognition for the ensemble’s work includes the American Prize in Opera Performance and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Boston Foundation. Juventas is featured on albums by Innova Recordings, Parma Records and New Dynamic Records, and has held residencies at Boston Conservatory, Harvard University, Longy School of Music, Middlebury College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Juventas has a storied history of dynamic collaboration with artists in other media, including dancers, painters, scientists, poets, puppeteers and robotics engineers. A leader in the field, Juventas also facilitates the Boston New Music Festival, a weeklong showcase of Boston’s contemporary music scene.

2nd Place:
Dean Whiteside      
New World Symphony
Miami Beach  FL
Chamber Symphony No. 2  (Arnold Schoenberg)

Dean Whiteside      
Dean Whiteside was born in New York City and trained in Vienna at the University of Music and Performing Arts. He has served as Resident Conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival and co-founder and Director of the Nashville Sinfonietta. He worked as an assistant conductor at orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Dallas Symphony. He recently completed a three year position as the New World Symphony’s acclaimed Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor to Michael Tilson Thomas. His performances won the 2018 American Prize in Conducting, and the South Florida Classical Review named him Best New Artist of 2018, writing: “Dean Whiteside has been one of New World Symphony’s most gifted conducting fellows. Whether leading Wagner, Fauré or Ligeti, Whiteside not only maintains tight control and well-balanced ensemble but imbues each score with idiomatic flair and sensitive interpretive instincts.”

Mr. Whiteside came to international attention after winning Second Prize and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra Award at the Sixth International Competition of Young Conductors Lovro von Matačić. He has conducted orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, Orlando Philharmonic, Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Wiener Kammerorchester and Zagreb Philharmonic, as well as the Vanderbilt Orchestra on a five-city tour of China. Other awards include the 2017 Mahler Conducting Fellowship, Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Scholarship, David Effron Conducting Fellowship at the Chautauqua Institution, Bayreuth Festival Scholarship, and David Rabin Performance Prize. He holds degrees from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and Vanderbilt University.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Tyson Deaton 
US Army Soldiers' Chorus and Field Band
New York  NY
The Falling and the Rising    (Zach Redler/Jerre Dye) 

Tyson Deaton 
Known for his broad range of repertoire and versatility of style, Tyson Deaton has established a reputation for leading energetic and inventive performances. With his musical roots firmly planted in the traditions of the standard operatic canon, his affinity for contemporary works is also acclaimed by audiences and critics.

Frequently entrusted with new work development and premieres as a musical authority specifically with vocal and orchestral writing, Deaton conducted the world premiere of Zach Redler and Jerre Dye's The Falling and the Rising, co-commissioned by the United States Army Soldiers' Chorus and Field Band, and subsequent performances in New York City.

He joined San Francisco Opera for Sweeney Todd, soon followed by L'elisir d'amore at Opera Birmingham. Deaton has also worked with New York City Opera, American Modern Ensemble, Anchorage Opera, Atlanta Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Company of North Carolina, among many others.

Deaton made his Fort Worth Opera debut leading Cipullo's Glory Denied, which received much critical acclaim, along with the first professional recording of this work (Albany), rated “Best of 2013” (Washington Post), and one among “12 Best Full-Length Opera Recordings of 2014” (OperaNews).

Adept on the concert stage also as a pianist, Deaton has partnered with numerous artists including Denyce Graves, Michael Norsworthy, Talise Trevigne, Matthew Worth, Judith Kellock, Julie Landsman, Steven LaBrie, Matthew Grills, and Sherrill Milnes, at venues such as The John F. Kennedy Center and The Brooklyn Academy of Music.  Tyson Deaton makes his home in New York City.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Jason  Lim
McKinney Philharmonic 

McKinney TX
Three Latin American Sketches; Music for Movies (Copland)

McKinney Philharmonic
Recognized by the Denton-Record Chronicle as one of “2012’s Most Fascinating People,” the career of conductor Jason Lim is on the rise. Lim was born in Penang, Malaysia and began his formal training in viola performance when he won a scholarship to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with Alice Waten. He commenced his studies at the Canberra (Australia) School of Music, and completed his bachelor’s degree with honors at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. Jason received his Masters degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Texas.

Known for his fine technique in performances and innovative programming, Jason began his conducting studies in Australia: first as an apprentice with the Canberra Youth Orchestra, and later as an Assistant Conductor with the Ku Ring Gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney, a position that was awarded in conjunction with winning 1st Prize in the New South Wales Ministry of Arts Conducting Prize. Most recently, Jason won 1st Prize in the 2016-2017 the American Prize Competition for professional conductors. In 2015 Jason was the 2nd Prize Winner. Additionally, In 2016 Jason received the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for excellence in performing American Music.

In 2010, Jason was among eight conductors selected to participate at the Ithaca International Conducting Workshop under the tutelage of Gustav Meier. Jason has also attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine. Jason remains an active performing violist, having performed with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Malaysia, Australian National Opera Orchestra and Texas Baroque Ensemble. He served as conductor and educator for 10 years with the Abilene Summer Music Festival in conjunction with Hardin Simmons University, the Pan American Music Festival in Edinburgh Texas, as well as the Penang State Orchestra Workshop in Penang, Malaysia and serves as Artistic Director of the Summer Music Intensives in McKinney, TX since 2015. Jason currently also serves as Artistic Director of the Greater North Texas Youth Orchestra and is also Artistic Director of the Summer Music Intensives in McKinney, Texas.

Currently, Jason is the Artistic Director and conductor of the Odysseus North Texas Chamber Orchestra, a group he founded in 2012. In 2014 the orchestra was awarded second prize in the Professional Orchestra division of the American Prize Competition and third prize the previous year.


The American Prize winner:
William B. Drury  
New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds  
Boston MA
Whitman Tropes (Richard Toensing)

New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds  
NEW ENGLAND SYMPHONIC WINDS is composed primarily of Freshmen and Sophomores. The ensemble performs at least seven concerts per year, two of which are the extremely popular Holiday’s Concerts, which are a combination of the Symphonic Winds, Navy Band Northeast and the NEC Chamber Choirs. The ensemble plays music from the 16th century to music of the present day. Guest artists have included Charles Schlueter, Shawn Edmonds, Marvin Stamm, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Helen Sung, Charlie Powers, James Nova, Douglas Monroe, Will Frampton, Yukiko Takagi, and Stephen Drury.

2nd Place:
Carolyn Watson 
University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra    
Kansas City  KS
Fanfare Ritmico (Jennifer Higdon) 

University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra    
The University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra (KUSO) is one of the outstanding collegiate orchestras in the country. KUSO provides performance majors the highest quality preparation for a professional career in orchestral playing. KUSO offers a comprehensive course of orchestral studies and performs repertoire spanning from the Baroque to the 21st century, including premieres of new works.  In addition to large-scale symphonic programming, each season includes performances of major solo works featuring faculty, student, and leading international guest artists who recently have included Blake Pouliot, Joshua Roman and Simone Porter. The KU Symphony Orchestra also regularly collaborates with KU Theatre and KU Opera productions, for whom it is the resident ensemble. The orchestra combines with KU Choirs for the immensely popular annual Holiday Vespers concerts and other choral/orchestral literature throughout the year, and showcases the works of student composers in the KU Composition studio.  KUSO's concert stage is the magnificent 2,000-seat Lied Center of Kansas and the orchestra also regularly performs at the nationally renowned Kauffman Center in Kansas City. https://music.ku.edu/orchestra

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Dr. Eddie W. Airheart
The TCU Wind Symphony     
Fort Worth   TX
The Seven Deadly Sins (Robert Xavier Rodriguez)

The TCU Wind Symphony     
Eddie W. Airheart earned his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Conducting at Texas Christian University, studying with Bobby R. Francis, Dr. Germán Gutiérrez and Dr. Christopher Aspaas. In August 2019, he was appointed Assistant Director of Bands/Professor of Music/Professor of Woodwinds at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas where he works extensively with both the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, as well as the over-200 member TJC Apache Marching Band.
Dr. Airheart has extensive experience with ensembles throughout his career and recent work at TCU and at TJC. He serves as Conductor-in-Residence for the Clear Creek Music Festival in Halfway, Oregon, and his wind band research has been presented for the College Band Directors National Association. He will be featured in Vol. XII of the “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band” series.

Under the direction of Bobby R. Francis, the Texas Christian University Wind Symphony has established itself as one of the outstanding collegiate wind bands in America. Past performances of the ensemble include Fort Worth’s Bass Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the prestigious 84th Annual Convention of the American Bandmasters Association, several National CBNDA Conferences as well as numerous performances at the Texas Music Educators Association annual convention.

Robert Xavier Rodríguez is “one of the major American composers of his generation” (Texas Monthly).  Born in 1946, Rodríguez received his musical education in San Antonio and in Austin (UT), Los Angeles (USC), Lenox (Tanglewood), Fontainebleau (Conservatoire Américain) and Paris.  A student of Nadia Boulanger and others, Rodríguez first gained international recognition in 1971 when awarded the Prix de Composition Musicale Prince Pierre de Monaco. Rodriguez’s Tom Johanningmeier “The Seven Deadly Sins” was commissioned by the East Texas State University Wind Ensemble, Gary W. Hill, conductor, and premiered February 28, 1985 at the National CBDNA Convention in Boulder, Colorado.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Scott Jones  
Texas A&M University Kingsville Wind Symphony  
Innsmouth, Massachusetts—1927   (Roy D. Magnuson)

Texas A&M University Kingsville Wind Symphony  
Comprised of 60 talented musicians from South Texas, the Wind Symphony is the premiere concert band at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Directed by Dr. Scott Anthony Jones, the Wind Symphony maintains a highly active annual performance schedule of five to six concerts, regular collaborations with composers, and serves as host ensemble to the winners of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Music Department Concerto and Conducting Competitions. The ensemble is also committed serving the region through concert tours, clinics, and its High School Invitational Concert series. Since 2014, the Wind Symphony has performed off-campus for over 40 public schools and more than 10,000 students, educators and families.

This distinguished ensemble has been recognized for its outstanding performances at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in 1993, 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2019, and at the 2002 College Band Directors National Association Southwest Division Conference in Houston. In recent years, the ensemble has developed a tradition of commissioning new works by composers such as Joseph Schwantner, Frank Ticheli, James Syler, Zhou Tian, Jess Langston Turner, Roy Magnuson, and others.

Finalist Honorable Mention:
Daniel Cook
Northwestern University Chamber Ensemble   
Evanston IL
Appalachian Spring   

Daniel Cook
Daniel Cook serves on the faculty at the University of North Texas as Assistant Director of Wind Studies, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and is the director of the Green Brigade Marching Band. Daniel has completed coursework toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Mallory Thompson.

Daniel graduated magna cum laude with his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. There, he was also recognized as a Theodore Presser Scholar. Daniel holds his Master of Music degree in Conducting from Northwestern University.

Prior to his arrival in Evanston, Daniel taught in the public schools in Florida. His students have enjoyed success, earning superior ratings at district and state solo, small ensemble, and large group performance festivals. His ensembles have performed at the FMEA In-Service Conference and the Music for All National Concert Band Festival.

Daniel is an active clinician and guest conductor. Daniel is currently the assistant brass caption at the Phantom Regiment and has previously served on staff at the Blue Knights. During his time in Florida, he was a member of the Florida Bandmasters Association, chairing marching and concert band events. Additionally, he served as staff pianist and organist at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Daytona Beach His professional affiliations include NAfME, NBA, CBDNA, and Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha.

Finalist Honorable Mention:
Michael Hancock
University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony
Norman OK
Urban Requiem; Labyrinth of Love  (Michael Colgrass/Michael Daugherty)

Michael Hancock
Dr. Michael Hancock is the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Oklahoma and conductor of the Symphony Band. He has previously served as the Interim Director of Bands at the University of Oklahoma and conductor of the Wind Symphony.  He co-directs the graduate instrumental conducting program, and teaches undergraduate conducting.

Dr. Hancock enjoys a diverse career that spans the United States and Europe, and is active in conducting professional and educational ensembles.  As the Music Director of the Heidelberg Arts Ensemble in Germany, he conducted and oversaw a multifaceted ensemble presenting concerts throughout Europe. His commitment to the performance of new music have been praised by prominent contemporary composers including Michael Colgrass, Michael Daugherty, Paul Dooley, Joel Puckett, Steven Bryant, and Walter Mays.  He continues his commitment for advocating an artful music education, and frequently serves as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and Europe.

The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, COMMUNITY ensemble division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Michael Driscoll
Andover Choral Society    
Andover  MA
Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight (Florence Price)  

Andover Choral Society    
The Andover (MA) Choral Society is a non-auditioned 65-85 voice SATB community chorus with a mission to present exceptional performances, connect to the larger community, and foster an appreciation of choral music. The chorus performs two concerts per year, singing a repertoire that focuses on fine choral and choral-orchestral works from the Baroque period to the twenty-first century. Since 1929, membership has been open to anyone with a love for great choral music and a desire to share that love with others. Dr. Michael Driscoll began his tenure as Music Director of Andover Choral Society in the fall of 2013. Under Dr. Driscoll’s leadership the chorus has performed works by lesser-known composers from previous eras and the present.

Florence Price (1887-1953) was the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphony composer and to have a composition played by a major orchestra. In 2009, a substantial collection of her works and papers was found in an abandoned house on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. Among these works was Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, a 30-minute work for chorus, soloists, and accompaniment, set to a poem by Vachel Lindsay. Price left two versions of this work: one for orchestra and organ and the other for piano. From Price’s unpublished manuscript, Dr. Driscoll prepared a new performing edition of the piano version for this performance. This recording is believed to be the first recording of this version of Price’s work.

2nd Place:
Matthew Melendez
Great Bend Chorale & Youth Chorale    
Union   WA
Borders  (John Muehleisen)  

Great Bend Chorale & Youth Chorale    
The Salish people—the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America—think about music very differently. They understand that making music is inherently an act of community, and as a result, their culture has great reverence for the power of song. So great is their respect for this power that there are rich cultural traditions (and taboos) about how and when and by whom (and with whom) individual songs may be performed.
Imagine being visited by an entirely different race of people who look and dress very differently, wielding completely alien technology and an unrecognizable language – and choosing to sing a song of welcome to them! This was the response of several tribal communities from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state upon first contact with European explorers. The Salish knew that making music meant making community; that singing illuminates all that we have in common.

Commissioned for the Great Bend Chorale’s Carnegie Hall debut, American composer John Muehleisen’s cantata Borders draws from many of the constituent cultures that make up the American tapestry. Scored for soprano solo, adult choir, children’s chorus, strings, piano, and percussion, and beginning with a Salish song of welcome, Muehleisen weaves together European, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern folk songs with settings of the poetry of Emma Lazarus, Brian Bilston, and Alberto Ríos in a powerful and moving musical journey that explores the historical roots of immigration and the modern relevance of America’s identity as the great melting pot.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Donald L.  Appert 
Clark College Orchestra   
Vancouver WA
Symphony No. 2  (David Diamond)

Clark College Orchestra   
The Clark College Orchestra is a college/community ensemble ranging in number from 75 to 90 musicians depending on the repertoire. Awards include 2nd Place in the 2016 American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, COMMUNITY division and 3rd Place in The American Prize in Orchestra Performance – community orchestra division. As part of an ongoing podium exchange program the orchestra has had guest conductors and soloists from New Zealand, Italy, Slovakia, France, Spain, Portugal, Macedonia, Sweden, Russia, Turkey, El Salvador, and Romania.

New music has been a consistent part of the programming: Amanda Harberg’s Viola Concerto with Brett Deubner who commissioned the work, Eric Ewazen’s Palmetto Suite for Alto Trombone and Orchestra composed for Ronald Barron, Principal Trombonist of the Boston Symphony and the Clark College Orchestra, Matt Doran’s Variations for Orchestra, and Symphony No. 5 works commissioned by the Clark College Orchestra. 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Erik  Peregrine      
Ensemble Companio 
Northeastern US    
Wonderous Glow; The New Colossus; Hard Times  (Valverde; Choi; Foster)

Ensemble Companio 
An award-winning chamber choir drawing membership from across the Northeastern region, Ensemble Companio lives out its mission “to build bridges between people through authentic, inspiring performances of the finest choral music” through its fresh programming, frequent collaborations, and uniquely accessible model.

Ensemble Companio takes its name from a Latin form of “companion”, the etymology of which is “one with whom one shares bread.” The name reflects the musicians’ belief that sharing in choral music, like the sharing of food, is an essential, nourishing, and healing experience.  With rehearsals and performances distributed throughout Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and other locations along the eastern seaboard, Ensemble Companio attracts a diverse community of highly dedicated, exemplary musicians from a variety of professions who are unified in their passion for the power of choral singing.

The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, YOUTH/SCHOOL ensemble division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Wes Kenney
Denver Young Artists Orchestra
Denver CO
Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman #4 (Joan Tower)

Denver Young Artists Orchestra
The Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) was formed in 1977 under the auspices of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, now the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO).  It was started as a means for Colorado’s most talented young musicians to rehearse and perform together under demanding professional standards. DYAO has operated independently since 1979, and has maintained a close relationship with the CSO, now an affiliate organization.

The mission of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association (DYAO) is to provide the finest possible youth orchestra programs, inspiring and educating young musicians through the performance of great works of music, and offering valuable cultural opportunities to the community. For thirty-nine years, DYAO has nurtured the talents of the Rocky Mountain region’s finest young musicians. Today, the organization’s five orchestras and group strings classes train nearly 250 students ages seven to twenty-three annually.

Wes Kenney has been the Music Director and Conductor for the Young Artists Orchestra since 2013.  In the past two seasons, DYAO has received the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts as well as The American Prize for performance of American music.

2nd Place:
Michael Isadore
John Foster Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Sugar Land  TX
Supermaximum (Kenji Bunch)  

Michael Isadore
An energetic and dynamic musician, Michael Isadore serves as Associate Conductor of the Houston Civic Symphony, Philharmonia Conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, and director of orchestras at Dulles High School.  Under his direction, the Dulles High School orchestra symphony and string orchestras have been consistent “commended winners” in the Mark of Excellence competition and recognized as the 2012 National Winner. Other honors include performances at the Midwest Clinic in 2016 and 2004 and runner up for TMEA Honor Orchestra in 2005. In 2010 Mr. Isadore was recognized with the Spec’s Charitable Foundation Award for Excellence in Music Education presented by the Houston Symphony.

An accomplished clarinetist, Isadore also holds the second clarinet position with the Victoria Symphony and freelances in the Houston area.  Isadore holds degrees in clarinet and conducting from Baylor University and the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Conservatory of Music.

3rd Place:
Dr. Michael G. Martin 
Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir
Hilliard OH
Great God Almighty; Angelus Ad Virginem; Peace Like a River   (Stacey G. Gibbs/ Carol Barnett/ Mack Wilberg)

Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir
Dr. 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. Martin’s passion continued to grow deeper and resulted in the development of multiple choral groups within the educational and community environment and numerous compositions/arrangements published.

While at Ohio State, Martin had the opportunity to study with and serve as accompanist for Robert Shaw. He has performed/conducted major concerts throughout Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Italy, France, and has appeared on the BBC network.

He serves as Director of Music for New Albany Methodist Church and is called upon as clinician and commissioned composer for honor choirs and festivals.

The Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir is a mixed, auditioned choir, relentless in its quest for vocal excellence. Conducted by Dr. Michael G. Martin and assisted by Mrs. Hannah Sterman-Wilson, the group continually ranks as one of the top choral programs in the country, receiving top ratings in local and international competitions. Whether singing in Salisbury Cathedral, or receiving superior ratings at adjudicated events, this group pursues its craft, putting teamwork, technique, and musicality at the forefront. Symphonic has performed multiple times for OMEA Conferences and have performed for two ACDA Central Division Conventions. In addition, they have worked with notable conductors, such as Dr. Donald Neuen, Eric Whitacre, Dr. Ann Howard Jones, Professor James Gallagher, and Dr. Craig Jessop.



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