Thursday, January 23, 2020

Semi-finalists STAGE DIRECTORS (The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize), 2019-20

CNR in "The Life of Reilly"
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, chief judge, is pleased to announce NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST stage directors for 2019-20—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize. Congratulations!

There are two divisions this year—one for opera directors, a second for theater and music theater directors. 

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from these lists. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

Charles Nelson Reilly was a Tony Award-winning actor and Broadway stage director, and an acclaimed opera director and teacher. Far more than the zany television personality by which he was most often identified, Reilly nurtured the creation of a whole series of unique one-person stage plays. Most famously, he directed Julie Harris in her Tony Award-winning star turn in "The Belle of Amherst", on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson. Among Reilly's many Broadway directing credits were Ira Levinʼs "Break a Leg", Larry Shueʼs "The Nerd", and the revival of "The Gin Game", starring Julie Harris and Charles Durning, for which Mr. Reilly was the sole American director to be nominated for a Tony in 1997. Mr. Reillyʼs career as an opera director included productions for Chicago Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Toledo Opera, Milwaukee Opera and Opera Pacific. Charles Nelson Reilly and The American Prize chief judge David Katz were friends for three decades, first meeting through their mutual Hartford voice teacher, Mrs. Friedrich Schorr. Mr. Reilly served as honorary chairperson of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice from the competition's founding in 1990, until his death. To read more about the career of Charles Nelson Reilly, .

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.
 

NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Directing—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2019-20, theater/musical theater division

Belinda Andrews-Smith        
Denison University 
Granville OH         
Chicago        

Geoffrey Arndt
Saint Patrick Summer Theatre           
Chicago  IL       
Sweeney Todd

Geoffrey Arndt
Saint Patrick High School      
Chicago  IL       
We All Rise Above

Katharine Clarke
Endicott College   
Beverly  MA                    
Shrek the Musical     

Ellen Denham
Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi Opera 
Corpus Christi  TX    
Pinstripe Harry's Tearoom Cabaret        

Lori Lane
Artios Academies of Greenville       
Greenville SC       
Jane Eyre the Musical      

Dr Darren P. Lawson
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC         
Titanic: The Musical  

Joshua May
Schwob School of Music—Columbus State University    
Columbus GA                    
Speed Dating Tonight!

David Ronis
University of Wisconsin—Madison          
Madison  WI         
Into The Woods             

David Schwingle            
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC    
King Lear



NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Directing—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2019-20, opera division 

Dean Anthony              
SUNY Potsdam—Crane School of Music   
Potsdam  NY                
MAYO (Cipullo)

Melinda Brou
Texas A&M University—Kingsville          
Kingsville TX                    
The Merry Widow       

Marc Callahan             
Wingate University 
Chapel Hill  NC                    
Help, Help, the Globolinks!  (Menotti)           

Marc Callahan             
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill  NC         
One Who Says Yes (Der Jasager) (Weill)         

Marc Callahan             
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill  NC         
Alcina (Handel)

Ellen Denham
Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi  
Corpus Christi             TX                    
Pinocchio  (Mozart/Collodi/Caraher)           

Tracelyn Gesteland            
University of South Dakota Opera     
Vermillion  SD         
The Consul            

Brenda  Harris
Stony Brook University—Stony Brook Opera  
Stony Brook  NY        
Il Re Pastore (Mozart)         

Rachel M. Harris
Heartland Opera    
Joplin   MO                    
La Boheme   

Rachel M. Harris
University of Missouri
Kansas City  MO         
La Finta Giardiniera (Mozart)

Rachel M. Harris
Loyola University
New Orleans  LA    
New Orleans  LA         
Cendrillon  (Massenet)        

Melanie Helton
Michigan State University Opera Theatre   
East Lansing  MI                    
Die Fledermaus        

Melanie Helton
Michigan State University Opera Theatre   
East Lansing  MI                    
La Scala di Seta (Rossini)

David Holley
University of NC—Greensboro
Greensboro NC                    
Falstaff              

Dr. Leigh Holman
University of Colorado Boulder       
Boulder  CO         
Eugene Onegin         

Joshua  May
Schwob School of Music—Columbus State University  
Columbus GA         
Cendrillon (Viradot) 

Dugg McDonough            
Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at Louisiana State University  
Baton Rouge LA         
Elizabeth Cree (Puts)       

Brandon McShaffrey           
Temple University  
Philadelphia  PA                    
Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria  (Monteverdi)         

David Ronis
University of Wisconsin—Madison          
Madison  WI         
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)

Josh Shaw
Pacific Opera Project
Los Angeles CA         
Madama Butterfly     

Margaret Vignola              
Purchase Opera, Conservatory of  Music—SUNY    
Purchase NY         
Jacque Trussel director     
Confession, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi       

Copland Woodruff             
Lawrence University
Appleton WI         
Mass (Bernstein)


***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Semi-finalist CONDUCTORS (orchestral programming—Marijosius Award), 2019-20

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 SEMI-FINALIST conductors in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming honors the memory of the great Lithuanian conductor, Maestro Vytautas Marijosius, music director of the Lithuanian State Opera, and for nearly thirty-five years Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hartt School of Music. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community. 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.
 

NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—professional and college/university division, 2019-20

Dr. Brian Coffill
The Randolph-Macon Ensemble 
Randolph-Macon College        
Ashland VA            

Dr. Thomas Dickey
OSU Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater  OK  

Vladimir Kulenovic            
Lake Forest Symphony  
Lake Forest IL

Nathaniel F. Parker
Kennesaw State University Symphony        
Kennesaw  GA   

Nadya Potemkina            
Wesleyan University Orchestra        
Middletown  CT   

David A. Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra    
Seattle WA   

Rachel L.  Waddell
University of Rochester Orchestras        
Rochester   NY   



NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—community division, 2019-20

Donald L. Appert
Clark College Orchestra
Vancouver   WA                  

Donald L. Appert
The Jewish Community Orchestra of Portland
Portland  OR                  

Richard B. Brunson
Marshfield Symphony Orchestra        
Marshfield  WI                  

John B.Gordon
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra 
Round Rock  TX 
Daniel Rainey, conductor                

David William Oertel
Starlight Symphony Orchestra         
Wimberley   TX                  

Mark Perlman
Willamette Falls Symphony
Oregon City and Tualatin  OR                  

James  Villani
Manassas Symphony Orchestra          
Manassas  VA      


***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize National Non-profit Competitions in the Performing Arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Semi-finalist CONDUCTORS (musical theater), 2019-20

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST conductors in musical theater. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—musical theater division, 2019-20

Nancy Allen
Belmont University School of Music       
Nashville  TN        
Jo Lynn Burks, conductor
Thoroughly Modern Millie

Rebecca Kenneally            
Endicott College 
Beverly   MA           
Shrek the Musical    

Matthew Mailman              
Bass School of Music—Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City  OK    
Side Show           

Russell G.McCutcheon           
Department of Theater
and Sunderman Conservatory of Music      
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg PA                
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Michael Moore
Bob Jones University 
Greenville SC   
Titanic    

Michelle Perrin Blair
Revival Theatre Company              
Cedar Rapids  IA    
Sunday in the Park with George         

Ana Flavia Zuim 
NYU Steinhardt School
New York   NY                
Anything Goes




***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division in soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.


Monday, January 20, 2020

Semi-finalist CONDUCTORS (opera), 2019-20

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST conductors in opera divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional opera division, 2019-20

Walter Morales              
Pittsburgh Festival Opera
Pittsburgh  PA
The Valkyrie, Das Rheingold    

Eric Peterson             
Savoynet Performing Group            
Harrogate UK
Patience

Isaac Selya                
Queen City Opera 
Cincinnati   OH
Iolanta      

Michael Shane Wittenburg           
National Theater of Opera and Ballet 
Constanta   Romania
Turandot

NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university opera division, 2019-20

Tyson Deaton               
Texas Christian University Opera Studio          
Fort Worth  TX
Falstaff      

Peter Perret            
University of North Carolina—Greensboro                
Greensboro  NC
Falstaff

Matthew Mailman              
Bass School of Music—Oklahoma City University  
Oklahoma City  OK
Cendrillon        

Kirk Severtson            
The Crane School of Music—SUNY       
Potsdam NY
MAYO (Cipullo)

Margaret Vignola             
Purchase Opera—SUNY             
Purchase  NY       
Hugh Murphy, conductor 
Confession, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi          




***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division in soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Seimi-finalist CONDUCTORS (orchestra), 2019-20

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 national SEMI-FINALIST conductors in orchestra divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional orchestra division, 2019-20

Roberta Carpenter
Hradec Kralove Philharmonic 
Oconomowoc WI 

Steve Lewis
Midwest Chamber Ensemble
Overland Park KS 
 
Ryan Murray
Modesto Symphony
Modesto CA 

Victor Shlyakhtenko  
South Coast Symphony
Orange County CA 

Markand Thakar
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra 
Baltimore MD 



NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university orchestra division, 2019-20

Ricardo Averbach
Miami University Symphony Orchestra 
Oxford  OH   

John Young Shik Concklin
Vanderbilt University Orchestra
Nashville TN   
 
Daniel Cook
Northwestern University Chamber Ensemble
Evanston IL   

Robert Denham
Biola Conservatory New Music 
La Mirada CA   

Dr. Thomas Dickey
OSU Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK   

Jeffrey Klefstad
All University Orchestra-Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA   

Hon Pan Benson Lee
TCU Chamber Orchestra
Fort Worth TX   

Michael Moore
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC   

Ryan Murray
Sacramento State Symphony Orchestra 
Sacramento CA   

Joel Neves
Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra 
Houghton MI   

Ian Passmore
Indiana University Symphony Orchestra 
Bloomington IN   

David A. Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra 
Seattle WA   

Ji Hyun Yim
U-Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra
Madison WI   
Chad Hutchinson conductor
  

NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community orchestra division, 2019-20

David Anderson
Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra 
Lake Geneva WI   

Kaleb Benda
Oklahoma Chamber Symphony
Oklahoma City OK   

Daniel Bruce
Burlington Civic Symphony
Burlington VT   

Richard B. Brunson 
Marshfield Symphony Orchestra 
Marshfield WI   

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra 
Arlington MA   

John B. Gordon
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra 
Round Rock TX 
Dr. Thomas Rainey, conductor

Andrew Hasel
Los Angeles Doctors Symphony  
Los Angeles CA   
Ivan Shulman, conductor 

Michael Isadore 
Houston Civic Symphony
Houston TX   

Taka Matsunaga
Midwest Philharmonic Orchestra 
Schaumburg IL   

Verena Mosenbichler-Bryant
Durham Medical Orchestra
Durham  NC   

Mark Perlman 
Willamette Falls Symphony, Tualatin
Oregon City and Tualatin OR   

David P. Sartor
Parthenon Chamber Orchestra 
Nashville TN   

Martha Stoddard
Oakland Civic Orchestra 
Oakland CA   

Scott E. Woodard 
Charleston Chamber Orchestra  
Charleston WV   

Ji Hyun Yim
Madison Medical Orchestra 
Madison WI


NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—youth & school  orchestra division, 2019-20

Orlando Cela
North Carolina Governor's School  Orchestra
Arlington MA   

Mary Gerard
All About Music San Diego
San Diego CA   

Sarah D. Loudermilk 
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX   
Michael Webster conductor

Kevin Pearce
Lone Star Youth Orchestra
Irving  TX   

Ulli Reiner
Bernardo Heights/Twin Peaks HS Symphony
Poway CA 

Alex Wise
MISA Summer Festival Youth Orchestra 
Shanghai China   

Michael Shane Wittenburg
Elite Academy for Strings Chamber 
Englewood Cliffs  NJ   


***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize National Non-profit Competitions in the Performing Arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Semi-finalist CONDUCTORS (chorus), 2019-20

The American Prize, David Volosin Katz founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST conductors in choral divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—schools division, 2019-20

Philip Brown                
Angelica Cantanti Treble Singers    
Bloomington   MN 

Brian J. Winnie               
Western IL University Singers             
Macomb    IL      

Hannah Sterman-Wilson       
Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir       
Hilliard  OH       
Dr. Michael G. Martin, conductor



NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community division, 2019-20

Carol M. Cei
Paoli Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir 
Paoli   PA  

Orlando Cela
Arlington-Belmont Chorale           
Arlington MA  

Minji Kim
University of Maryland Summer Chorus
College Park MD  

Julia D. Malecki             
Baltimore Choral Arts Society       
Baltimore MD        
Anthony Blake Clark, conductor 

Timothy  McDonnell           
Catholic University of America Chamber Choir 
Washington DC  


***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Semi-finalist CONDUCTORS (band / wind ensemble), 2019-20

The American Prize, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 SEMI-FINALIST conductors in band / wind ensemble divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional and college/university band division, 2019-20

Eddie W. Airheart             
TCU Wind Symphony
Fort Worth  TX                

Lindsay Bronnenkant          
University of Michigan Students      
Ann Arbor   MI             

Jack A. Eaddy, Jr.           
US Army Band "Pershing's Own"        
Washington   DC       
Col. Andrew J. Esch, conductor  

T.  Andre Feagin               
Colorado State University Symphonic       
Fort Collins  CO                

Joel M. Graham               
George Mason University Wind Symphony     
Fairfax   VA         
Mark Camphouse, conductor    

Michael Hancock              
University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony      
Norman  OK                

Tremon Kizer                
University of Central Florida        
Orlando  FL                

Verena Mosenbichler-Bryant  
Duke University Wind Symphony        
Durham  NC                

Devin Otto                 
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Wind Ensemble      
Oshkosh   WI                

Lauren Reynolds             
University of Delaware Wind Ensemble      
Newark   DE                

Corey Seapy                
Bands at the UMKC Conservatory       
Kansas City   MO                

Marc Sosnowchik           
University of South Florida Symphonic     
Tampa  FL                

Shayna  Stahl                
University of Washington Wind Ensemble    
Seattle   WA                

Boyang Yu                   
New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble     
Boston   MA                


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community and school division, 2019-20

Nicolas Propes               
Big River Brass Band                 
Quad Cities  IA/IL    

Matthew Salvaggio            
University Heights Symphonic Band    
University Heights  OH       

Greg Jackson              
Saint James Symphonic Ensemble       
Montgomery    AL

***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Semi-finalists: COMPOSERS (instrumental chamber music division). 2019-20

The American Prize is pleased to announce a grand list of 2020 SEMI-FINALIST composers of instrumental chamber music, in both professional and student divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (professional division), 2020

Aaron Alter  
Carlsbad  CA
Solar Rays; Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry  

Bruce Babcock
Pasadena  CA
The Present Moment

Jack Du Wayne Ballard Jr.
Alliance  OH
Chrystalin; Four Seasons on Works  by Robert Florczak

Navid Bargrizan  
McKinney  TX
Pictures at the Micro Exhibition  

Jennifer Margaret Barker 
Newark  DE
Na Tri Peathraichean  

John G. Bilotta
Concord   CA
SHADOW TREE, PETROUSHKA DREAMS 

Michael Bussewitz-Quarm
Sound Beach  NY
Only Time to Love: Gaaggee Zaag'aa;  Adoravit 

Oliver Caplan 
Medford   MA
In the Direction of Dreams

Luke Carlson
Hollister  MO
Woodcuts

Ryan Carraher
Boston  MA
"Colors" he says to the screen's black lattice 

Gustavo Casenave
Astoria   NY
Balance 

Timothy P. Chatwood
Carson City  NV
Three Emotions (Glycerine, Forget and Questioning)  

Brian Ciach  
Mountain View CA
Mountain Song; California Ballad

Michael Coleman
Pensacola  FL
String Quartet No. 1

David Colson 
Kalamazoo  MI
Dionysian Mysteries

Mark Dal Porto  
Portales  NM
Exotic Animals Suite: Romance

Robert Denham 
La Mirada  CA
Speaking of Beginnings

Ehood Gershuni
Boston  MA
Five Preludes for Piano  

Amos Gillespie  
Chicago   IL
Musics for flute, clarinet, alto sax and cello  

Kyle Grimm  
Hartford  CT
"Gone"; "Pitchforks & Crow's Feet" 

Karen Salicath Jamali 
Winter Park  FL
Rainbow Angel 

Valerie Liu
Alameda   CA
Dream Trio  

Paul Lombardi
Vermillion   SD
Pieces of Mind and Matter 

Christopher Lowry  
Antioch   TN
Los Temblores; Toccatina Americana

Timothy Lee Miller 
Mahwah  NJ
When leaves begin to fall 

Lawrence R. Mumford
Laguna Niguel   CA
Stingray

Alejandro Viramontes Nunura 
Boston  MA
Raices; Vidales; Electronic Study No. 1

Jakub Polaczyk
Cliffside Park  NJ
OJIBBEWAY

David P. Sartor 
Hermitage  TN
ASPIRATIONS  

Walter Saul
Fresno  CA
Sonatina for Piccolo and Piano

Benjamin Shorstein  
Jacksonville  FL
Lyric Suite  

Andrew Sigler 
Knoxville  TN
The Gentle Churches

Joseph T. Spaniola
Pensacola  FL
Crossroads  

Aaron Spotts 
Tallahassee  FL
Somewhere Between Thought and Feeling

Ann Stimson
Weston  MA
Venetian Blue 

Neil Stipp  
Glendora  CA
Sonata for Clarinet and Organ 

Kyle Vanderburg 
Fargo ND
Earmarks

William Vollinger  
Woodcliff Lake  NJ
The Violinist in the Mall  

Tyler Goodrich White  
Lincoln   NE
Three Views From The Mountain 

Kevin Wilt
Boynton Beach FL
Out in the Storm; Elemental Dance 

Judith Lang Zaimont
Maricopa  AZ
A Strange Magic


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (student division), 2020

Shelby Rawlings Blalock
Charlottesville   VA
Hematite 55; Internal Combustion  
  
Nicolas Chuaqui
Rochester   NY
1. Reflections, 2. Memories  
  
Patrick Connor Dittamo
Manhattan  KS
Turtlesong  
  
Daniel Farrell
Brooklyn  NY
Puppet Show 

Stella Gitelman Willoughby 
Cambridge  MA
Led, a Trio for alto flute, vibraphone and violin
  
Ian Evans Guthrie
Tallahassee  FL
The Crescent Moon Shines Dim on High  
  
Joseph Foster Harkins
Middletown   PA
Mountain Streams of Consciousness 
  
Martin Hebel   

Hamden  CT
Window Inward
  
Hans Bridger Heruth 
Liberty   MO
In the Shadow of the Moon
  
Patrick Holcomb
Ocean View   DE
Ghost-light; The Sun Rising  
  
Elisa K. Johnson
Seattle   WA
Shine  
  
Dayton Kinney 
Raleigh   NC
Hand Carved Names and Railroad Tracks 

YoungJun Lee
Boston  MA
Tsunami 
  
Ming-Jui Liu
Arcadia   CA
Mirror of the Sunshine, op. 3

Luis Enrique McDougal
McAllen   TX
Arenas Movedizas
  
Zachary Ploeger
Pipestone  MN
Trio for Trumpet, Violin and Piano
  
Matt  Ridge  
Bloomington  IN
"100"  

Benjamin Shaw
Newport   RI
String Quarter no. 1; Solo Flute no. 1
  
Chris Shelton
Windermere   FL
Serpent Mound

Austin Smith  
North Truro  MA
Ruminations 
  
Wai Leung William So 
Kennedy Town  Hong Kong  
Musing; Wondrous Bravery/ Duo for Violin and Cello; Oh My Elusive Naivety; Prologue  
  
Patrick Andrew Thompson
Jersey City   NJ
Aurora 

Daniel Whitworth  
Highland Park  IL
Ripples in Infinity 
  
Foo Jeng Wong
Brighton  MA
Seeking Passage

***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.




Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Semi-finalists: COMPOSERS (vocal chamber music division), 2019-20

The American Prize is pleased to announce an extensive list of 2020 SEMI-FINALIST composers of vocal chamber music, in professional and student divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

SEMI-FINALISTS The American Prize in Composition—Vocal Chamber Music (professional division), 2020

Ralf Yusuf Gawlick  
Newton  MA       
Herzliche Grupe Bruno~Briefe aus Stalingrad    

Ehood Gershuni 
Boston  MA       
Time Does Not Bring Relief; The Spring and The Fall     
 
Brian Mark     
Brooklyn  NY       
First they Came     

Timothy Lee Miller   
Mahwah  NJ       
The House With Nobody In It 

Jan Mittelstaedt 
Portland  OR       
Embarrassing Moments: Temper Tantrum, The Luncheon, Tongue Tied  

Sheli Nan      
Berkeley  CA       
JOURNEY—THE SONG CYCLE 

Daniel Sigmon   
Missouri City     TX       
Passages  
   
Judith Lynn Stillman 
Providence  RI       
Small Step, Giant Leap: A Lunar Fantasy      

Danae Xanthe Vlasse   
Winnetka  CA       
Serenade II    
         
William Vollinger  
Woodcliff Lake     NJ       
The Child in the Hole  


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Vocal Chamber Music (student division), 2020

Theophilus Chandler 
Hillsborough  NC       
Two Taylor Songs   
     
Nicolas Chuaqui  
Rochester   NY       
Apocalyptic Visions  
       
Patrick Connor Dittamo  
Manhattan   KS       
Dysentery; Suicide in the Trenches; Cometh the Night    
 
Ian Evans Guthrie  
Tallahassee       FL       
Where Dreams Come True; Spring; Call to Come; Storm: Nightfall        
     
Martin Hebel    
Hamden  CT       
Dulce et Decorum Est 
     
Hans Bridger Heruth   
Liberty   MO       
How do I love thee?  

Patrick Holcomb  
Ocean View  DE       
Superbloom   

Asia Jamosmos 
Stockton  CA       
A Dream within A Dream        

Mark Bolan Konigsmark 
Newton  MA       
In to the Light, The Betrayal      

Patrick Andrew Thompson 
Jersey City      NJ       
Night, Sleep, and the Stars     

Daniel Whitworth  
Highland Park      IL       
Not Our Kids: A Fox News Operetta 

***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.




Monday, January 6, 2020

Semi-finalists: COMPOSERS (choral music division), 2019-20

(Updated 1/7/20, moving a contestant to the correct category.—DK)

The American Prize is pleased to announce 2020 SEMI-FINALIST composers of choral music in both professional and student divisions. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Choral (professional division), 2020

Nathaniel  Adams      
Brooklyn  NY       
He Came All So Still; Lux Brumalis   
 
Aaron Alter      
Carlsbad  CA       
Lo Lanu Ha-Shem (a setting of Psalm 115)        
 
Bruce Babcock    
Pasadena  CA       
Be Still       
 
Andrew Bruhn      
Belvidere  IL       
I Sing the Birth
 
Julian David Bryson     
Jacksonville    FL       
The Field      
 
Oliver Caplan     
Medford   MA       
We Exist       
 
Mark Dal Porto  
Portales  NM       
Spring, the Sweet Spring; From Spring Days to Winter 
 
Ken Davies     
Gautier   MS       
God, The Artist Of Creation 

Jessica French     
Kent    WA       
Love Came Down at Christmas    

Gerald Gurss      
St. Paul  MN       
Chris & Gabe   
 
Kevin Hartnett   
Glendale  CA       
De profundis   
 
Brian Holmes     
San Jose  CA  
selected works
 
Andrew Jacobson   
Seattle   WA       
A Lovely Rose Is Sprung; La Mort Des Amants; What Melodious Sounds; She Walks In Beauty    
 
Allan Laino      
Mt. Rainier  MD       
The New Colossus; Gloria  
 
Christopher Lowry      
Antioch   TN       
Arrows and Songs—Suite on Poems of H.W. Longfellow       
 
John Muehleisen 
Mukilteo  WA       
But Who Shall Return Us Our Children: A Kipling Passion     
 
Robert G. Patterson  
Memphis   TN       
Requiem        
 
Stacey Philipps   
Portland  OR       
Sudden Light   
 
Kyle Randall    
San Francisco   CA       
To Autumn      
 
Clement Reid       
Lakewood  WA       
Sonnet       
 
Denice Rippentrop 
Scottsdale AZ       
Take Wings And Soar       
 
Kurt Sander     
Cincinnati OH       
Praise the Lord from the Heavens     
 
Donald Skirvin    
Seattle   WA       
Alchemy; There will come soft rains; Fontainebleau and Arcturus in autumn; Dusky Gold      
 
Timothy C. Takach     
Big Lake  MN       
Helios
 
Del'Shawn Taylor     
South Bend IN       
Sunrise        
 
Mari Esabel Valverde   
Fort Worth TX       
Border Lines   
 
William Vollinger  
Woodcliff Lake     NJ       
We Are Not Robins
 
Nicholas Weininger  
San Francisco      CA       
As Kingfishers catch fire; Ve Hayah ba-acharit hayamim
 
Tyler Goodrich White      
Lincoln   NE       
De Profundis  


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Choral (student division), 2020

Chung Hon Michael Cheng      
Sugar Land TX       
Veritas: Through the Centuries 

Nicolas Chuaqui    
Rochester  NY       
Pater, si non potest

Hans Bridger Heruth     
Liberty   MO       
Hope On  

Christian Jesse      
Dallas    TX       
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis     

Elisa K. Johnson    
Seattle   WA       
As I Journey Through My Life

***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Semi-finalists: COMPOSERS (orchestra division), 2019-20

The American Prize is pleased to announce an extensive listing of 2020 SEMI-FINALIST composers for orchestra in both professional and student divisions, representing many styles and aesthetics. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (professional division), 2020

Lee Actor
Monte Sereno  CA  
Symphony No. 2
   
Jean Ahn  
Orinda  CA  
Woven Silk
  
Bruce Babcock 
Pasadena  CA  
Event Horizon 
   
John Baboukis
New Cairo Egypt  
A Symphony for Cairo 
  
Robert J. Bradshaw
Gloucester   MA  
Echoes in the Deep: meditation on the depth of our impact on the Earth's oceans 
   
Sabrina Clarke  
Philadelphia    PA  
Still ist's im Wald
  
Tina Claussen
Springfield  MO  
Shimmer
  
Mark Dal Porto 
Portales NM  
Mystic Mountain  
   
Ken Davies  
Gautier  MS  
Strings Ablaze
  
Brent  Edstrom 
Spokane  WA  
Prairie Songs: Remembering Antonia  
  
Peter Solomon Gross
Bayville NY  
AUTUMNUS: Chaconne in F# Minor 
  
Gregory J. Jackson 
Montgomery   AL  
Symphony No. 4, Op. 113 " The Four Horsemen"  
   
Misook Kim  
Naperville   IL  
The AWAKENING 
  
Penka Kouneva 
Tujunga  CA  
BETRAYAL OF TECHNOLOGY  
  
Hye Kyung Lee  
Granville    OH  
Climbing Tomorrow
  
Lawrence R. Mumford 
Laguna Niguel   CA  
The Sunset Wind  
  
Alla Pavlova 
Huntington   NY  
Symphony No. 2, For the New Millennium
  
Leanna Primiani
Santa Monica    CA 
1001
 
Lucas  Richman 
Bangor ME  
Symphony: This Will Be Our Reply 
  
Miguel A. Roig-Francoli 
Cincinnati   OH  
Sinfonia, "De Profundis"
  
Maxim Samarov 
Harvey LA  
Ars moriendi  

Joseph Sowa 
Watertown    MA  
Glimmer, Glisten, Glow  
  
Lauren Spavelko
Pickerington    OH  
Kéyah
   
Aaron Spotts  
Tallahassee  FL  
Life for Life 
   
Larry Tuttle  
Van Nuys CA  
Thousand Mile Suite
  
William Vollinger 
Woodcliff Lake  NJ  
Portraits of the Jersey Shore
 
Kellach Waddle  
Austin TX  
The Chemical Composition of Tears; Were You Dreaming of January Vampires
  
Tyler Goodrich White
Lincoln  NE  
A Brand-New Summer
  
Kevin Wilt 
Boynton Beach   FL  
Imagined Adventures: Running on Rooftops;  Song of the Phoenix

       

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division), 2020

Nicholas Bentz  
Los Angeles  CA  
A Cosmos in Stone, Respawning  

Dinah Bianchi 
Belleville   MI  
Anaphora 

Cory Brodack 
Saint Peters    MO  
Nodus Tollens  

Nicolas Chuaqui 
Rochester    NY  
Aurora

Zachary Gulaboff Davis
Salem  OR  
Tailwind 

Moni Guo  
Los Angeles  CA  
Night Ghost

Jeffry Langford
Katy   TX  
Ricercar Ner   

Luis Enrique McDougal
McAllen  TX  
Puisque je suis fumeux

Wai Leung William So   
Kennedy Town    Hong Kong
Blue Fire

Patrick Andrew Thompson
Jersey City  NJ  
Through a Glass, Darkly

Evan Jay Williams
Baltimore    MD  
"That Which We Cannot Live Without"  
  
Miranda Yu   
Palo Alto    CA  
Reflections of A Sixteen Year Old Girl  



***

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

HONORED ARTISTS of The American Prize, 2019

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is delighted to recognize eight contest laureates as Honored Artists of The American Prize, 2019.  Honored Artists are individuals (or ensembles) who have proven themselves to be artists of "sustained excellence" over a number of seasons as laureates in the competitions. Honored Artists will be highlighted in a separate section on The American Prize website and on the competition's Facebook pages, will receive expanded listings on The American Prize blog, will be featured in individualized press releases sent to local, regional and national media, and receive a special, framed certificate. Honored Artists also receive an application fee waiver for a future competition.

The 2019 HONORED ARTISTS of The American Prize are:
  • Oliver Caplan, composer and artistic director, Medford, MA
  • Gregory Fritze, composer, Daytona Beach Shores, FL
  • Tara Villa Keith, conductor, Davidson, NC
  • Darren Lawson, stage director and producer, Greenville, SC
  • Susan Merdinger, pianist and chamber musician, Highland Park, IL
  • Judith Stillman, pianist and composer, Providence, RI
  • William Vollinger, composer, Woodcliff Lake, NJ
  • Allentown Band, Ronald Demkee, music director, Allentown, PA
Photos and biographies of these artists may be found below.

Several years ago Maestro David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, expressed a hope for the competitions "to do more" to advance the arts. The creation of the Honored Artist designation is one way the contests seek to bring additional recognition to laureates the organization deems especially worthy. First awarded in 2014, Honored Artists of The American Prize will now become an annual part of The American Prize contest activities, presented as New Year's Day honors.  

Previously inducted Honored Artists of The American Prize include: 

    •    Lee Actor, composer, Monte Sereno, CA
    •    Donald Appert, conductor, Vancouver, WA
    •    Jesse Ayers, composer, Canton, OH
    •    David Avshalomov, composer, Santa Monica, CA
    •    Robert Butts, conductor, Madison, NJ
    •    Peggy Dettwiler, conductor, Mansfield, PA
    •    Nancy Bloomer Deussen, composer, Mountain View, CA
    •    Jonathan Handman, conductor, LaGrangeville, NY
    •    David Sartor, composer and conductor, Hermitage, TN
    •    Robert Wendel, composer, New York, NY
    •    University of South Dakota Chamber Singers, David Holdhusen, director, Vermillion, SD
    •    "Re-choired Element" Chamber Choir of Linn-Benton Community College, James Reddan, director, Albany, OR


Honored Artists of The American Prize are awarded in memory of Maestro Katz's father, Abraham R. Katz, a gifted amateur musician, who died in 1999.




Oliver Caplan, composer and artistic director,
Medford, MA
Oliver Caplan
Award-winning American composer Oliver Caplan writes melodies that nourish our souls, offering a voice of hope in an uncertain world. Inspired by the resiliency of the human spirit and beauty of the natural world, his music celebrates stories of social justice, conservation and community. Mr. Caplan’s works have been performed in over 125 performances nationwide. He has been commissioned by the Atlanta Chamber Players, Bella Piano Trio, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Brookline Symphony Orchestra, Columbia University Wind Ensemble and New Hampshire Master Chorale, among others. Winner of a Special Citation for the American Prize in Orchestral Composition, additional recognitions include two Veridian Symphony Competition Wins, the Fifth House Ensemble Competition Grand Prize, seven ASCAP Awards, and fellowships at VCCA and the Brush Creek Foundation. Recordings of Mr. Caplan’s music include his 2017 release You Are Not Alone, which has been featured on Apple Music’s Classical A-list, 2012 debut album Illuminations and a track on the Sinfonietta of Riverdale’s 2016 album New World Serenade (Albany Records).

Mr. Caplan is the Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College and the Boston Conservatory, is a voting member of the Recording Academy, and resides in Medford, Massachusetts.


Gregory Fritze, composer, Daytona Beach Shores, FL
Gregory Fritze
Gregory Fritze is a prize-winning composer and Fulbright Scholar. His compositions have been performed more than one thousand times in twenty-six countries. He has written over ninety compositions for orchestra, band, chamber ensembles and soloists.  He won over sixty composition awards including First Prize in 2017 WASBE (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles) Composition Contest, First Prize Winner in Concurso Tenerife, Spain and others. Several professional ensembles have commissioned and played his music including the Rhode Island Philharmonic, The Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, The Banda Municipal of Madrid, and others. His music is published by several publishers in the US, South America and Europe and recorded on Albany Records, MSR Classics and others. He has been a guest lecturer at many universities and music festivals in the United States, Canada, Japan, South America and Europe. He taught at Berklee College of Music as Professor and Chair of Composition from 1979 to 2016. He has Composition degrees from the Boston Conservatory and Indiana University with Distinction. 


Tara Villa Keith, conductor, Davidson, NC
Tara Villa Keith
Tara Villa Keith is in her sixteenth season as music director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) in North Carolina and in her tenth season as music director of the Lee County Community Orchestra (LCCO) in Sanford, North Carolina. As an associate professor of music, she teaches a plethora of college courses and is a guest lecturer and clinician throughout the region. Tara also serves as a cover conductor and instructor for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony 101 adult education program. Tara has won national awards for her work with both the Davidson and Lee County orchestras, and has guest conducted orchestras throughout the south, northeast, and abroad. In 2008, she was the recipient of a League of American Orchestras Women Conductors Grant. Tara holds degrees from Franklin & Marshall College, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of South Carolina. Please visit her website at taravillakeith.com.  


Darren Lawson, stage director and producer,
Greenville, SC
Darren Lawson
Dr. Darren P. Lawson is dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.  He has a BA in Rhetoric and Public Address from Bob Jones University, an MA in Platform Arts from Bob Jones University, and PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas.  He is a member of the University Classic Players and has portrayed such roles as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Henry in King Henry IV, Duke of Buckingham in Richard III: The Terrible Reign, Bottom the Weaver in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macduff in Macbeth, Jaques in As You Like It, Feste in Twelfth Night, and many others.  He stage directs for the Bob Jones University Opera Association with productions including Little Women: The Broadway Musical, Aida, Samson et Dalila, Andrea Chenier, Mefistofele, L’Elisir d’Amore, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and Simeon.  http://www.bju.edu/events/fine-arts/concert-opera-drama/archive/ 


Susan Merdinger, pianist and chamber musician, Highland Park, IL
Susan Merdinger,
Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger has been internationally acclaimed in prestigious newspapers and journals for her stunning performances. Among her many honors, Merdinger is a two-time First Prize Winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in Professional Solo and Duo Piano, a two-time Gold Medalist of the Global Music Awards, Winner of Best Classical Album in the Clouzine international Music Awards, Winner of the Dewar’s Young Artists Award in Music, Winner of the Artists International Young Musicians Competition, and 2nd Prize Winner in the American Prize for Chamber Music. Performing her sold-out solo recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall at age twenty-four, Merdinger has continued to grace the stages of some of the world’s best concert halls. She has appeared as soloist with professional orchestras such as the Chicago Philharmonic, the State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, the Ridgewood Symphony, the Rockland Symphony and the Northbrook Symphony and has been a frequent Visiting Artist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series. Merdinger’s live performances and recordings have been broadcast worldwide on WQXR, WFMT, BRT-3 (Belgian National Radio), NPR and BBC Television. Merdinger received her formal education at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. She is on the Faculty of Summit Music Festival in New York, Burgos Music Festival in Spain, and is Founder and Artistic Director of Sheridan Music Studio LLC, The Five Greene, Sheridan Solisti, and Pianissimo! Ensemble. 


Judith Stillman, pianist and composer, Providence, RI
Judith Stillman
Judith Lynn Stillman holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Juilliard. Hailed by Wynton Marsalis as “remarkable, a consummate artist." Winner 18 competitions, Pell Award in the Arts; Artist-in-Residence and Professor at Rhode Island College, and an internationally-renowned composer, pianist, choral conductor.

Stillman's compositions have received extensive national media coverage: "breathtaking masterpiece," "Stillman's true genius shines... she reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly...transports us through darkness toward life and growth," "startlingly beautiful musical score."

World premieres at Lincoln Center, highlights include Marlboro, Tanglewood, Grammy's honoring Rostropovich, Artist-in-Residence in China, Russia, Czech Republic, Beijing's Central Conservatory, Prague Conservatory, Royal Conservatoire. Collaborators include Wynton Marsalis (duo album, SONY), Mark O'Connor, Richard Stoltzman, Herbie Hancock (BOSE commercial), members of NY Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Borromeo, Cassatt, Shanghai Quartets. 

As composer-filmmaker, winner Best Score, Best Multimedia Film, Best Music Video, Audience Choice Awards in international film festivals in NYC, LA and in the UK. 


William Vollinger, composer, Woodcliff Lake, NJ
William Vollinger
William Vollinger’s music is described as “3D: different, direct and deep.” His music is published by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, and Laurendale. Five works were editor's choices in the J.W. Pepper Catalogue. Recent premieres included Jackson State Symphony, San Francisco Choral Artists, Ridgewood Concert Band, Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic and Classic V Winds. Thirteen of his compositions have been nominated for the American Prize and two of his works “Stalin and the Little Girl” and “It Takes a Long Time to Grow up in New Jersey” received Judge's Citations.  


Allentown Band, Ronald Demkee, music director, Allentown, PA
Allentown Band, Ronald Demkee, music director
A prominent feature of nineteenth-century musical Americana was the concert band, and the Allentown Band has kept that tradition alive since 1828. Drawn from within a fifty-mile radius, the band’s musicians, as different as their backgrounds, share one common goal: to create and preserve concert band music at a level of excellence rarely heard from a community band.

All members of the Allentown Band approach their music-making in a professional manner, though none makes his or her living from music performance alone. Many, however, are teachers of music in schools and in private studios. Some teach a variety of subjects unrelated to music. Others are engaged in engineering, accounting, sales, insurance, medicine and dentistry, or in various office work or building trades. When they meet to perform, however, whether in a public park setting, retirement community, or in Carnegie Hall, both age and daytime vocation disappear. All effort is concentrated, striving for integrity, inspiration and impact whether performing an overture transcribed from opera, a modern composition written especially for concert band, or a Sousa march.

A typical Allentown Band schedule includes roughly forty-five yearly performances. The venue fluctuates, from concert stage to city park, from church picnic to university commencement, from Allentown’s Miller Symphony Hall to New York’s Carnegie Hall. The band realizes the importance of engaging and encouraging our youth, and is committed to Education Outreach, that includes annual free concerts for the greater Lehigh Valley’s elementary and middle school children and a yearly “Side-by-Side Concert,” where talented secondary-school student musicians perform a concert “side-by-side” with the band.

The Allentown Band is recognized worldwide, having appeared on Good Morning America, and The American Experience in a feature called “If You Knew Sousa;” and is heard regularly on radio both regionally and as far away as Sydney, Australia, on a program called “Music That’s Band.” The band has made four European concert tours, performing in Switzerland, Austria and France. The band has recorded 31 Volumes of “Our Band Heritage which have reached listeners in all 50 states and 24 countries.

The honors. awards and accolades accrued by the Allentown Band over the years at local, state and national levels, are too numerous to list here, so perhaps the City of Allentown’s “Arts Ovation Award” presented to the band “for significant contributions to the cultural life of the community” will provide a succinct if not comprehensive summary.

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