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The American Prize is pleased to announce SEMI-FINALIST choruses for 2017-18 in all categories. 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 complete results in the contest are announced officially. 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 Choral Performance—professional division,
2017-18

Jason Harris
Schola Cincinnati
Cincinnati OH

Wendy K. Moy & Jeremiah Selvey
Chorosynthesis Singers
Seattle WA

 

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—college/university division,  2017-18

Nicholle Andrews
University of Redlands Chapel Singers
Redlands CA

Donna M. Di Grazia
Pomona College Glee Club
Claremont CA

Lynda R. Hasseler
Capital University Chapel Choir
Columbus OH

Brandon Johnson
Eastern Michigan University Choir
Ypsilanti MI

Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Symphony and Cornell Chorus and Glee Club
Ithaca NY

Darren P. Lawson
BJU Choirs & Symphony with Rivertree Singers
Greenville SC
Warren Cook & Michael W. Moore, conductors

David Mann
Michigan State University Chamber Choir
East Lansing MI

Catherine Sailer
University of Denver Lamont Chorale
Denver CO

David Schildkret
Arizona State University Chamber Singers
Tempe AZ

Ethan Sperry
Portland State Chamber Choir
Portland OR

Alan Stevens
BucsWorth Men's Choir
Johnson City TN



SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—community division, 2017-18

Kevin Dibble
Camerata
Iowa City IA

Scott Hanoian
University Musical Society Choral Union
Ann Arbor MI

Karen Hart
Vox Femina Los Angeles
Los Angeles CA

Emily Isaacson
Oratorio Chorale
Brunswick ME

David A. McConnell
Vox Philia
Reading PA



SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—youth and high school  division, 2017-18

Debbie Aurelius-Muir
Olympia HS Concert Choir
Stanford IL

Shannon K. Carter
The HS for the Performing and Visual Arts Madrigal Singers
Houston TX

Jacob Cook
Youth Performing Arts School Chamber Choir
Louisville KY

John Cuk
Scarsdale High School Choir
Scarsdale NY

Andrew Dibble
Indian Springs School Concert Choir
Pelham AL

Karyn Joaquino
Brearley B-Naturals
New York NY

Chris Maunu
Arvada West HS Vocal Showcase
Arvada CO

Shawn M. Small
South Lebanon Elementary Chorus
Lebanon PA

Shawn M. Small
Fifth Avenue Falcons
Lebanon PA



***

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! Our ensemble has 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 the 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.


  

16 days ago |
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The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 SEMI-FINALIST conductors in orchestra divisions. (One candidate correction in category 2/8/18.) 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 complete results in the contest are announced officially. 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 orchestra division, 2017-18

Roberta Carpenter
Janacek Philharmonic
Ostrava Czech Republic

Orlando Cela
London Classical Soloists
London UK

Cheung Chau
Lublin Philharmonic / Hunan Symphony / Kielce Philharmonic
Lublin/Kielce Poland / Hunan China

Nse Ekpo
Pazardjik Symphony
Pazardjik Bulgaria

Charles Gambetta
Vidin Sinfonietta
Vidin Bulgaria

Chris Younghoon Kim
Ensemble X
Ithaca NY

Yutaka Kono
Burlington Chamber Orchestra
Burlington VT

Chia-Hsuan Lin
Richmond Symphony
Richmond VA

Enrico Lopez-Yanez
Omaha Symphony
Omaha NE

Mark Mandarano
Sinfonietta of Riverdale
New York NY

Paul Mauffray
Hradec Kralove Philharmonic
Hradec Kralove Czech Rep.

Chris David Westover
Longview Symphony Orchestra
Longview TX

Dean Whiteside
New World Symphony
Miami Beach FL

Julius P. Williams
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jamaica Plain MA


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university orchestra division, 2017-18

Reuben Blundell
The Hunter Symphony
New York NY

Mathias Elmer
University of Memphis Symphony
Memphis TN

Kevin M. Geraldi
UNCG Symphony Orchestrta and Choirs
Greensboro NC

James A. Holleman
Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra
Hillsdale MI

Chad Hutchinson
University Symphony Orchestra of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN

Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC

Danh T. Pham
Washington State University Symphony Orchestra
Pullman WA

Marguerite Richardson
Jacksonville University Orchestra
Jacksonville FL


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community orchestra division, 2017-18

Michael Avagliano
Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Branchburg NJ

Reuben Blundell
Chelsea Symphony / Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
New York NY / Lansdowne PA

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA

Anna Edwards
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle WA

Thomas E. Rainey
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra
Round Rock TX

Tara Villa Keith
Lee County Community Orchestra
Sanford NC

Walter Morales
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh PA

David P. Sartor
Parthenon Chamber Orchestra / Trevecca Symphony Orchestra
Nashville TN

Ty Turley-Trejo
Utah Philharmonic Orchestra
Riverton UT

Chris David
Westover Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra
North Newton KS



SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—youth  orchestra division, 2017-18

Ryan Murray
Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra
Modesto CA

Ulli Reiner
California Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra
San Diego CA

Brad Smith
The HS for the Performing and Visual Arts
Houston TX

Michael Webster
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX
SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—high school orchestra division, 2017-18

Katharine Hafner
Iolani Orchestra
Honolulu HI

Michael Isadore
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Sugar Land TX


***

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 several weeks. 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.


22 days ago |
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| Read Full Story
The American Prize is pleased to announce SEMI-FINALIST orchestras for 2017-18 in all categories. 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 complete results in the contest are announced officially. 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 Orchestral Performance—professional division,
2017-18

Sheila Evans
Allentown Symphony
Allentown PA
Diane Wittry, music director

Jonathan Griffith
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra
New York NY

Mark Mandarano
Sinfonietta of Riverdale
Bronx NY

 
SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—college/university division,  2017-18

Reuben Blundell
The Hunter Symphony
New York NY

Thomas Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK

Kevin M. Geraldi
UNCG Symphony Orchestra and Choirs
Greensboro NC

David Grandis
College of William & Mary Symphony Orchestra.
Williamsburg VA

Stephen Heyde
Baylor Symphony Orchestra
Waco TX

James A. Holleman
Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra
Hillsdale MI

Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC

Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Chamber Orchestra
Ithaca NY

Mark Mandarano
Macalester Symphony Orchestra
Saint Paul MN

Daniel O'Bryant
NAU Symphony
Flagstaff AZ

David A. Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA

Marguerite Richardson
Jacksonville University Orchestra
Jacksonville FL



SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—community orchestra division, 2017-18

Donald L. Appert
Clark College Orchestra
Vancouver WA

Donald L. Appert
Oregon Sinfonietta
Portland OR

Michael Avagliano
Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Branchburg NJ

Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA

Patricia Brown
Texas Medical Center Orchestra
Houston TX
Libi Lebel, conductor

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philarmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA

Anna Edwards
Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle WA

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

Tara Villa Keith
Lee County Community Orchestra
Sanford NC

Steve N. Lewis, Jr.
Midwest Chamber Ensemble
Prairie Village KS

Ulli Reiner
Poway Community Symphonette
Poway/San Diego CA

Charles Salembier
Waynesboro Symphony
Waynesboro VA
Peter Wilson, conductor

David P. Sartor
Parthenon Chamber Orchesttra
Nashville TN


SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—youth orchestra division, 2017-18

Jennifer Harrell
Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra
Knoxville TN
James Fellenbaum, conductor

Ralph T. Jackson
Bridle Path/Montgomery Select String Ensemble
Lansdale PA

Sarah Loudermilk
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX
Michael Webster, conductor

Joanne Walle
Oakland Youth Orchestras
Rochester MI
Zeljko Milicevic, conductor

Kelly Waltrip
Denver Young Artists Orchestra
Denver CO
Wes Kenney, conductor

Thomas Dickey
OSU String Academy
Stillwater OK

Enrique Lasansky
Denver School of the Arts Symphony
Denver CO



SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—high school orchestra division, 2017-18

Kalena Bovell
The Loomis Chaffee Orchestra
Windsor CT

David DeVoto
Allen HS Symphony Orchestra
Allen TX

Nse Ekpo
Lakeside School Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA

Katharine Hafner
Iolani Orchestra
Honolulu HI

Michael Isadore
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra
Sugar Land TX

Tanner Ledford
Klein Oak Symphony Orchestra
Spring TX

Matthew Moreno
Jasper Legacy Orchestra
Plano TX

Desiree Overree & John Mays
Seven Lakes HS Symphony Orchestra
Katy TX

Desiree Overree
Sinfonia Orchestra
Katy TX

Ulli Reiner
Poway Unified School District-Bernardo Heights
and Twin Peaks Middle School Orch.
Poway/San Diego CA


***

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! Our ensemble has 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 the 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.


  

22 days ago |
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The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song and oratorio), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university, community and high school divisions. Congratulations!

In an exceptionally competitive field of applicants, there were ties for several runners-up this year and two citation recipients. We wish all these TAP laureates great success in their future musical endeavors.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Kristina Bachrach   La Grange IL
Kristina Bachrach
Soprano Kristina Bachrach is emerging as a young artist confident in an extensive range of styles. In recent seasons she debuted with the New York Choral Society at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall. A frequent and beloved guest artist with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, she has performed nearly twenty concerts with them in music ranging from Schubert to Berg.

In recent seasons, Ms. Bachrach has fulfilled many prestigious artist residencies, including the Marlboro Music Festival,  Yellow Barn, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Banff Center, and the Lake George Music Festival. She enjoys a long-standing relationship with SongFest at Colburn, and has recorded songs of John Harbison for their premiere recording.

Kristina has performed leading and supporting roles with Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Naples, Lyric Opera of Virginia, Nashville Opera, and Thompson Street Opera Company. She is the winner of the Grand Prize from the inaugural Ziering Conlon Young Artist Competiton. https://www.kristinabachrach.com/


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Michelle Areyzaga   Rolling Meadows IL
Michelle Areyzaga
Soprano MICHELLE AREYZAGA has a particular love for the art song and chamber music repertoire.  Known for her expressive singing, she has given world premiers of songs by American composers such as Gwyneth Walker, Lita Grier, Lee Hoiby, William Ferris, Wayland Rogers and many others.  She has sung several seasons with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York Festival of Song, the Avalon Quartet, and The Chicago Ensemble.  She has been honored by the Julian Autrey Song Foundation and was named Chicago Artist of the Year by Pioneer Press.  She has appeared in leading roles with New York City Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, among others, and she has appeared with orchestras across the United States and abroad including Minnesota Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, the National Symphonies of Uruguay and Costa Rica, Colorado Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Philharmonia Orchestra of New York.  Please visit www.michelleareyzaga.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Stacey Mastrian   Seattle WA
Stacey Mastrian
Stacey Mastrian, a "sweet, shimmering soprano" (Washington Post) with “intensity, focus, and a warm, passionate sound” (New York Times), is a Fulbright Grantee and Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient.  She has performed at the Konzerthaus (Berlin), Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Teatro La Fenice, and at Carnegie Hall with the Chamber Orchestra of New York as winner of The Respighi Prize.  She has sung countless recitals across AZ, CA, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, VA, VT, WA, Berlin, Latina, Montréal, Rome, and Venice, and has been heard on Georgian National Radio singing Shostakovich songs.  Ms. Mastrian has been a scholarship recipient to SongFest and the winner of competitions such as the International Traxel Society and Vocal Arts DC Discovery Series.  She specializes in 20th century Italian vocal music.  www.staceymastrian.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Thea Lobo   Medford MA
Thea Lobo
Hailed as "excellent", "impeccable", "limpidly beautiful", and "stunning", Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo has recently performed with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Guerilla Opera, EnsembleNewSRQ, Emmanuel Music, and Sunshine City Opera. Ms. Lobo has appeared under conductors Gunther Schuller, Joshua Rifkin, Helmut Rilling, and Andris Nelsons, and has been featured by the Carmel Bach Festival, Handel + Haydn Society, The Bermuda Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart. Her dedication to new music, art song, and early music has seen her featured on True Concord's Grammy winning recording of Stephen Paulus's 'Prayers & Remembrances', invited to the Carmel Bach Festival as an Adams Fellow, a prizewinner at the Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers, a grant recipient of the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, a featured recitalist for the Boston Portuguese Festival, and performing as a soloist under the direction of composers Steve Reich, Christian Wolff, Louis Andriessen, and many others. www.TheaLobo.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Elisabeth Marshall   Portland ME
Elisabeth Marshall
Elisabeth Marshall was hailed by OPERA NEWS for her recording of James’ Kallembach’s Four Romantic Songs on Brooklyn Art Song Society’s 2015 album “New Voices”, and is a 2017 recipient of a Professional Fellowship to SongFest in Los Angeles, collaborating with Libby Larsen, among others. Solo engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and B minor Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Choral Fantasia with ensembles such as the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Portland and Bangor (ME) Symphony Orchestras, the Oregon Bach Festival, and Rochester Cathedral (England). Opera roles include Frasquita (Carmen), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Elisetta  (Il matrimonio segreto), and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro). Ensembles include the Lorelei Ensemble, Handel & Haydn Society, Wexford Festival Opera, London Philharmonia Chorus, Carmel Bach Festival, Festivalensemble Stuttgart, with conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, and Leonard Slatkin.  www.elisabethmarshall.com


Finalist: Special Judges' Citation: "Excellence in American Contemporary Vocal Music"
Ann Moss   Richmond CA
Ann Moss
Soprano Ann Moss is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music whose voice has been singled out for “beautifully pure floated high notes” (Opera News), “powerful expression” and “luminous tone” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her albums Love Life (Angels Share Records 2016) and Currents (ASR 2013), produced and recorded by multi-GRAMMY® award winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, feature premiere recordings of works by composers including Jake Heggie, John Thow and Liam Wade. She can also be heard on PARMA, Naxos, Albany, Navona and Jaded Ibis Productions labels. As co-founder and Artistic Director of new-music repertory group CMASH, Moss has has been personally responsible for the creation of over ninety works for solo voice. A native of Boston, she has lectured on composition and interpretation of contemporary song at institutions including MIT, NYU/Tisch, Longy School of Music, UC Davis, UofH Morse School and San Francisco Conservatory. www.annmosssoprano.com


Special Judges' Citation: "Excellence in Scandinavian Art Song"
Anna Hersey  Minnetonka MN
Anna Hersey
Hailed by critics as a “force of nature,” soprano Anna Hersey is a noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature and diction. Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, and conducted research at Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium, thanks to a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has presented her research on Scandinavian song at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the University of Copenhagen Center for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies. Dr. Hersey’s articles have been published in the Journal of Singing, VOICEPrints, and The Opera Journal. Carnegie Hall. Her first book, Scandinavian Art Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction and Repertoire was released by Rowman & Littlefield in September 2016. She is the newly-appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.


The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Lauren Elizabeth Walker   Bloomington IN
Lauren Elizabeth Walker
Lauren Walker is a mezzo-soprano from Bloomington, IN. She holds a BM in vocal performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2011) and an MM in vocal performance from Ball State University (2014). Lauren has been a finalist in numerous regional and national vocal competitions, including NATSAA, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the NY Lyric Opera Competition. She has been a featured soloist with the IUJSoM University Singers, the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Marion Philharmonic orchestras. Her prominent opera theater roles include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Carmen in the Bizet/Brook La Tragédie de Carmen, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. Lauren is currently pursuing her Doctor of Arts degree in vocal performance with a graduate assistantship at Ball State University under Dr. Mei Zhong. She also serves as adjunct voice faculty at Taylor University in Upland, IN.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Sarah Cooper   Lincoln MA
Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper, soprano, recently earned her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. From Lincoln, Massachusetts, Sarah completed her bachelor's degree in French at Princeton University, where she began her vocal studies with Rochelle Ellis and soloed with the Princeton University Glee Club. Now a student of Sharon Sweet, [Professor Sweet did not participate in the ranking or evaluation of this contestant.—DK], Sarah was a first-place winner in the 2016 Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the 2016 Westminster Choir College Voice Awards Competition. In January 2017, she performed her first mainstage role as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Westminster CoOPERAtive program. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. This summer, she will perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City.


2nd Place (there was a tie):  
Hailey McAvoy   Natick MA
Hailey McAvoy
Mezzo Soprano Hailey McAvoy is currently a senior at the Eastman School of Music, where she is pursuing a double major in vocal performance and musical arts. At Eastman, Hailey has performed on both the opera and concert stage, singing the roles of Zosha (Out of Darkenss, Heggie), Mrs. Soames (Our Town), The Abbess (Suor Angelica), Mother Superior (Mese Mariano), and The 6th Spirit (Cendrillon). In addition to opera, Hailey has appeared as a soloist in Haydn's Theresienmesse, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Berio's O King, Danyew’s Alcott Songs, and several premieres in collaboration with Eastman’s composition department. As a young recitalist, Hailey particularly loves German and American art song, and is working to champion the music of little-known American composer Hub Miller, whose songs she is studying extensively at Eastman. Outside of singing, Hailey loves philosophy, poetry, and nature walks. 


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Clare Demer   Tucson AZ
Clare Demer
Italian-American Soprano Clare Demer is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Arizona, where she has performed L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute. She has received training from the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art of Song program. Among her awards are two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Arizona, 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition, and 1st  prize in the Mari Nixon International Voice competition. She has twice won 2nd place in The American Prize Art Song Competition at the College/University level. This summer she will compete as a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Rachel Eve Holmes   Athens GA
Rachel Eve Holmes
Rachel Eve Holmes is a young soprano, recently described as, "expressive and subtle, with a stunning instrument." Rachel Eve has performed with Opera Lancaster, The Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Fort Collins, Capitol City Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Intermezzo Festival, Opera for the Young, La Musica Lirica, Loveland Opera Theatre, Fort Collins Symphony, Fresco Opera Theatre, Four Seasons Theatre, Children’s Theater of Madison, The Ralph Opera Center, The University of Georgia Symphony, and The New England Conservatory Opera Studio.

Holmes is the winner of the 2017 Ruth Kern Concerto Competition, the 2016 American Fine Arts Festival Romantic Music International Competition, the 2016 University of Georgia Concerto Competition, the 2016 Atlanta Music Clubs Competition, the 2015 American Protégé International Vocal Competition, the 2015 Roschel Vocal Competition, 2015 Schubert Club Competition, the 2014 Kenwood Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the 2012 WPR Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition, the 2011 Carnegie Hall Weill Hall Young Musicians Concert Competition, and the 2009-2012 Schuyler Grant for Career Bridges, NYC.




The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(community division)

The American Prize winner:
Deborah M. Connelly   Stratford CT
Deborah M. Connelly
A native of Stratford, Connecticut, Deborah Michele has pursued her passion for classical singing for 12 years.  In 2011, she won the American Fine Arts Festival’s Golden Voices competition in the adult, classical category.   Since then, she has sung numerous comedic roles with Trouper’s Light Opera including Giselle in The Red Mill, Celia in Iolanthe, Mrs. Partlet in The Sorcerer, and Daphne in Thespis.   Over the summer she played Ida in Taconic Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus, and singer #2 and chorus woman #2/3 in the world premiere opera In Bocca al Lupo also with Taconic Opera.  In addition, she made her dramatic acting debut as Madame de Volanges in a staged reading of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.   Most recently she was a soloist in a Christmas benefit for Calvary St. George Episcopal church in Bridgeport, CT.  She is humbled and gratified to be a winner of The American Prize competition.
 

2nd Place:
Samantha Isabell Gay   Oak Park IL
Samantha Isabell Gay
Ms. Gay has been an active musician for nineteen years. She began with ‘by ear’ piano at age 7; she studied formally with beloved teacher Virginia K. Folgers between 2001 and 2012. Ms. Gay joined the St. Edmund School children's choir in 1999, singing and playing liturgical bells until 2004. In 2006, she began more focused chamber choir studies at Trinity High School, earning two solos and a spot with the school's 6-girl ensemble, 'Le Ragazze'. Ms. Gay then attended Brown University, where she made the University Choir and sang as an alto until graduation. At Brown, she also studied with choral director Louis Frederick Jodry V, earning two aria features in her senior year. Ms. Gay has studied with Christine Steyer since 2013, and she has returned to St. Edmund’s as a volunteer Cantor. Professionally, Ms. Gay works as an immigration paralegal, and will attend graduate school this fall.


3rd Place:
Shana Evans Bassett   Atlanta GA
Shana Evans Bassett
Atlanta-based Mezzo Soprano Shana Evans Bassett has recently made a return to vocal performance after several years away from music.  A member and featured soloist with the noted women's a capella group Noteworthy at the University of Georgia from 1997-1999, she spent several years working in education and raising a family before returning to her vocal studies in 2016.  Ms. Bassett is a student of the well-known voice instructor Sharon Forrester-Stephenson and is a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  Additionally, she is a section leader and featured soloist at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta and a Staff Cantor at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church.  Ms. Bassett continues to pursue professional and volunteer opportunities as a vocalist in opera and on the concert stage, and is excited to see where her budding career in music will lead.



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Amalia Crevani   Milford NJ
Amalia Crevani
Amalia studies voice at the Juilliard Pre-College Program with Lorraine Nubar. This year Amalia was the 1st Place Winner for New York Lyric Opera Theatre National Vocal Competition (performance Broadway Symphony Space) and received the Paper Mill Playhouse nomination for “Outstanding Performance as an Actress in a Leading Role” for 9 to 5: The Musical (Judy Bernly). Earlier, she won 3rd place winner at the Schmidt Vocal Competition and 1st place in the International Great Composer Competition for Rossini.  Last year Amalia placed 1st in the 2016 Rondo Vanguard Competition (Performance Carnegie Hall) and was a Merit Winner for Young Arts. At 15, Amalia won 1st place for the Hal Leonard National Vocal Competition (Music Theatre) and received the “Paper Mill Playhouse Outstanding Performance as an Actress in a Leading Role” (Anything Goes- Reno Sweeney- Honorable Mention). Amalia has performed with the Hunterdon Symphony, in local operas and community theatre, and as a National Anthem singer. Her training has included many summer vocal programs the most recent being the Academie Internationale d’Ete de Nice, France, where she studied with Lorraine Nubar and Dalton Baldwin.  Amalia also studies piano, composition, acting, and dance.


2nd Place:
Mary Elizabeth Adler   Bellevue WA
Mary Elizabeth Adler
Mary Elizabeth Adler, soprano, is a junior in high school in Bellevue, Washington.  She has been studying classical voice under Nancy Zylstra for over six years.  She has won numerous awards in classical vocal competitions locally, at the state level, and nationally including: The Schmidt Competition, Hal Leonard, The Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside, and Musicfest Northwest. In 2016, she won the "Special Career Encouragement Citation" from The American Prize. She sings in St. James Cathedral Young Women's Choir also serving as a Cantor as well as the Seattle Opera's STUDIO Program.  She is a cellist, performing in her high school's top orchestra.  She is the Captain of her Varsity Badminton Team, and President of the Biology Club.  She recently won 1st Place in the Central Sound Regional Science and Engineering Fair (Animal and Plants category) with her research in, "Investigating the Relationship Between Local Bird Syrinx Structure and Their Phylogenetic Status Using Cladogram Analysis."  She will be taking her project to compete at the State Competition.


3rd Place
Alexandra Taylor   Naples FL
Alexandra Taylor
Alexandra Taylor, soprano, is from Naples, Florida. She has taken voice lessons since she was fifteen and has won numerous local and national competitions.  Alexandra has performed with Opera Naples since she was twelve years old and has sung in the chorus in the following productions: Carmen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, Pirates of Penzance, Il Pagliacci, Rudigore, Patience, Tosca, HMS Pinafore, The Magic Flute, and Turandot. She has also performed as a soloist in many of the Opera Naples concerts. She won First Place in the 2016 Tampa Bay NATS competition in the classical high school division. She was a Naples Music Club scholarship competition winner in 2015 and 2016, a first place winner in the Calusa Musicale Clara Blood Award Auditions in 2016, and was also a scholarship recipient of the Ruth DeMaster Scholarship through the Fort Myers Mastersingers. Alexandra was the first place winner in the American Prize Competition in the 2016 High School Opera/Operetta division. She earned an Encouragement Award in the 2017 Schmidt Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2017 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and her high school’s Key Club and Drama Club. She has passed the pre-screening rounds of numerous prestigious conservatories.  She was invited to audition at The Juilliard School, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes School of Music.  

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Congratulations!
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The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song and oratorio), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in the professional and college/university divisions. Congratulations! (We are awaiting acceptances in the high school and community divisions and will announce those results as soon as they are available.—DK)

In an exceptionally competitive field of applicants, there were ties for several runners-up this year and two citation recipients. We wish all these TAP laureates great success in their future musical endeavors.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Kristina Bachrach   La Grange IL
Kristina Bachrach
Soprano Kristina Bachrach is emerging as a young artist confident in an extensive range of styles. In recent seasons she debuted with the New York Choral Society at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall. A frequent and beloved guest artist with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, she has performed nearly twenty concerts with them in music ranging from Schubert to Berg.

In recent seasons, Ms. Bachrach has fulfilled many prestigious artist residencies, including the Marlboro Music Festival,  Yellow Barn, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Banff Center, and the Lake George Music Festival. She enjoys a long-standing relationship with SongFest at Colburn, and has recorded songs of John Harbison for their premiere recording.

Kristina has performed leading and supporting roles with Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Naples, Lyric Opera of Virginia, Nashville Opera, and Thompson Street Opera Company. She is the winner of the Grand Prize from the inaugural Ziering Conlon Young Artist Competiton. https://www.kristinabachrach.com/


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Michelle Areyzaga   Rolling Meadows IL
Michelle Areyzaga
Soprano MICHELLE AREYZAGA has a particular love for the art song and chamber music repertoire.  Known for her expressive singing, she has given world premiers of songs by American composers such as Gwyneth Walker, Lita Grier, Lee Hoiby, William Ferris, Wayland Rogers and many others.  She has sung several seasons with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York Festival of Song, the Avalon Quartet, and The Chicago Ensemble.  She has been honored by the Julian Autrey Song Foundation and was named Chicago Artist of the Year by Pioneer Press.  She has appeared in leading roles with New York City Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, among others, and she has appeared with orchestras across the United States and abroad including Minnesota Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, the National Symphonies of Uruguay and Costa Rica, Colorado Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Philharmonia Orchestra of New York.  Please visit www.michelleareyzaga.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Stacey Mastrian   Seattle WA
Stacey Mastrian
Stacey Mastrian, a "sweet, shimmering soprano" (Washington Post) with “intensity, focus, and a warm, passionate sound” (New York Times), is a Fulbright Grantee and Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient.  She has performed at the Konzerthaus (Berlin), Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Teatro La Fenice, and at Carnegie Hall with the Chamber Orchestra of New York as winner of The Respighi Prize.  She has sung countless recitals across AZ, CA, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, VA, VT, WA, Berlin, Latina, Montréal, Rome, and Venice, and has been heard on Georgian National Radio singing Shostakovich songs.  Ms. Mastrian has been a scholarship recipient to SongFest and the winner of competitions such as the International Traxel Society and Vocal Arts DC Discovery Series.  She specializes in 20th century Italian vocal music.  www.staceymastrian.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Thea Lobo   Medford MA
Thea Lobo
Hailed as "excellent", "impeccable", "limpidly beautiful", and "stunning", Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo has recently performed with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Guerilla Opera, EnsembleNewSRQ, Emmanuel Music, and Sunshine City Opera. Ms. Lobo has appeared under conductors Gunther Schuller, Joshua Rifkin, Helmut Rilling, and Andris Nelsons, and has been featured by the Carmel Bach Festival, Handel + Haydn Society, The Bermuda Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart. Her dedication to new music, art song, and early music has seen her featured on True Concord's Grammy winning recording of Stephen Paulus's 'Prayers & Remembrances', invited to the Carmel Bach Festival as an Adams Fellow, a prizewinner at the Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers, a grant recipient of the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, a featured recitalist for the Boston Portuguese Festival, and performing as a soloist under the direction of composers Steve Reich, Christian Wolff, Louis Andriessen, and many others. www.TheaLobo.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Elisabeth Marshall   Portland ME
Elisabeth Marshall
Elisabeth Marshall was hailed by OPERA NEWS for her recording of James’ Kallembach’s Four Romantic Songs on Brooklyn Art Song Society’s 2015 album “New Voices”, and is a 2017 recipient of a Professional Fellowship to SongFest in Los Angeles, collaborating with Libby Larsen, among others. Solo engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and B minor Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Choral Fantasia with ensembles such as the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Portland and Bangor (ME) Symphony Orchestras, the Oregon Bach Festival, and Rochester Cathedral (England). Opera roles include Frasquita (Carmen), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Elisetta  (Il matrimonio segreto), and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro). Ensembles include the Lorelei Ensemble, Handel & Haydn Society, Wexford Festival Opera, London Philharmonia Chorus, Carmel Bach Festival, Festivalensemble Stuttgart, with conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, and Leonard Slatkin. www.elisabethmarshall.com


Finalist: Special Judges' Citation: "Excellence in American Contemporary Vocal Music"
Ann Moss   Richmond CA
Ann Moss
Soprano Ann Moss is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music whose voice has been singled out for “beautifully pure floated high notes” (Opera News), “powerful expression” and “luminous tone” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her albums Love Life (Angels Share Records 2016) and Currents (ASR 2013), produced and recorded by multi-GRAMMY® award winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, feature premiere recordings of works by composers including Jake Heggie, John Thow and Liam Wade. She can also be heard on PARMA, Naxos, Albany, Navona and Jaded Ibis Productions labels. As co-founder and Artistic Director of new-music repertory group CMASH, Moss has has been personally responsible for the creation of over ninety works for solo voice. A native of Boston, she has lectured on composition and interpretation of contemporary song at institutions including MIT, NYU/Tisch, Longy School of Music, UC Davis, UofH Morse School and San Francisco Conservatory. www.annmosssoprano.com


Special Judges' Citation: "Excellence in Scandinavian Art Song"
Anna Hersey  Minnetonka MN
Anna Hersey
Hailed by critics as a “force of nature,” soprano Anna Hersey is a noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature and diction. Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, and conducted research at Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium, thanks to a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has presented her research on Scandinavian song at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the University of Copenhagen Center for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies. Dr. Hersey’s articles have been published in the Journal of Singing, VOICEPrints, and The Opera Journal. Carnegie Hall. Her first book, Scandinavian Art Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction and Repertoire was released by Rowman & Littlefield in September 2016. She is the newly-appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.


The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Lauren Elizabeth Walker   Bloomington IN
Lauren Elizabeth Walker
Lauren Walker is a mezzo-soprano from Bloomington, IN. She holds a BM in vocal performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2011) and an MM in vocal performance from Ball State University (2014). Lauren has been a finalist in numerous regional and national vocal competitions, including NATSAA, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the NY Lyric Opera Competition. She has been a featured soloist with the IUJSoM University Singers, the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Marion Philharmonic orchestras. Her prominent opera theater roles include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Carmen in the Bizet/Brook La Tragédie de Carmen, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. Lauren is currently pursuing her Doctor of Arts degree in vocal performance with a graduate assistantship at Ball State University under Dr. Mei Zhong. She also serves as adjunct voice faculty at Taylor University in Upland, IN.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Sarah Cooper   Lincoln MA
Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper, soprano, recently earned her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. From Lincoln, Massachusetts, Sarah completed her bachelor's degree in French at Princeton University, where she began her vocal studies with Rochelle Ellis and soloed with the Princeton University Glee Club. Now a student of Sharon Sweet, [Professor Sweet did not participate in the ranking or evaluation of this contestant.—DK], Sarah was a first-place winner in the 2016 Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the 2016 Westminster Choir College Voice Awards Competition. In January 2017, she performed her first mainstage role as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Westminster CoOPERAtive program. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. This summer, she will perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City.


2nd Place (there was a tie):  
Hailey McAvoy   Natick MA
Hailey McAvoy
Mezzo Soprano Hailey McAvoy is currently a senior at the Eastman School of Music, where she is pursuing a double major in vocal performance and musical arts. At Eastman, Hailey has performed on both the opera and concert stage, singing the roles of Zosha (Out of Darkenss, Heggie), Mrs. Soames (Our Town), The Abbess (Suor Angelica), Mother Superior (Mese Mariano), and The 6th Spirit (Cendrillon). In addition to opera, Hailey has appeared as a soloist in Haydn's Theresienmesse, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Berio's O King, Danyew’s Alcott Songs, and several premieres in collaboration with Eastman’s composition department. As a young recitalist, Hailey particularly loves German and American art song, and is working to champion the music of little-known American composer Hub Miller, whose songs she is studying extensively at Eastman. Outside of singing, Hailey loves philosophy, poetry, and nature walks. 


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Clare Demer   Tucson AZ
Clare Demer
Italian-American Soprano Clare Demer is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Arizona, where she has performed L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute. She has received training from the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art of Song program. Among her awards are two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Arizona, 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition, and 1st  prize in the Mari Nixon International Voice competition. She has twice won 2nd place in The American Prize Art Song Competition at the College/University level. This summer she will compete as a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Rachel Eve Holmes   Athens GA
Rachel Eve Holmes
Rachel Eve Holmes is a young soprano, recently described as, "expressive and subtle, with a stunning instrument." Rachel Eve has performed with Opera Lancaster, The Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Fort Collins, Capitol City Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Intermezzo Festival, Opera for the Young, La Musica Lirica, Loveland Opera Theatre, Fort Collins Symphony, Fresco Opera Theatre, Four Seasons Theatre, Children’s Theater of Madison, The Ralph Opera Center, The University of Georgia Symphony, and The New England Conservatory Opera Studio.

Holmes is the winner of the 2017 Ruth Kern Concerto Competition, the 2016 American Fine Arts Festival Romantic Music International Competition, the 2016 University of Georgia Concerto Competition, the 2016 Atlanta Music Clubs Competition, the 2015 American Protégé International Vocal Competition, the 2015 Roschel Vocal Competition, 2015 Schubert Club Competition, the 2014 Kenwood Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the 2012 WPR Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition, the 2011 Carnegie Hall Weill Hall Young Musicians Concert Competition, and the 2009-2012 Schuyler Grant for Career Bridges, NYC.



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Congratulations!
24 days ago |
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The American Prize is very pleased to announce SEMI-FINALISTS for the ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, 2017-18 in all divisions. Congratulations!

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.

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 complete results in the contest are announced officially. 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.


The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, semi-finalists, PROFESSIONAL division, 2017-18

In most cases, and especially for those applicants who entered with multiple works, only the applicant, organization, city and state are listed.


Aaron Alter
New Mexico Bach Society Chorale
Santa Fe NM


Heather C. Barclay
Palomar/YPO Percussion Ensemble
San Diego CA
   Mercury Rising—Nathan Daughtrey  


Reuben Blundell
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Brooklyn NY


Luke Cissell
New York NY
   String Quintet—Luke Cissell  


Nse Ekpo
Pazardjik Symphony Orchestra
Pazardjik Bulgaria
   Lyric for Strings—George Walker  


Richard Gordon Flauding
Richard Flauding Studio Orchestra
Arlington TX  


Rebecca Grimes
Lone Star Lyric Opera
Houston TX  


Michael S. Horwood
Sinfonia Varsovia
Warsaw Poland
   Intravariations— Horwood


Roger McVey
pianist
Moscow ID
   Suite From the Cloud Forest (1992)—Eric Ewazen  


Ryan Murray
Townsend Opera
Modesto CA  


Christopher Nichols
clarinet
Newark DE  


Phoenix Park-Kim
Soprani Compagni
Marion IN  


William Popp
composer, accordion
Denver CO


Sarah Richardson
soprano
Milwaukee WI  


Peter Seivewright
Glasgow Scotland
   Piano Sonata "Keltic"—MacDowell


Christine Steyer
soprano
Oak Park IL


Hainu Tan
composer
Ablaze Records
Boston MA


Nick Vasallo
Elevate Ensemble and ZOFO Duet
San Francisco CA  


Ann Marie Wilcox-Daehn
Ann Maire Wilcox-Daehn and Elizabeth Avery
Springfield MO
   The Forgotten Songs of Sergius Kagen 


Rain Worthington
Missouri State University Symphony
Springfield MO  


Giselle Wyers
Solaris Vocal Ensemble
Seattle WA


Judith Lang Zaimont
Elizabeth Moak, pianist
Hattiesburg MS
   Sonata for Piano: Nocturne—La fin de siecle—Zaimont



The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, semi-finalists, COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY division, 2017-18

In most cases, and especially for those applicants who entered with multiple works, only the applicant, organization, city and state are listed.

Micheal Barnes
Norman OK
   Tongue and Groove—Robert Paterson  


Jennifer Bellor
UNLV Wind Orchestra
Las Vegas NV
   Bordello Nights—Jennifer Bellor  


Rod N. Chestnutt
FGCU Wind Orchestra
Fort Myers FL
   Concertino for Tenor Saxaphone—James Hovlik  


Jessica Crowell
Malone University Opera Theater
Canton OH
   Beneath Suspicion—Jesse Ayers  


Thomas Dickey
Oklahoma State University. Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK  


Natalie Dietterich
Yale Camerata
New Haven CT
   conversations with strangers—Natalie Dietterich
  

Natalie Dietterich
Yale Philharmonia 
New Haven CT
   aeolian dust—Natalie Dietterich  


David Hahn
Eastman Repertory Singers
Rochester NY  


Lynda Hasseler
Capital University Chapel Choir and Choral Union
Columbus OH


Jesse Henkensiefken
Kansas Wesleyan University String Orchestra
Salina KS
   Strings and Threads Suite—Mark O'Connor


Stephen Heyde
Baylor Symphony Orchestra
Waco TX


Inmo Kang
University of SC Symphony Orchestra
West Columbia SC
   Symphonette No. 2—Morton Gould  


Christopher Kelts
Missouri State University Symphony
Springfield MO
   Tracing a Dream—Rain Worthington  


Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Orchestra
Ithaca NY
   Clarinet Concerto—Joan Tower  


William L. Lake, Jr.
University of NC at Greensboro Casella Sinfonietta Chamber Ensemble
Greensboro NC  


Harris Malasky
NEC Symphonic Winds
Boston MA  


Vaibhav Mohanty
Cambridge MA
   Rhapsody No. 1—Vaibhav Mohanty  


Zachary Ploeger
composer
Kalamazoo MI  


Marguerite Richardson
Jacksonville University Orchestra
Jacksonville FL
   Piano Concerto, Symphony No. 2—Howard Hanson  


Corinne Rydman
San Francisco CA  
   Art Songs by Florence Price

Catherine Sailer
Universitty of Denver Lamont Chorale
Denver CO


Jennifer Trost
The PSU Piano Quartet
State College PA
   Beethoven's Slippers: A Monodrama—Judith Cloud  


Adam Waller
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Baltimore MD


Chris David Westover
Denison University New Music Ensemble
Granville OH  


Chee Weng Yim
Frost Chamber Winds/Frost Wind Ensemble
Coral Gables FL



The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, semi-finalists, COMMUNITY division, 2017-18

In most cases, and especially for those applicants who entered with multiple works, only the applicant, organization, city and state are listed.

Donald L. Appert
Clark College Orchestra
Vancouver WA
   Sacred Song Cycle—Appert


Donald L. Appert
Oregon Sinfonietta
Vancouver WA
   Concerto for Viola and Orchestra—Appert


Patricia Brown
Texas Medical Center Orchestra
Houston TX
   Appalachian Spring—Copland 


Otter Dreaming
composer
Decorah IA


John B. Gordon / Thomas Rainey
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra
Round Rock TX
   Gershwin & All That Jazz   


William P. Gorton
Members of Philadelphia Orchestra & friends
NJ Master Chorale, Philadelphia Boys Choir
Haddonfield NJ   


Darrell J. Jordan
Vox Nova
Columbia MO


Walter Morales
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh PA   


Nicholas Simonelli
The Putnam Chorale, Ltd.
Carmel NY
   Casey at the Bat—William Schuman 



The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, semi-finalists, YOUTH & HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA division, 2017-18

In most cases, and especially for those applicants who entered with multiple works, only the applicant, organization, city and state are listed.

Michael Isadore
Dulles HS Honors Orchestra  
Sugar Land TX


Robert Truan
Decatur HS Wind Ensemble
Decatur GA  


Robert Boardman
South Bend Youth Symphony
South Bend IN
   Motown Dreamer—Jorge Muniz


Carolyn Watson
Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra
Interlochen MI
   The Improvised Violin Concerto—Mark O'Connor


Carolyn Watson
Conservatorium HS Symphony
Sydney Australia
   Star Wars Suite—John Williams




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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 ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD in the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, 2017-18. 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.
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The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST composers of works for band / wind ensemble in professional and student division. 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.

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.

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

We invite 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.


The American Prize in Composition—Band / Wind Ensemble (professional division), 2017-18

 Robert Denham   La Mirada CA
    Gregory Blues (concert band)

Gregory Fritze   Daytona Beach Shores FL
    Con-Tse-To; An American in Valencia; Vadit Super Pozolum

Warren Gooch   Kirksville MO
    Cellgames 2.0

B.P. Herrington   Conroe TX
    Verses from the Thicket

Jennifer Jolley   Delaware OH
    The Eyes of the World Are Upon You

Daniel McCarthy   Akron OH
    KraftHammer, Symphonic Winds (Band)

Craig Thomas Naylor   Kalispell MT
    Kiai!  

Mark W. Phillips   Athens OH
    Breaking News

William Vollinger   Woodcliff Lake NJ
    "It Takes a Long Time to Grow Up in New Jersey"

Judith Lang Zaimont   Maricopa AZ
    GROWLER


The American Prize in Composition—Band / Wind Ensemble (student division), 2017-18

 Tyler Bouque   Troy MI
    Love Speaks

Christopher Lowry   Antioch TN
    "A Cypress Prelude Opus 16a" "Celebration Overture, Opus No.1"

Seth M. Wright   Oklahoma City OK
    Divergent Winds


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We encourage 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.

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The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST composers in the OPERA/THEATER/FILM/DANCE division. 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.

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.

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

We invite 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.

The American Prize in Composition—OPERA/THEATER/FILM/DANCE, professional division, 2017-18—FINALISTS

Jesse Ayers   Canton OH
    Beneath Suspicion 

Jennifer Bellor   Las Vegas NV
    From My Doleful Prison 

William David Cooper   Cambridge MA
    Hagar and Ishmael

Karim Elmahmoudi   Los Angeles CA
    Nightfall Suite 

Jocelyn Hagen   Plymouth MN
    Test Pilot 

Frank LaRocca   Oakland CA A
    Rose in Winter—the Life of St. Rita of Cascia

William Vollinger   Woodcliff Lake NJ
    Duck Girl (an imaginary interview) 


The American Prize in Composition—OPERA/THEATER/FILM/DANCE, student division, 2017-18—FINALISTS

Olga Amelkina-Vera   Plano TX
    All That Glitters 

Michele Cheng   San Jose CA
    To Be Heard X Unheard—An Interdisciplinary Experimental Music Theatre

Lucas Marshall Smith   New London OH
    A Psalm of Silence: An Opera in One Act


***


We encourage 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 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 winners 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 finalists.
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The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST composers in the pops / light music division. Congratulations!

The American Prize in Composition—Pops / Light Music, is a new contest this year; there were only a few applicants. The three advanced to the final round are listed below. The contest will be held again in 2018-19, open to composers of works for band, chorus, or orchestra written in a pops / light music style.

As the contests unfold, 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.

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.

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

We invite 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.

The American Prize in Composition—Pops / Light Music, 2017-18
FINALISTS

Delvyn Case   Quincy MA
    Rocket Sleigh

Huei Li Lam   Brooklyn NY
    The Unknown Bell

Gregory Yasinitsky   Pullman WA
    Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra


*** 

We encourage 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 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 winners 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 finalists.





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The American Prize is honored to announce the winners & runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

In an exceptionally qualified field of applicants, there were ties for several runners-up slots this year, and an unprecedented tie for first place (The American Prize winner) in the college/university division. We wish all these TAP laureates great success in their future musical endeavors.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Meredith Mecum   Bronx NY  
Meredith Mecum
Meredith Mecum, praised for her “soaring soprano”, has been awarded a Grant from the Solti Foundation, Second Place in the Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music, and an Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition. At the Merola Opera Program in the summer of 2015, Ms. Mecum performed in the Schwabacher Summer Concert and Merola Grand Finale, singing excerpts from Susannah (Susannah), Die Walküre (Brünnhilde) and The Queen of Spades (Lisa). Other performances include Una Coèfora and cover of Clitennestra (Cassandra) with Teatro Grattacielo, Clara Schumann (Clara) with Cutting Edge Concerts, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with The Banff Centre Opera, Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with Opera New Jersey, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) with Prelude to Performance, and Rose Segal in John Musto's Later the Same Eveningat Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Mecum is a graduate of Penn State University and Manhattan School of Music.  More information is available at www.meredithmecum.com.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Chelsea Basler   Waltham MA
Chelsea Basler
Grammy Award-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler continues to make her mark in an extensive array of operatic roles due to her unique combination of vocal appeal and artistry.  Praised for her "luminous voice" with its "easy soaring range", she has also been noted for her "wonderful acting" and ultimately deemed "simply superb".  Ms. Basler enjoys a particularly strong relationship with Boston Lyric Opera, which she initially joined as an Emerging Artist during the 2013–2014 season.  In the autumn of 2017, Ms. Basler will rejoin Boston Lyric Opera in their collaborative project with Music Theatre Group to present the world premiere of Mark Campbell and Julian Grant's new opera The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, in which she will create the role of Margery Campbell. She will also be making her Nashville Opera debut as the title role in Susannah. www.chelseabasler.com


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Maggie Finnegan   Winchester MA
Maggie Finnegan
Hailed by Opera News for her 'strong voice and noteworthy acting prowess,' Maggie Finnegan is a versatile soprano, singing repertoire spanning from medieval to contemporary. She was awarded the S&R Foundation's Washington Prize and last June made her Kennedy Center debut as First and Audience Prize winner at the Washington International Competition for Voice. She has premiered operas with The American Chamber Opera Company,Vital Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera and the Juventas New Music Ensemble. Solo performances this season include debuts with Boston Lyric Opera's Signature Series, City Choir of Washington, The New Dominion Chorale, The Avanti Orchestra and the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival in South Korea. She has performed with Paper Mill Playhouse, The Metropolitan Opera Guild School Programs Tour and The Metropolitan Opera Chorus. She splits her time between New York City and Boston, where she shares a home with her partner and her three step-kids. www.maggiefinnegansoprano.com.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Christine Lyons   Baltimore MD
Christine Lyons
Praised as “especially moving” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and as a “sparkling soprano” by the Broad Street Review, Christine Lyons enthralls audiences with her fearless presence and creative approach. Most recently, she was the featured artist on WWFM Classical as a part of their “Celebrating Our Musical Future” live radio program. Upcoming performances include several company debuts as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Berkshire Opera Festival and Micaëla in Opera Ithaca’s production of Carmen. Highlights of previous seasons include Manon in Massenet’s Manon at the Liederkranz Foundation and at Carnegie Hall, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung at Symphony Space and at the historic Modell Lyric Opera House, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Sant’Anna dei Lombardi in Naples, Italy, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Racontes d’Hoffmann with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Lincoln Center. Orchestral and concert engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Marin Alsop, Frasquita in Carmen alongside Denyce Graves and performances with Lyric Fest alongside distinguished pianist Laura Ward. Appearing extensively in music theater, Ms. Lyons performed in a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and has portrayed Sheila in A Chorus Line, Alice’s Daughter in Big River, GiGi in Miss Saigon, and Anne in A Little Night Music with companies including Portland Center Stage, Pittsburgh Music Theater, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Theater of the Stars and Goodspeed Opera House.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Susan Wheeler   Burke VA
Susan Wheeler
American Soprano Susan Wheeler is a dynamic operatic and concert performer, and a trained Equity actress. Her fiery vocalism and dramatic intensity have drawn comparisons with singers of the golden Bel Canto era. Susan made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 (Mozart Requiem, Dvorák Te Deum). In 2015 and 2014 Susan toured Italy and Sicily as Mimi, Violetta and the Countess in concerts with former Metropolitan Opera artists, with the Mediterranean Opera Festival. In concert, she has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (Cunegonde, Maria); Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Papagena); and Piedmont Symphony Orchestra (Cunegonde). Ms. Wheeler’s opera performances include Olympia, Antonia, and Giulietta (Augusta Opera); Norina (Opera Vivente); Valencienne (Maryland Lyric); and Gretel (Des Moines Metro Opera).  Ms. Wheeler’s chamber group, Third Millennium Ensemble, has been featured on National Public Radio, the Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, and prestigious art galleries along the East coast, in contemporary American works.



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner 
(there was an unprecedented tie for first place):
Sarah Cooper  Lincoln MA
Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper, soprano, recently earned her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. From Lincoln, Massachusetts, Sarah completed her bachelor's degree in French at Princeton University, where she began her vocal studies with Rochelle Ellis and soloed with the Princeton University Glee Club. Now a student of Sharon Sweet [Professor Sweet did not participate in the ranking or evaluation of this contestant.—DK], Sarah was a first-place winner in the 2016 Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the 2016 Westminster Choir College Voice Awards Competition.  In January 2017, Sarah performed her first mainstage role as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Westminster CoOPERAtive program. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. This summer, she will perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City.


The American Prize winner 
(there was an unprecedented tie for first place):
Kellie Motter   Bloomington IN
Kellie Motter
A native of Atlanta, GA., soprano Kellie Motter is a graduate student Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Carol Vaness. With IU Opera Theatre, Kellie has performed the roles of Marie (La fille du régiment), Despina (Così fan tutte), and Morgana (Alcina). Other opera credits include the roles of Galatea (Acis & Galatea), La Fée (Cendrillon) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). In 2016, Kellie was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She joined Central City Opera as a Studio Artist for their 2017 season, covering Frasquita in Carmen. As a concert soloist, she has been featured in Carissimi’s Jepthe, Handel’s Messiah, Steve Reich’s Tehillim, the requiems of Brahms and Fauré, and in numerous works by J. S. Bach. Recently, Kellie was named a 2017 Georgia District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Previous mentors include Delores Ziegler and Elizabeth Colson.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Clare Demer   Tucson AZ

Clare Demer
Italian-American Soprano Clare Demer is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Arizona, where she has performed L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute. She has received training from the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art of Song program. Among her awards are two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Arizona, 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition, and 1st  prize in the Mari Nixon International Voice competition. She has twice won 2nd place in The American Prize Art Song Competition at the College/University level. This summer she will compete as a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Kali Hardwick   Nevada City CA
Kali Hardwick
Kali Hardwick, soprano, is from California and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Vocal Arts at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studies with Elizabeth Ritchie and Ingrid Surgenor. Her operatic roles include Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Marenka in Smetena’s The Bartered Bride, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, L'Ensoleillad in Massenet’s Chérubin, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She has performed with Long Beach Opera (where she sang in the US premier of Philip Glass's The Perfect American), Bob Cole Conservatory Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin in Italy, and Fullerton College Opera. Outside of opera, Kali has been featured as the soprano soloist for Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Bob Cole Conservatory Orchestra, as well as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart's Coronation Mass with the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale. She has won a number of awards, including scholarships from the California Women's Chorus, The New Century Singers, the Fine Arts Affiliates, The Nevada Union Choir Boosters, and numerous other organizations. Kali holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from CSU Long Beach (2017), where she was honored as the Outstanding Graduate of the College of the Arts last May.
3rd PLACE:
Theodora Ivanova Nestorova   Acton MA
Theodora Ivanova Nestorova
Hailing from Bulgaria and born in Britain, soprano Theodora Ivanova Nestorova is in her third year of Voice Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying with Lorraine Manz. Miss Nestorova has performed Oberto in Handel’s Alcina (Oberlin Opera Theater) and Amore in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Oberlin in Italy). She has participated in Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute, and was a soloist in Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along (Credo Music) and Haydn’s The Creation (Oberlin Mozart Players). Miss Nestorova attended summer programs such as Classical Singing & New York in June, Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera Institute, Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists, and Interlochen High School Vocal Artist. A recipient of the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award, upcoming engagements include Diane in Bernier’s Diane et Endimion (Oberlin Baroque Ensemble), a tour to New York City with Oberlin Sinfonietta at the Bang on a Can 30th Anniversary Concert, and The CoOPERAtive Young Artists Program.



FINALISTS HONORABLE MENTION:
Lauren Frey   Croton on Hudson NY 
Lauren Frey
In 2016, Lauren was a finalist with The American Prize Competition and was a semi-finalist with the Annapolis Voice Competition.  In 2015, she was a semi-finalist with Brava! Opera Theater James M. Collier Vocal Competition.  Lauren won the prestigious Career Bridges Grant, received 2nd Place with The American Prize Competition, and placed 3rd in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions in 2014.  She received Honorable Mention with the Philadelphia Orchestra's Albert M. Greenfield Competition in 2013.  In 2012, Lauren won the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. Recently Lauren debuted the role of Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with St. Petersburg Opera (cover matinee performance).  This year, Lauren also made her New York City Opera company debut in Florencia en el Amazonas and Aleko/Pagliaci.  Other role credits include Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Musetta (La Bohème), Micaela (Carmen), the title role in Alcina, Die Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), and Coaxer (The Threepenny Opera). http://www.LaurenKFrey.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Sarah Aaldering   Los Gatos CA
Sarah Aaldering
Sarah Aaldering is an 18 year old Senior at Los Gatos High School in Northern California. Sarah began voice lessons in 2010. Singing has always been her passion and joy! Last year she won 2nd place in the NATS Nationals Competition in Classical Voice, 1st place in VOCE (MTAC) State Competition, 1st place in William Schmidt Vocal Competition, and was a Semi-finalist in the Classical Singer Competition. This year Sarah won 1st in Lower College NATS and placed 2nd overall in both the upper and lower college divisions. Sarah has participated in The Oberlin Vocal Academy for High School Students, San Francisco Conservatory’s Lamplighter’s Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes, and The Brevard Music Center Voice Program. She has won The Dorothy Barnhouse Award, The Heritage Music Festival Maestro Award, and The Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship Award. She has been offered scholarships to BYU’s summer program, The Utah Lyric Opera Program, and many undergraduate university programs. In Fall of 2017, Sarah began her first year at Oberlin Conservatory where she studies Vocal Performance with Daune Mahy. Sarah will be performing in La Rondine in Italy this summer, in the Oberlin in Italy Program. She is honored to have this wonderful opportunity!


2nd PLACE:
Caroline Wolfe   Dallastown PA
Caroline Wolfe
Caroline Wolfe has attended Interlochen Arts Camp (2014) and Boston University Tanglewood Institute (2015) and has sang in masterclasses with Terry Flatt, David Sabella, Paul Groves, and Nathan Gunn.  She enjoys sharing her music with her community, and she is a soloist at several local churches.  She has had the honor to sing at Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's post-election party and Mike Pence's political rally in York, Pennsylvania.  She has appeared as a soloist and concerto competition winner twice with the Dallastown Area High School String Ensemble and once with the Dallastown Area High School Orchestra.  She won first place at Allegheny Mountain Chapter and Eastern Region NATS in Upper High School Classical Women (2016) and was a semifinalist at the Classical Singer Competition (2016).


3rd PLACE:
Elisabeta Racolta   Cambridge MA
Elisabeta Racolta
Born in Boston, MA, Mezzo Elisabeta Racolta performs with the local theaters and music venues, and travels with concerts internationally. Elisabeta is a winner of multiple international voice competitions. An avid recitalist, Lisa sung with the Concert Festival international concert tours in Portugal, France and Russia, and most recently as a guest artist in Lincoln Center.  She was a First place winner of the Rising Stars 2017 European competition in Latvia.  In 2017, she also was a recipient of a merit scholarship from the FAVA William Lewis Mozart Academy, appearing as Dritte Dame & Dritter Knabe in Die Zauberflote (Magic Flute) in Salzburg, Austria. In the New England Conservatory 2016 Summer Opera Program she appeared in the concert versions of ‘Carmen’, ‘L’Egisto’ and  ‘West Side Story’.  She performed in Carnegie Hall five times winning early acclaim at International Music, Vocal and Concerto competitions in 2014-2016.



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