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The American Prize
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The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up in the student choral division of The American Prize in Composition, 2015. Congratulations!

All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.

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

The American Prize in Composition—Chorus (student division)

The American Prize winner:
KYLE RANDALL selected works
San Francisco CA
KYLE RANDALL
Kyle Randall is an internationally-performed composer, with premieres across the world from Carnegie Hall to La Schola Cantorum in Paris and Harvard's Memorial Hall, and he has received commissions from renowned groups such as the Harvard Glee Club and the Juventas New Music Ensemble. In his music, Kyle strives for vividness and sincerity, and he enjoys writing in a wide variety of styles. Listeners have commented on his directness and clarity of expression, and appreciate his willingness to draw on the past as well as the present in his writing. Born and raised in New Hampshire, Kyle received a B.A. from Harvard, where he studied composition with Chaya Czernowin, Hans Tutschku, Richard Beaudoin, and Trevor Baca, and he is currently pursuing a Master's in composition from San Francisco Conservatory, studying with David Garner. In his spare time, he likes to read, cook, hike, and ski. www.kylerandall.com


2nd Place:
KEITH ALLEGRETTI "Three Nocturnes"
Santa Fe NM
KEITH ALLEGRETTI
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Keith Allegretti is a composer and pianist who enjoys working comfortably in many genres, including chamber, orchestral, vocal, and electronic music, and even musical theater. His music has been performed in Santa Fe, Houston, Berlin, Ann Arbor, New York and elsewhere by professional and amateur ensembles, including Santa Fe New Music, Quartetto Indaco, the Rice University Chorale, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Circuit Bridges, the Santa Fe Community Orchestra, and the American Creators Ensemble. He holds degrees in composition from Rice University and the University of Michigan. For more information, please visit www.keithallegretti.com.


3rd Place:
JULIA SEEHOLZER selected works
Santa Monica CA
JULIA SEEHOLZER
Julia Seeholzer (b. 1990) takes much of her compositional influence from color – intervalic relationships conjure specific hues, which in turn dictate a piece’s direction. She is currently finishing her Master’s degree in composition at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she studies with Joel Hoffman. Julia received her B.M. in composition from Berklee College of Music, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Julia’s pieces have been played by the ensembles including the Esterhazy String Quartet, Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, Trio d’Esprit, and members of the LA Philharmonic. She has presented work in master classes with John Corigliano, Robert Carl, Craig Hella Johnson, and others. In 2011, she attended Yale’s New Music Workshop as a composition fellow to study with Martin Bresnick. Julia has had works commissioned by groups such as the Tenuto Chamber Singers, WomenSing, and the University of Chicago's Camerata. To learn more about Julia, please visit her website at www.juliaseeholzer.com.


HONORABLE MENTION: 
ANDREY STOLYAROV i won't even stop
Verona NJ 
ANDREY STOLYAROV
Andrey Stolyarov (b. 1990) is a composer, conductor, and singer, currently beginning his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at The Hartt School in West Hartford, CT. Andrey’s recent achievements in composition include a residency at the Unitarian Society of Hartford and multiple national and international premieres. His piece Ebb & Flow won first prize at the 2014 ISAM Festival Joseph Dorfman International Composition Competition in Ochsenhausen, Germany. Additionally, Andrey was a finalist in the 2014 ASCAP Morton Gould competition and the Khorikos ensemble’s ORTUS competition. Andrey is currently the Director of Music at West Avon Congregational Church in Avon, CT, and is a graduate music theory teaching fellow at The Hartt School. He is an active professional choral singer in the Hartford and New Haven areas, currently performing with the CONCORA ensemble based out of New Britain, CT. www.andreystolyarov.com 

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The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST bands for 2015 in all categories. Congratulations!

To know the exact date when winners will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

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

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—college/university division

Dr Martin H. Seggelke    Illinois State Univ. Wind Symphony
    Normal, IL 
Jaclyn Hartenberger    University of Georgia Wind Symphony
    Athens, GA 
David Vickerman    The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble
    Ewing, NJ 
Eric Wilson    Baylor University Wind Ensemble 
    Waco, TX 


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—community & school division

"These are very fine bands—each with a different character, repertoire and audience focus. In a move which may be unprecedented for The American Prize, every semi-finalist in this category is being advanced to the finals. Each is worthy of further listening and evaluation. A very difficult decision awaits. Bravo to all for the vitality and musicality of the presentations."

Shelly Eager      Cinematic Symphony 
    Austin, TX 
Lewis J. Buckley    Metropolitan Wind Symphony 
    Boston, MA 
Corey Seapy    Charles River Wind Ensemble 
    Watertown, MA 
Birch P. Browning    Cleveland Winds 
    Cleveland, OH 
Trent A. Hollinger    Quincy Concert Band 
    Quincy, IL 
Jason Atha    Parkview High School Symphonic Band
    Lilburn, GA 
Ted Vives    Los Alamos Community Winds
    Los Alamos, NM 

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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.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! (Ensemble) 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 next month. 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 2015 FINALIST conductors in band divisions. Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

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

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university band division

Mark Tse
    New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds   Boston, MA
Jaclyn Hartenberger
    University of Georgia Wind Symphony    Athens, GA
Jaemi Blair Loeb
    Centre College Wind Ensemble    Danville, KY
Rickey Badua
    Cal Poly Pomona Wind Ensemble    Pomona, CA
Charlie G. Blanco III
    ASU Wind Orchestra & Wind Ensemble    Tempe, AZ
David Vickerman
    The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble    Ewing, NJ


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—school/community band division

Brian Hughes
    Quad City Wind Ensemble    Davenport, IA
Shawn Smith
    Banda Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo    Sao Paulo, Brazil 

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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.

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 next month. 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 and citation recipients of student orchestra division of The American Prize in Composition, 2015.
All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.
Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. 
Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com
The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division)
The American Prize winner:PATRICK O'MALLEY 
for Symphonic Poem "Even in Paradise"Los Angeles CA
PATRICK O'MALLEY
Patrick O’Malley (1989) is a composer whose works explore the musical interplay between emotion, color, energy, and landscape.  Currently living in Los Angeles, O’Malley grew up in Indiana, where he cultivated an interest in composition from hearing music at the local orchestra, studying piano and double bass, film scores at the movie theater, and even MIDI compositions for videogames being written at the time. His pieces span many of the contemporary mediums for classical music (orchestra, chamber ensembles, vocal music, film scores etc.), and have been performed across the United States as well as in France and Germany. Often when writing a new piece, O’Malley considers the listener’s imagination as much as every other musical element – an admittedly and enjoyably subjective endeavor.

Most recently, O’Malley has been recognized and/or performed by organizations including the American Composers Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Next On Grand National Composers Intensive with wild Up, the Society of Composers Inc., The American Prize (3rd place in orchestral music, and finalist in wind band and chamber music, 2014), the Boston New Music Initiative, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award (finalist in 2012 and 2014), and Fulcrum Point New Music Project. He has spent summers as a student at various music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin Festival, Fresh Inc. Festival, and FUBiS composition course in Berlin. He is gratefully indebted to his private teachers over the years for helping guide his work, the most recent of which include Andrew Norman, Samuel Adler, and Frank Ticheli. O’Malley is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.


2nd Place:
DONGRYUL LEE for "Circular Simulacrum"
Champaign IL
DONGRYUL LEE
Dongryul Lee is a South Korean composer of modern classical music.  He holds degrees in computer science and music composition from the Yonsei University and the Eastman School of Music respectively, from which he received three consecutive composition prizes and four years of scholarships.  He has studied composition with Stephen Taylor, Reynold Tharp, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, David Liptak, and Tae-hoon Kim, while attending master classes led by Vinko Globokar, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Steven Stucky, and Shulamit Ran, and seminars by Tristan Murail and Helmut Lachenmann.  At Eastman, he also studied conducting with Brad Lubman and Mark Davis Scatterday, and piano performance with Tony Caramia.  He names Takemitsu, Xenakis, Grisey, and Lutoslawski as key musical predecessor for establishing his own voice.  Other influences on his music include Chaos and Fractal Theory, which he studied at the University of Rochester, and Number Theory and Acoustical Physics of Music, which he has explored at the University of Illinois.   From quantum physics to Borges’s cosmic Ficciones, Dongryul Lee finds inspiration in various archetypal, transcendental, and ephemeral elements of eclectic sources including myth, science, and nature.  His current projects include a 24 quarter-tone tuned Horn concerto for the Illinois New Music Ensemble, and a vocal chamber orchestra piece inspired by C. G. Jung’s castle, Bollingen Tower.  As an active composer and theorist, he is currently pursuing his Masters degree in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the support of a Cooke Fellowship.



3rd Place (there was a tie):DYLAN ARTHUR BAKER for "Tumultuous Voyage"
Kansas City MO
DYLAN ARTHUR BAKER
Dylan Arthur Baker is a graduate student pursuing a DMA degree in music composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where he has studied with Zhou Long and Jim Mobberley. He recently completed an MA degree at the University of Michigan, where has studied with Evan Chambers and Bright Sheng. He graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a BM in Music Composition. His principle instructors at Cornish were Janice Giteck, Eric Banks, and Emily Doolittle, and at Central Washington University (CWU) he studied with Eric Flesher.

During the summer months he has studied at the Brevard Music Center (where he studied with Robert Aldridge and David Dzubay), and has been a featured composer at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium in Eugene, and the highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy.



3rd Place (there was a tie):PHILIP RICE for "The Souls of Ancient Bells"
Lansing MI
PHILIP RICE
PHILIP RICE (b. 1988) studied music composition with Stefan Young (a student of Nadia Boulanger), David Gillingham, Jere Hutcheson, and Mark Sullivan. He received a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College in 2012, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University.

He has won numerous awards for his compositions, among them awards from Chanticleer, the Kansas University Choral Society, the Michigan Music Educators Association, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and Westminster Choir College. Recent collaborators include Craig Hella Johnson, the Michigan Recital Project, and Kansas-city-based Te Deum Chamber Choir. Philip specializes in setting found texts and the works of living writers. Outside of music, he is an avid poet, blogger, and designer with a keen interest in found objects as literary devices. The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): HONORABLE MENTIONS
BRIAN MARK for "The Persistence of Time"
Holbrook NY
BRIAN MARK
Brian Mark has had works performed by ensembles including, amongst others, the BBC Singers, Atlas Ensemble, Brave New Works, Choral Chameleon, Ensemble Signal, Chelsea Symphony, the Ligeti and Esterhazy String Quartets, and at festivals including the London Contemporary Music Festival, June in Buffalo Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He has held residencies with the Chelsea Symphony, I-Park Artists’ Enclave, Ucross Foundation, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. His chorale piece Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum, commissioned by the Royal Academy Chamber Choir, has made the finalist round in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Composition. From 2009-2011 Brian was the Co-Artistic Director for DETOUR, which promoted emerging composers through its annual concert series in NYC.  He is also curating a concert series in East London with Nonclassical.  Brian is currently finishing his PhD in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.


CHARLES PECK for "Metropolitan"Philadelphia PA
CHARLES PECK
Charles Peck is an American composer whose work has been called “daring” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “vivid” (UArts Edge magazine), and “spell-binding” (Rappahannock News). Peck’s recent successes include winning Symphony in C’s Young Composers’ Competition, the Castleton Festival’s Young Composers’ Forum, the University of Cincinnati’s Composition Competition, and the Ohio Federation of Music Club’s Collegiate Composition Competition. Additionally, he has been awarded grants from both the American Composers Forum and the McKnight Foundation and has been named a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards and the Glick Competition with the Indianapolis Symphony. Peck currently teaches at the University of the Arts and is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University. He earned his Master’s in Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he was awarded the Scott Huston Award for composition. And he received his Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University. Visit www.CharlesPeckMusic.com to learn more.


BENJAMIN WHITING for "Tempus Imperfectum"
Champaign, IL
BENJAMIN WHITING
Benjamin D. Whiting received his BM in Music Composition and his MM in Music Theory and Composition from Florida State University, and is now pursuing his DMA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an active composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic music, and has had his works performed in the United States, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Japan. Most recently, his piece for chamber orchestra, Tempus Imperfectum, was awarded Third Prize in the 2014 Busan Maru International Music Festival Composition Competition, and his electroacoustic piece FL has been released on ABLAZE Records’ album Electronic Masters, vol. 3, along with having been honored with performances at the 2014 College Music Society National Conference, SEAMUS 2014, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Whiting has studied with such composers as Scott Wyatt, Erik Lund, Erin Gee, and Ladislav Kubik. He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois.
The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATIONSKYLE SIMPSON for "Fanfare Overture"Washington PA
KYLE SIMPSON
Kyle Simpson, composer, received degrees from LawrenceUniversity (WI) and the University of Montana. He is currently studying composition in the DMA program at West Virginia University under Dr. David Taddie, Dr. Joseph Dangerfield, and Dr. John Beall.  He has been awarded fellowships to study composition at the EAMA School in Paris, France, the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and Ostrava Days in Ostrava, CZ.Simpson has written music for such ensembles  as: Banff Center Jazz Residency Ensemble. World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Washington PA Symphony, The Janacek Philharmonic, and The New York Film Orchestra (ASCAP/NYU).  ASCAP Named Simpson as a “2011 Composer to Watch.”  Simpson is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.



KEITH ALLEGRETTI for "Carceri d'Invenzione"Santa Fe MN
KEITH ALLEGRETTI
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Keith Allegretti is a composer and pianist who enjoys working comfortably in many genres, including chamber, orchestral, vocal, and electronic music, and even musical theater. His music has been performed in Santa Fe, Houston, Berlin, Ann Arbor, New York and elsewhere by professional and amateur ensembles, including Santa Fe New Music, Quartetto Indaco, the Rice University Chorale, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Circuit Bridges, the Santa Fe Community Orchestra, and the American Creators Ensemble. He holds degrees in composition from Rice University and the University of Michigan. For more information, please visit www.keithallegretti.com.



HANGRUI ZHANG for "Cloudy Ground"Cincinnati OH
HANGRUI ZHANG
Hangrui Zhang (b.1989) is a Chinese student composer. Now, he is studying in College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as a third-year undergraduate student. Hangrui entered the world of music much later than most of his contemporaries. At the age of 20, he found his interest in music, and began his study as a beginner. During that time, he studied music very independently, and often involving self-teaching. After two-year music study and one-year English study, in the year of 2012, he began his first formal music study in CCM. His composition teachers include Jian Feng, Mara Helmuth, Douglas Knehans and Michael Fiday. His music has been performed by such groups as the Eurydice Quartet, the Donald Sinta Quartet, the CCM Chamber Players, and by performers at the College-Conservatory of Music.


The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): YOUNG ARTIST CITATION

MARLENE MILLER for "Gypsy"West Grove PA
MARLENE MILLER
Marlene Miller is an aspiring young composer. Born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania, as a child she wanted to be a singer. For a long time Marlene quit music and searched for other inspiration. When she entered high school, however, she was wrangled into participating in Marching Band and her love of music was solidified forever. Since then she has learned to play five – and working on six – different musical instruments. She participates in choir, marching band, full orchestra, wind ensemble, and concert band at her school as well as enrolling in the only music theory class offered there and going to every music camp she can manage. She is proud of the pieces she’s composed so far and desires to someday compose for video games and movies. Marlene will be majoring in Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University this fall 2015. She can’t wait.
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The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the orchestra division of The American Prize in Composition, 2015. We are also pleased to highlight a large group of composers in this category with special citations recognizing the quality of their work as they serve diverse communities in unique and creative ways. Congratulations!
All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.
Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. 
Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com
The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (professional division)
The American Prize winner:ANGELIQUE POTEAT for "Beyond Much Difference"Seattle WA
ANGELIQUE POTEAT
Angelique Poteat is a native of the Pacific Northwest.  Her music has been recorded and performed in Australia, Germany, Lithuania, and all over the United States by ensembles including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Enso Quartet, Philharmonia Northwest, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Saratoga Orchestra, Trio Tara, and the New York New Music Ensemble.  Most notably, the Seattle Symphony commissioned her piece, Beyond Much Difference (2014), which was recently performed by the Seattle Symphony at their January 2015 Sonic Evolution concert with Mike McCready, Chris Cornell, and members of the bands, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and more.  Poteat holds degrees from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the College-Conservatory of Music.  She has studied composition with Samuel Adler, Joel Hoffman, Mara Helmuth, Anthony Brandt, Pierre Jalbert, Shih-Hui Chen, Arthur Gottschalk, and Samuel Jones.  Visit www.angeliquepoteat.com to find out more about Poteat and her music.


2nd Place:DOUGLAS KNEHANS for "Cascade"
Cincinnati OH
DOUGLAS KNEHANS
Douglas Knehans has received awards from the American Music Center, the NEA, the Australia Council Performing Arts Board, Yale University, the MacDowell Colony, Opera Australia, The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Meet the Composer and a host of others.

His music has been praised by The Washington Post as “beautiful” and that “tells an exciting story;” by The Miami Herald as “wildly inventive;” by The Australian as “brilliantly catchy and eerily bright;” and by Fanfare Magazine as “…effective…incisive… and hauntingly beautiful.”

Knehans’ music is available on ERM Media, Crystal Records, Move Records, New World Records and ABLAZE Records.


3rd Place:JAMES JOSEPH OGBURN for "Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra"
Wenatchee WA
JAMES JOSEPH OGBURN
The music of James J. Ogburn (b. 1974) has been performed at dozens of festivals. For example, he has been featured on the programs of World Saxophone Congress XVI (St. Andrews Scotland), Beijing Modern Music Festival 2013, June in Buffalo 2007, and Audio Art Festival 2003 (Krakow, PL). He has been commissioned throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas by ensembles and performers such as Ensemble Mosaik (Berlin), Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (Bangkok), Dave Eggar (NYC), Reinhold Friedrich (Hannover), and Luisa Sello (Udine). He received degrees from Central Washington University (B.M.), and the University of Pittsburgh (M.A. & Ph.D.). Currently, Dr. Ogburn is Chair of Composition and Theory at Mahidol University College of Music, Artistic Director of Enclave Ensemble, and Program Manager of the Thailand International Composition Festival. For more information, please visit: www.jamesogburn.com 


The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra: SPECIAL CITATION RECIPIENTS
Celebrating the Variety and Vitality of American Composers of Works for Orchestra
LEE ACTOR for "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra"Monte Sereno CA
LEE ACTOR
Composer and conductor Lee Actor (http://www.leeactor.com) has received numerous commissions, and has won many awards for his compositions, which are characterized by their dramatic impact and emotional expressivity. He has studied composition with Donald Sur, Brent Heisinger, Charles Jones, and Andrew Imbrie, and conducting with Angelo Frascarelli, David Epstein and Higo Harada.  Actor was named Composer-in-Residence of the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 2002, following his appointment as Assistant Conductor in 2001, and was Assistant Conductor of the Nova Vista Symphony from 2008 to 2010.


OLIVER CAPLAN for "Journey to the West"Medford MA
OLIVER CAPLAN
With memorable melodies and colorful interplay, American composer Oliver Caplan’s (b. 1982) music expresses a deeply felt romanticism.  Mr. Caplan’s 2012 debut album “Illuminations” is available on iTunes and Amazon.com. His music has been presented in over 85 public performances in 11 states, including the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Columbia University Wind Ensemble, Nebraska Chamber Players, and Juventas, among others. Accolades include Veridian Symphony Orchestra Composers Competition Winner (2014), Somerville Arts Council Grants (2014, 2013), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowships (2013, 2011), 5th House Ensemble Young Composer Competition Grand Prize (2010), and ASCAP Plus Awards (2008-2013).  Mr. Caplan holds degrees from the Boston Conservatory and Dartmouth College.  He currently resides in Massachusetts. www.olivercaplan.com.
AUGUSTA CECCONI-BATES for "Essences of the North Country"Cape Vincent NY

AUGUSTA CECCONI-BATES
AUGUSTA CECCONI-BATES was born Aug. 9, 1933 in Syracuse NY. Coming from an opera-loving Italian home, she studied piano from age 6, (she was composing music even then) Augusta earned a B. A. (1956) and  M.A. in Humanities (1960) from Syracuse University.

After winning a composition contest in 1976, Augusta went on to studies at Cornell University with Robert Palmer and Karel Husa. In 1992 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from a conservatory in Italy. Augusta was given her Native name in 1955 because of her musical ability which was likened to the trees in the wind. Hence the name, Willow Wind.

Her work has garnered praise from Lukas Foss, who wrote, “she is a composer who knows what she is doing and does it well.” She has composed some 300 works, in genres ranging from opera and choral to orchestra and band.

In 2012 Augusta was awarded first prize by the British Trombone Society for her PARAGRAPH for TROMBONE and CONCERT BAND. (Visit the BTS website for further information).


NANCY BLOOMER DEUSSEN for "Concerto for Clarinet and Small Orchestra"Mountain View CA
NANCY BLOOMER DEUSSEN
American composer Nancy Bloomer Deussen is well known as a composer, performer and arts impressario. She is a leader in the growing movement for more melodic, tonally oriented contemporary music and is co-founder and President Emeritus of the SF Bay Chapter of the National Association of Composers, USA. Her original works have been performed in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and China and she has received numerous commissions both locally and nationally. Ms Bloomer Deussen holds BM and MM degrees from The Manhattan School of Music and a BM in Music Ed from the USC School of Music. Her teachers of composition were Vittorio Giannini, Lukas Foss, Ingolf Dahl and Wilson Coker.

She was a finalist in Orchestral and Choral composition for The American Prize in 2012 and Second Place Winner in 2013 for the American Prize in Chamber Music for  her “Woodwind Quintet”. Recent performances of her works include: "A Field in Pennsylvania" by The Dayton Philharmonic Symphony. "Carmel by-the Sea" by the US Army Symphony Orchestra. “Central Coast Conccrto” for piano and orchestra by The New Millenium Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jim Frieman, “Peninsula Suite” by the Michigan Philharmonic conducted by Nan Washburn and numerous others. In September 2013 her orchestral work “The Transit of Venus” was premiered by The Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose conducted by Emily Ray. Upcoming are premieres of her new choral/orchestral opus ”Gloria”in California and Florida and a new work is in progress to celebrate her 85th birthday in 2016 for the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose. Audio links of some of her works and more information can be found at: www.nancybloomerdeussen.com


KARIM ELMAHMOUDI for "ORBIT: A Symphonic Fantasy"Los Angeles CA
KARIM ELMAHMOUDI
Karim Elmahmoudi is a Los Angeles based composer and the Resident Composer of the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony.  He studied music at the University of Southern California where he was awarded the BMI Honors Scholarship. In addition, he studied in Dublin, Ireland, with Conrad Pope.  His space themed orchestral work, "Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy", was premiered by the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony on November 18, 2012, with David Weiss conducting.  This work was recently performed as part of the Flagstaff, Arizona Dark Skies festival and allowed Mr. Elmahmoudi the opportunity to discuss his passions for music with the Flagstaff community through a series of talks aimed at local schools and a 90 minute talk at Lowell Observatory.  This fourteen minute work is also heard each hour at the California Science Center (permanent home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour) as part of their IMAX presentations.


MATTHEW H. FIELDS for "Space Sciences"Ann Arbor MI
MATTHEW H. FIELDS
Matthew H. Fields focuses on the potential for non-verbal aspects of sound to fascinate, delight, and evoke wonder. The winner of the League-ISCM Composers Competition, Colorado State Music Teachers Association Composers Commission, Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute and Reading Sessions, and various other honors, Fields follows Borodin's path by working for a hospital by day and composing by night. Born 1961 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fields grew up Deerfield, Illinois, and earned degrees from Oberlin College, Oberlin Conservatory, Stanford University, and University of Michigan. Many of his works are recorded on the Centaur Records label. Fields is represented by Price Rubin and Partners, www.pricerubin.com/classical/index.php?summarynumber=576. Matthew H. Fields on the Web: www.MatthewFields.NET.


BURTON GOLDSTEIN for "Concert Suite"Santa Monica CA
BURTON GOLDSTEIN
Burton Goldstein is active as a composer and has taught at the college and university levels. Awards include:The American Prize 2014; Vox Novus selected three works in 2014; International Music Prize; Borromeo Prize; Brandenburg Chamber Music Prize; Copland Award; Lee Ettelson Award; a commission sponsored by the S. Mark Taper Foundation; AMC Grants (4), BMI Award; Mancini Scholarship. The Aspen Quartet is recorded by the Arditti String Quartet for Albany Records. He was awarded his PhD at UCLA. Fellowships include: the Ernest Bloch Festival in Oregon (Ung); the Aspen Institute for Advanced Compositional Studies (Druckman and Rands); and the Schoenberg Institute (Stein), sponsored by the NEH. Mr. Goldstein has composed music used in well over a hundred trailers and promos for major motion pictures and TV shows, including: George Lukas’ animated feature, Strange Magic (2015); Guillermo del Toro’s The Book of Life (2014); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and X-Men 3. He has taught composition, electronic music, music theory and harpsichord at: UC Santa Barbara; UCLA; El Camino College; Scripps College; and CSU: Long Beach, Fullerton and Los Angeles. www.burtgoldstein.com

DAVID W. MAVES for "Timpani Concerto"Charleston SC
DAVID W. MAVES
David W. Maves is Professor Emeritus at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. He has composed over 100 works of which many are published. Compositions include symphonies, concertos, works for band, chorus, opera (Bodas de Sangre), chamber music, teaching pieces; and works for organ, harpsichord, and early music instruments.

He was born in Salem, Oregon and studied with Homer Keller at the University of Oregon, and with Ross Lee Finney and Leslie Bassett at the University of Michigan. In 1964 he was appointed Ford Foundation Composer-in-Residence in Raleigh, NC and has received other honors including two Sigma Alpha Iota Inter-American Awards.

Maves has returned to his first "job" as a composer and is working on publications of new works and updated versions of works that have gone out of print. His new Timpani Concerto, commissioned by the Omaha Symphony for their timpanist Dwight Thomas was premiered on November 23, 2014.


GREG A. STEINKE for "All in a Moment's Time"Depoe Bay OR
GREG A. STEINKE
Dr. Greg A Steinke, former Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair of Music/Art and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University; Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97) and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); National Chairman of the Society of Composers, Inc. (1988–97); President of NACUSA (2012–). Composer of chamber and symphonic music and author with published/recorded works and performances across the U. S. and internationally and oboist specializing in contemporary music. Recent honors: 2009 Oregon Individual Artist Fellowship. Co-winner – ’10 of 5th NACUSA Texas Composition Competition for From ARMGART for Soprano and Piano. Finalist – RAM 2010 call for scores (saxophone quartet) IN MEMORIAM: SACAGAWEA. Winner of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity Composition Competition, ‘12. Second Place winner of Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers – ’12. Finalist (Orchestra - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition Competition for 2012 for All in a Moment's Time for Viola and Orchestra, a 27' work. OMTA Composer of the year 2012–13. A winner 2012 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition winner (SUSPENDED for Bassoon & Strings); Winner of Con Vivo’s Composers Competition (NATIVE AMERICAN NOTES (Image Music VI) for String Quartet) Finalist (Chamber Music - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition Competition for 2013 for Expressions II for 2 Saxophones, 2 Percussion and Piano, a 25’ work; for 2014 for Suspended for Bassoon and Strings, a 19’ work. Website: http://www.gregasteinke.com


YOKO WYLEGALA for "Iluminacion de la Rana"Squamish WA
YOKO WYLEGALA
Yoko Hamabe Wylegala's music reflects her diverse living experiences. In addition to her early education in classical music in Tokyo, she studied law and philosophy.

Wylegala's music, which includes solos, ensembles, choral and orchestral pieces, has been performed in Moscow, Washington DC, Mexico City, Lima, Dresden, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Berlin, and Tokyo.

“Welcome to Dodoland” (2008) for Orchestra and Tenor Saxophone was performed in the Berlin Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal in 2008. Overture “Voyage” (2010) for Orchestra was performed in the Beijing Opera House in 2010.  The Japan-German Center in Berlin sponsored Wylegala’s concert in 2007.  “Iluminacion de la Rana” (2006) for Orchestra received a prize in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Songs (JPF Music Award 2009, Nashville TN).

Wylegala has received  ASCAPlus Awards every year since the 2007-08 season. Currently she is a music composition Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hong Kong.


The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division)
The American Prize winner:PATRICK O'MALLEY 
for Symphonic Poem "Even in Paradise"Los Angeles CA
PATRICK O'MALLEY
Patrick O’Malley (1989) is a composer whose works explore the musical interplay between emotion, color, energy, and landscape.  Currently living in Los Angeles, O’Malley grew up in Indiana, where he cultivated an interest in composition from hearing music at the local orchestra, studying piano and double bass, film scores at the movie theater, and even MIDI compositions for videogames being written at the time. His pieces span many of the contemporary mediums for classical music (orchestra, chamber ensembles, vocal music, film scores etc.), and have been performed across the United States as well as in France and Germany. Often when writing a new piece, O’Malley considers the listener’s imagination as much as every other musical element – an admittedly and enjoyably subjective endeavor.

Most recently, O’Malley has been recognized and/or performed by organizations including the American Composers Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Next On Grand National Composers Intensive with wild Up, the Society of Composers Inc., The American Prize (3rd place in orchestral music, and finalist in wind band and chamber music, 2014), the Boston New Music Initiative, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award (finalist in 2012 and 2014), and Fulcrum Point New Music Project. He has spent summers as a student at various music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin Festival, Fresh Inc. Festival, and FUBiS composition course in Berlin. He is gratefully indebted to his private teachers over the years for helping guide his work, the most recent of which include Andrew Norman, Samuel Adler, and Frank Ticheli. O’Malley is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.


2nd Place:
DONGRYUL LEE for "Circular Simulacrum"
Champaign IL
DONGRYUL LEE
Dongryul Lee is a South Korean composer of modern classical music.  He holds degrees in computer science and music composition from the Yonsei University and the Eastman School of Music respectively, from which he received three consecutive composition prizes and four years of scholarships.  He has studied composition with Stephen Taylor, Reynold Tharp, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, David Liptak, and Tae-hoon Kim, while attending master classes led by Vinko Globokar, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Steven Stucky, and Shulamit Ran, and seminars by Tristan Murail and Helmut Lachenmann.  At Eastman, he also studied conducting with Brad Lubman and Mark Davis Scatterday, and piano performance with Tony Caramia.  He names Takemitsu, Xenakis, Grisey, and Lutoslawski as key musical predecessor for establishing his own voice.  Other influences on his music include Chaos and Fractal Theory, which he studied at the University of Rochester, and Number Theory and Acoustical Physics of Music, which he has explored at the University of Illinois.   From quantum physics to Borges’s cosmic Ficciones, Dongryul Lee finds inspiration in various archetypal, transcendental, and ephemeral elements of eclectic sources including myth, science, and nature.  His current projects include a 24 quarter-tone tuned Horn concerto for the Illinois New Music Ensemble, and a vocal chamber orchestra piece inspired by C. G. Jung’s castle, Bollingen Tower.  As an active composer and theorist, he is currently pursuing his Masters degree in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the support of a Cooke Fellowship.



3rd Place (there was a tie):DYLAN ARTHUR BAKER for "Tumultuous Voyage"
Kansas City MO
DYLAN ARTHUR BAKER
Dylan Arthur Baker is a graduate student pursuing a DMA degree in music composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where he has studied with Zhou Long and Jim Mobberley. He recently completed an MA degree at the University of Michigan, where has studied with Evan Chambers and Bright Sheng. He graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a BM in Music Composition. His principle instructors at Cornish were Janice Giteck, Eric Banks, and Emily Doolittle, and at Central Washington University (CWU) he studied with Eric Flesher.

During the summer months he has studied at the Brevard Music Center (where he studied with Robert Aldridge and David Dzubay), and has been a featured composer at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium in Eugene, and the highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy.



3rd Place (there was a tie):PHILIP RICE for "The Souls of Ancient Bells"
Lansing MI
PHILIP RICE
PHILIP RICE (b. 1988) studied music composition with Stefan Young (a student of Nadia Boulanger), David Gillingham, Jere Hutcheson, and Mark Sullivan. He received a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College in 2012, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University.

He has won numerous awards for his compositions, among them awards from Chanticleer, the Kansas University Choral Society, the Michigan Music Educators Association, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and Westminster Choir College. Recent collaborators include Craig Hella Johnson, the Michigan Recital Project, and Kansas-city-based Te Deum Chamber Choir. Philip specializes in setting found texts and the works of living writers. Outside of music, he is an avid poet, blogger, and designer with a keen interest in found objects as literary devices. The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): HONORABLE MENTIONS
BRIAN MARK for "The Persistence of Time"
Holbrook NY
BRIAN MARK
Brian Mark has had works performed by ensembles including, amongst others, the BBC Singers, Atlas Ensemble, Brave New Works, Choral Chameleon, Ensemble Signal, Chelsea Symphony, the Ligeti and Esterhazy String Quartets, and at festivals including the London Contemporary Music Festival, June in Buffalo Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He has held residencies with the Chelsea Symphony, I-Park Artists’ Enclave, Ucross Foundation, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. His chorale piece Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum, commissioned by the Royal Academy Chamber Choir, has made the finalist round in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Composition. From 2009-2011 Brian was the Co-Artistic Director for DETOUR, which promoted emerging composers through its annual concert series in NYC.  He is also curating a concert series in East London with Nonclassical.  Brian is currently finishing his PhD in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.


CHARLES PECK for "Metropolitan"Philadelphia PA
CHARLES PECK
Charles Peck is an American composer whose work has been called “daring” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “vivid” (UArts Edge magazine), and “spell-binding” (Rappahannock News). Peck’s recent successes include winning Symphony in C’s Young Composers’ Competition, the Castleton Festival’s Young Composers’ Forum, the University of Cincinnati’s Composition Competition, and the Ohio Federation of Music Club’s Collegiate Composition Competition. Additionally, he has been awarded grants from both the American Composers Forum and the McKnight Foundation and has been named a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards and the Glick Competition with the Indianapolis Symphony. Peck currently teaches at the University of the Arts and is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University. He earned his Master’s in Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he was awarded the Scott Huston Award for composition. And he received his Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University. Visit www.CharlesPeckMusic.com to learn more.


BENJAMIN WHITING for "Tempus Imperfectum"Champaign, IL
BENJAMIN WHITING
Benjamin D. Whiting received his BM in Music Composition and his MM in Music Theory and Composition from Florida State University, and is now pursuing his DMA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an active composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic music, and has had his works performed in the United States, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Japan. Most recently, his piece for chamber orchestra, Tempus Imperfectum, was awarded Third Prize in the 2014 Busan Maru International Music Festival Composition Competition, and his electroacoustic piece FL has been released on ABLAZE Records’ album Electronic Masters, vol. 3, along with having been honored with performances at the 2014 College Music Society National Conference, SEAMUS 2014, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Whiting has studied with such composers as Scott Wyatt, Erik Lund, Erin Gee, and Ladislav Kubik. He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois.
The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATIONSKYLE SIMPSON for "Fanfare Overture"Washington PA
KYLE SIMPSON
Kyle Simpson, composer, received degrees from LawrenceUniversity (WI) and the University of Montana. He is currently studying composition in the DMA program at West Virginia University under Dr. David Taddie, Dr. Joseph Dangerfield, and Dr. John Beall.  He has been awarded fellowships to study composition at the EAMA School in Paris, France, the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and Ostrava Days in Ostrava, CZ.Simpson has written music for such ensembles  as: Banff Center Jazz Residency Ensemble. World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Washington PA Symphony, The Janacek Philharmonic, and The New York Film Orchestra (ASCAP/NYU).  ASCAP Named Simpson as a “2011 Composer to Watch.”  Simpson is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.



KEITH ALLEGRETTI for "Carceri d'Invenzione"Santa Fe MN
KEITH ALLEGRETTI
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Keith Allegretti is a composer and pianist who enjoys working comfortably in many genres, including chamber, orchestral, vocal, and electronic music, and even musical theater. His music has been performed in Santa Fe, Houston, Berlin, Ann Arbor, New York and elsewhere by professional and amateur ensembles, including Santa Fe New Music, Quartetto Indaco, the Rice University Chorale, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Circuit Bridges, the Santa Fe Community Orchestra, and the American Creators Ensemble. He holds degrees in composition from Rice University and the University of Michigan. For more information, please visit www.keithallegretti.com.



HANGRUI ZHANG for "Cloudy Ground"Cincinnati OH
HANGRUI ZHANG
Hangrui Zhang (b.1989) is a Chinese student composer. Now, he is studying in College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as a third-year undergraduate student. Hangrui entered the world of music much later than most of his contemporaries. At the age of 20, he found his interest in music, and began his study as a beginner. During that time, he studied music very independently, and often involving self-teaching. After two-year music study and one-year English study, in the year of 2012, he began his first formal music study in CCM. His composition teachers include Jian Feng, Mara Helmuth, Douglas Knehans and Michael Fiday. His music has been performed by such groups as the Eurydice Quartet, the Donald Sinta Quartet, the CCM Chamber Players, and by performers at the College-Conservatory of Music.


The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (student division): YOUNG ARTIST CITATION

MARLENE MILLER for "Gypsy"West Grove PA
MARLENE MILLER
Marlene Miller is an aspiring young composer. Born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania, as a child she wanted to be a singer. For a long time Marlene quit music and searched for other inspiration. When she entered high school, however, she was wrangled into participating in Marching Band and her love of music was solidified forever. Since then she has learned to play five – and working on six – different musical instruments. She participates in choir, marching band, full orchestra, wind ensemble, and concert band at her school as well as enrolling in the only music theory class offered there and going to every music camp she can manage. She is proud of the pieces she’s composed so far and desires to someday compose for video games and movies. Marlene will be majoring in Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University this fall 2015. She can’t wait.

***Congratulations!
10 months ago | |
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The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the band/wind ensemble division of The American Prize in Composition, 2015. Congratulations!

All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.

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

The American Prize in Composition—Band/Wind Ensemble

The American Prize winner:
DAVID AVSHALOMOV for "Vignettes"
Santa Monica, CA
DAVID AVSHALOMOV
A composer grounded in the traditions of Western classical music, David Avshalomov creates his works in an accessible modern romantic, neo-tonal style that balances a rich lyric gift with a characteristic rhythmic vitality and pungent harmonies. The forms he crafts are conservative and developmental, his compositional voice distinctive. The influences on his style include the great 20th-century European and American tonal composers, and both his late father Jacob and his paternal grandfather, Aaron Avshalomoff.

He has composed works for solo voice, choruses, orchestra, band, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments, in forms ranging from songs and incidental pieces to full-length oratorio. Recently he has written a lot of choral and band music; he is now focusing on his opera, “The Pearl”. He has had commissions from numerous ensembles, including the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Mission Chamber Orchestra, Musica Bella Orchestra of NY, Western Plains Wind Consortium (20 bands), 2012 Bandwagon Consortium (26 bands), LA Flute Orchestra, LA Clarinet Orchestra, Odyssea Chorus of Lisbon, Anglican Chorale of Southern California, Camerata Singers of Long Beach, and Westwood United Methodist Church (LA). He has also been Resident Composer with the Anglican Chorale, Torrance Civic Chorale, and Cantori Domino of Santa Monica.

His compositions have been performed professionally across the U.S. and in Europe and Russia, and are recorded on the Albany and Naxos labels. He has earned grants from Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the American Composer’s Forum, and two from the Durfee Foundation. In 2014 he was designated an Honored Artist of the American Prize in recognition of the consistently high quality of his body of work.



2nd Place:
VAIBHAV MOHANTY for "Altitude"
Charleston, SC

VAIBHAV MOHANTY
Vaibhav Mohanty (b. 1998) is a composer residing in Charleston, South Carolina. Studying piano performance from the age of four, he composed his first piece at age nine in memory of a late elementary school teacher. At age twelve, he appeared in concert as guest conductor for the premiere of his first symphonic work.
  
Recently, Vaibhav has been named the Grand Prize Winner of Sul Ross State University’s international wind ensemble composition contest and a winner of the National Association for Music Education Student Composers Competition, through which his piece was performed at the Grand Ole Opry House by the NAfME All-National Honor Band. His works are published by JPM Music Publications and Lighthouse Music Publications.

Currently, Vaibhav continues to compose for ensembles in the Charleston area and also teaches a music theory class at a private music studio. He will attend Harvard University starting in the fall of 2015.


3rd Place:
TIMOTHY C. TAKACH for "Frost Giant"
Minneapolis, MN

TIMOTHY C. TAKACH
Reviewed as “gorgeous” (Washington Post) and “stunning” (Lawrence Journal-World), the music of Timothy C. Takach is rapidly gaining momentum in the concert world. Applauded for his melodic lines and rich, intriguing harmonies, Takach is a full-time composer and has received commissions from organizations including VocalEssence, the St. Olaf Band, Cantus, Pavia Winds, the Notre Dame Men’s Glee Club, cellist Kirsten Whitson, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, the Cherry Creek High School Meistersingers, and the Western Michigan University Chorale. His compositions have been performed on NPR broadcasts, A Prairie Home Companion, The Boston Pops holiday tour, and multiple All-State and festival programs. Takach has been awarded grants from the American Composers Forum, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Minnesota State Arts Board and Meet the Composer. He studied Music Theory and Composition at St. Olaf College, where he graduated with honors. For me information visit www.timothyctakach.com

***
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Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and any citation recipients in the men's opera divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations! (Art song/oratorio results are included in a separate blog post.)

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.

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

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
PROFESSIONAL OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
PETER LIGHTFOOT
East Lansing, MI
PETER LIGHTFOOT
PETER LIGHTFOOT  described as "vocally brilliant" by Opera News he has been heard with companies both here and abroad.  He has performed with the New York City Opera, the Greater Miami Opera, the Wexford Festival, Mercatello Festival, L’Opéra de Nice, Opera Cagli, Hawaii Opera Theater, the Houston Grand Opera, the Aspen Festival, Spier Festival, the Opera Orchestra of New York, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Mexico City Opera, Kentucky Opera, Knoxville Opera, Virginia Opera, the American Opera Center, Pennsylvania Opera Theater, Opera Delaware, and the Wildwood Festival.  He has appeared in such operatic roles as Scarpia, Rigoletto, Porgy, Tonio and Count Almaviva.  He has also appeared as Emile, in South Pacific and Sweeney Todd, in Sweeney Todd.  Mr. Lightfoot has also been a soloist with the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Radio symphony and the orchestras of San Francisco, Houston, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Dallas, Nashville, Sacramento, Knoxville, Tucson, Long Beach, Fresno, Pacific and Kalamazoo.

Peter was born in New York, and holds degrees from the Juilliard School  and  Tufts University.  Winner of a National Opera Institute Grant and their Bronze Medal for performance, a Sullivan Foundation grant and the Boston Opera Competition prize, he was also a finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti Competition was named a Benedum Distinguished Scholar in 2000 and recently received a Harp Grant.  Peter is delighted to have joined the faculty at Michigan State University's College of Music where he is Associate Professor of Voice.  In 2014 his CD, "An American Tapestry" on the Blue Griffin Label won a special citation from the American Prize, "Excellence in American Song".   Mr. Lightfoot also was a 2014 Finalist for the American Prize in the Art Song Category and also was a winner of the American Prize, Oratorio Award.

2nd Place:
ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN
Chicago, IL
ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN
American Baritone ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN is increasingly praised for his artful interpretations of the opera, oratorio, and art song repertoire.  Andrew hails from Washington, DC, where he has performed with Washington National Opera as Brian Young in An American Soldier (2014), Rex in An American Man (2014), the Doganiere in La Boheme (2014) and the Spanish Sailor in Moby Dick (2014). As a champion of new works, Andrew has performed roles in the premieres of Robert Patterson and Mark Campbells’ The Whole Truth (Urban Arias, 2015), Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood (National Philharmonic Orchestra, 2013), Claude Debussy/Robert Orledge’s La Saulaie (University of Maryland Repertory Orchestra, 2013), and Frank Proto’s Shadowboxer (Maryland Opera Studio, 2011). Mr. McLaughlin also had the honor of joining famed mezzo-soprano and new music advocate Frederica von Stade and maestro Timothy Long in "A Few Words About Chekhov" to close out the University of Maryland's 2012 Art of Argento Festival. Andrew has held artist apprenticeships at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Virginia Opera, and at Central City Opera, where he made his professional debut as Le Dancaïre in Carmen (2011).  Upcoming engagements this year include performances as baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem and Bach’s Johannes Passion with the National Philharmonic Orchestra at Strathmore, as the Judge/Captain/Crook in Bernstein’s Candide with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and as Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème with Virginia Opera.  Andrew received his undergraduate degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland where he was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio.


3rd Place
JORELL WILLIAMS
New York, NY
JORELL WILLIAMS
Jorell Williams, two time winner of the American Traditions Competition and acclaimed by The New York Times for his “magnificent, rich toned” baritone and his “perfect” comic timing, is gaining international success on both the opera and concert stages. His 2015 season includes debuts with Carnegie Hall, Urban Arias, American Repertory Theater, the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and an apprenticeship with Santa Fe Opera. A frequent performer of American music, he recently performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the United States and London tours of Abyssinian Mass led by composer Wynton Marsalis. Jorell is a recipient of top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Liberace Foundation, Sergei Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams art song competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, and the Charles A. Lynam Competition. For more information please visit: www.JorellMWilliams.com.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
IAN MCEUEN
Bethesda, MD
IAN MCEUEN
In November 2013, Ian McEuen created the roles of the Hippo, Holy Man, and Dog in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori and J.D. McClatchy’s The Lion, the Unicorn and Me for his debut at Washington National Opera. Last summer, He returned for his second season as a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, where he sang Goro in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Madame Butterfly. In the 2014/15 season, Ian will join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, covering St. Brioche in a new production of The Merry Widow directed by Susan Stroman. In April of 2015, Ian will make his Carnegie Hall debut as the Tenor Soloist in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with Manhattan Concert Productions.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
GALEANO SALAS
Philadelphia, PA
GALEANO SALAS
Galeano Salas is a Texas native who grew up in Mexico City. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Upcoming roles include the lead role in Faust and the cover of Borsa in Santa Fe Opera's production or Rigoletto. Galeano most recently sang the roles Rodolfo in La boheme, Alfredo in La traviata and German in Pique Dame. This year, Galeano received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions. In 2014 he placed second at the National Classical Singer Competition and was a finalist at both Lois Alba and Opera Index Inc. competitions. Young Artist Programs include Santa Fe Opera Apprentice (2015), Central City Opera as an Apprentice Artist (2012, 2013), Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist (2011), the Texas Music Festival: Le Chiavi di Bel Canto (2010, 2014), and Resident Artist of Ohio Light Opera (2009). Galeano Salas holds a MM from Yale University and a BM from the University of Houston.


2nd Place:
CALVIN GRIFFIN
Columbus, OH
CALVIN GRIFFIN
Calvin Griffin, bass-baritone, is a second year Studio Artist with Arizona Opera.  This season, he will perform Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, and Hortensius in La fille du régiment. He made his Richmond Symphony debut as the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah. Mr. Griffin made his Santa Fe Opera debut last summer singing the Notary in Don Pasquale as an Apprentice Artist, and will return next summer to sing Count Ceprano, as well as Hortensius.  Last season at Arizona Opera, his roles included Colline in La bohème and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. He will return for Arizona Opera’s 2015/16 season to sing Captain in Florencia en el Amazones, Zuniga in Carmen, and Pistola in Falstaff.  The Columbus, Ohio native earned his BM Voice from The Ohio State University and his MM Voice from Rice University. calvingriffinbassbaritone.com


3rd Place:
CHRISTOPHER SOKOLOWSKI
Hurley, NY
CHRISTOPHER SOKOLOWSKI
Tenor Christopher Sokolowski is a native of New York’s Hudson Valley, and has sung a wide repertoire of both concert and operatic works. He has performed roles including Acis (Acis and Galatea) Oronte (Alcina), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Mari (Les mamelles de Tirésias), and concert works such as Orff's Carmina Burana, Vaughan William’s On Wenlock Edge, Handel’s Messiah, Weber's Jubelmesse, Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus, Handel’s Esther, and Britten’s War Requiem. In 2013 he created the role of Thi?n Si in the world premiere of P.Q. Phan’s Tale of Lady Th? Kính, and sang the world premiere of Phan’s Vietnamese Requiem in April of 2015. He was a prizewinner in the S. Livingston Mather and Orpheus Vocal Competitions, earned his B.M. from SUNY Purchase, and his M.M. from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he was an Associate Instructor of Voice. www.christophersokolowski.com


***
Congratulations!
(Art song/oratorio results are included in a separate blog post.)

11 months ago | |
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Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and any citation recipients in the men's art song division of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations! (Opera results are included in a separate blog post.)

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.

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

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
ART SONG DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
JORELL WILLIAMS
New York, NY
JORELL WILLIAMS
Jorell Williams, two time winner of the American Traditions Competition and acclaimed by The New York Times for his “magnificent, rich toned” baritone and his “perfect” comic timing, is gaining international success on both the opera and concert stages. His 2015 season includes debuts with Carnegie Hall, Urban Arias, American Repertory Theater, the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and an apprenticeship with Santa Fe Opera. A frequent performer of American music, he recently performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the United States and London tours of Abyssinian Mass led by composer Wynton Marsalis. Jorell is a recipient of top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Liberace Foundation, Sergei Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams art song competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, and the Charles A. Lynam Competition. For more information please visit: www.JorellMWilliams.com.


2nd Place:
DERRELL ACON
Chicago, IL
DERRELL ACON
Derrell Acon is a student of William McGraw at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he is a doctoral candidate in Voice. Derrell graduated summa cum laude from Lawrence University with degrees in Vocal Performance and Government. He is a 2013-2014 United States Fulbright scholar, the first place and Grand Prize award winner of Chicago’s Bel Canto Foundation Opera Contest of 2010, a winner of the 2009 Neale Silva Young Artists competition, and the winner of the “Dueling Divas” competition held at the Trout Museum in Appleton, WI. Some of his major operatic roles include: Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Kecal in The Bartered Bride, Dr. Pangloss and the Professor in Candide, Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, and Alidoro in La Cenerentola. He has also performed leading roles in Europe and the Middle East, and recently performed as Young Emile in Terence Blanchard’s new opera, "Champion."


3rd Place
CHRISTIAN KETTER
Chicago, IL
CHRISTIAN KETTER
Tenor Christian Ketter, made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2014, as featured in the Washington Post, as part of “The Song Continues” with American Mezzo-Soprano Marilyn Horne. The 2013 winner of the Friedrich Schorr American Prize in Voice, Mr. Ketter has appeared as the tenor soloist with the Chicago Bar Symphony Orchestra & Chorus- in Bruckner’s Te Deum, and in April of 2015 appeared with the orchestra again at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. Mr. Ketter’s debut classical recording “Beloved” - with violinist, Cara Schlecker & pianist, Myron Silberstein - features all original arrangements of song literature, spanning a broad array of languages and styles. A frequent recitalist, Mr. Ketter was invited to Northwestern University of Louisiana to give a solo recital in October. As the 2013 Chicago Oratorio Winner, his past performances included tenor soloist in oratorios, both DuBois’ Les sept paroles du Christ and Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël. He performed this past year with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra & Chorus under the baton of conductor Kirk Muspratt. Recent stage performances include: Willy Loman in Rizzer’s operatic adaptation of Death of a Salesman finale at the Chicago Cultural Center.


YOUNG ARTIST CITATION:
DASHAWN WILLIAMS
Husto, TX
DASHAWN WILLIAMS
Georgetown, Texas native DaShawn Williams is an exciting young performer. In 2014, he won first place in his age category at the South Texas National Association of Teachers of Singing spring auditions, and was awarded the “Outstanding Sophomore” prize at the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition (at Baylor University).  He also placed as a semi-finalist in the Classical Singer National Vocal Competition, and finalist in the Sarofim Vocal Competition (at Southwestern University).  DaShawn has earned numerous accolades at University Interscholastic League choral and solo competitions.  He enjoys performing both classical and musical theater repertoire, and recently sang the role of the Beast in East View High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast.  DaShawn was awarded scholarships to attend both the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Vocal Arts Program and the Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program at the University of Texas at Austin.  He studies voice with Dr. Dana Zenobi.


YOUNG ARTIST CITATION:
ETHAN YAN
Mountain View, CA
ETHAN YAN
Ethan is a seventh grader at The Nueva School in California. He played Amahl in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with Monterey Symphony (2013), and Jaffett in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Los Angeles Opera (2015), and performed in the children’s chorus with San Francisco Opera (Tosca (2012) and Mefistofele (2013)). In 2014, he was the soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Marin Symphony and the Santa Cruz County Symphony. He received awards in the NY Lyric Opera Theatre National Vocal Competition; and the American Protégé International Vocal, Romantic, and Music Talents Competitions, performing at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, self-accompanying on the piano in one of the performances. At the 2015 Bay Area NATS Singing Festival, he won 2nd place in Art Song (13 & Under), and Honorable Mentions in both Aria (21 & Under) and Oratorio (All Ages). His wonderful voice teacher is Angelique Zuluaga.

***
Congratulations!
(Opera results are included in a separate blog post.)

11 months ago | |
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Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and special citation recipients in the women's art song/oratorio divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.

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

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
PROFESSIONAL ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
TANIA COAMBS
Champaign, IL
TANIA COAMBS
Born in Cumaná, Venezuela, soprano Tania Arazi Coambs is a passionate and versatile performer, stage director, and writer. Recognized for her “searing and intense acting and singing”, Tania was one of the recipients of the 2015 American Prize Chicago Music Theater Award and made her début at Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall last April singing the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.  With her strong interest in Spanish music and art song, as well as in jazz, French cabaret, and tango music, she performs regularly in concert. Notable roles include Aline in The Sorcerer, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, Annie in The Game of Love, Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha, Linfea in La Calisto, Gretel in Hansel und Gretel, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Arsena in Der Zigeunerbaron, Wren in A Body of Water, Nurse Ruth Kelley in Harvey, Mrs. Webb in Our Town, and the role of Dr. Vivian Watson in a three-country performance tour of the play Preemptive that took her to Barbados, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Tania is currently completing her doctoral studies in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois. http://www.taniaarazicoambs.com/

On accepting The Prize, Ms. Coambs wrote: "Wow, what great news.  Thank you so much again for this wonderful opportunity.  I am so honored!"


2nd Place:
CLARA OSOWSKI
Brooklyn Center, MN
CLARA OSOWSKI
Hailed for her artistry and rich mezzo color, Clara Osowski shares her musicianship equally between solo and ensemble engagements. Active as a recitalist, she recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, was a featured young artist at the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. In recent competition success, Clara was named the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2015, she was the only American Finalist at Thomas Quasthoff’s Das Lied competition in Berlin, Germany. Clara’s passion for contemporary music is exhibited in the song-cycles she has premiered by numerous composers. She performs with several ensembles throughout the Twin Cities, the Oregon Bach Berwick Chorus, teaches adjunct voice at the University of Minnesota-Morris, and is the Associate Artistic Director of Source Song Festival. For more information, visit www.claraosowski.com.


3rd Place
TAMI PETTY
New York, NY
TAMI PETTY
Tami Petty is the 2014 Winner of the Joy in Singing Award. In 2010 The New York Times hailed her "powerful soprano" at Lincoln Center for Rossini's PETITE MESSE SOLENELLE with Voices of Ascension. She has performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra and at Avery Fisher Hall with New York Philharmonic. Winner of career grants from Richard Tucker Foundation, Lotte Lehmann Foundation, Chautauqua Opera Guild, Lotte Lenya Competition, and Merola Opera Program, Ms Petty is the first Emerging Artist Award recipient of the Sorel Organization honoring women in music. She received the Jessie Kneisel Prize in German Lieder while a student at Eastman School of Music. Upcoming engagments include Beethoven SYMPHONY NO. 9 with Altoona Symphony, Duruflé REQUIEM with the Choral Society of Grace Church, Vaughan Williams's DONA NOBIS PACEM with Manchester Choral Society and A SEA SYMPHONY with Manchester Choral Society. www.TamiPetty.com


CITATION for EXCELLENCE in the PERFORMANCE of 
NEW MUSIC:
KATHRYN FINDLEN
Austin, TX
KATHRYN FINDLEN
Kathryn Findlen, mezzo soprano  “has a rich, lush vocal quality and an incredible stage presence” (Austin Post.) Awarded Best Classical Vocalist of the Year in Austin by the Austin Critics Table Awards, the mezzo’s collaborations place her at the forefront of new American concert repertoire. She has worked with Pulitzer Prize winning composers John Harbison, Robert Ward, and most recently with George Crumb, bringing their works to life on the concert stage.  Recent projects include the Verdi "Requiem" with Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the New York premiere of Kenneth Frazelle’s autobiographical “Songs in the Rearview Mirror” in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.  Findlen began her training in the Brevard Music Center Opera Program, holds a Bachelor of Music from UNCSA where she also attended High School, a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed her opera apprenticeship at Austin Lyric Opera.  KathrynFindlen,com


CITATION for EXCELLENCE in the PERFORMANCE of ORATORIO:
PENELOPE SHUMATE
Macomb, IL
PENELOPE SHUMATE
Penelope Shumate’s singing has been described by The New York Times has having “bell-like clarity and surpassing sweetness.” Her recent engagements include her debut and return appearances in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, where she has also appeared in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She has appeared with opera companies and orchestras across America including Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Roanoke, Opera Saratoga, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Annapolis Opera, Opera on the James, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, Distinguished Concerts International New York, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, and Kennett Symphony Orchestra. She has won numerous vocal awards from many organizations including the Gerda Lissner Foundation, The MacAllister Awards, and the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, among others.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
PAULINA NASTASHA YEUNG
New York, NY
PAULINA NASTASHA YEUNG
Soprano Paulina Nastasha Yeung is currently pursuing a Masters degree at Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Patricia Misslin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from De La Salle University-Manila. This summer, she participated in The Naked Voice Institute lead by renowned vocal pedagogue, W. Stephen Smith. She has won several awards including 3rd place in the 2015 NFMC Women’s Collegiate Voice Division - New York District, and the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award at the Civic Morning Musicals Voice Competition in 2014. Past credits include Ozia in La Giuditta with the Manhattan School of Music Baroque Aria Ensemble, Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Peep-bo in The Mikado with The Philippine Opera Company, and Cosette in Paris 1832/Les Misérables with Repertory Philippines. Operatic scene work includes Rigoletto (Gilda), Carmen (Frasquita), Die Zauberflöte (Papagena), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), and Così fan tutte (Despina).

Upon winning The Prize, Ms. Yeung wrote: "Thank you so much for this wonderful news! It is with great pleasure and honor that I accept this award. Thank you for supporting young artists and giving us a platform to share our endeavors in music."


2nd Place:
CLARE DEMER
Tucson, AZ
CLARE DEMER
Clare is a distinguished 21-year old undergraduate vocal performance major at The University of Arizona, where she will perform the role of Monica in Menotti's "The Medium" this Spring.  Other training includes the Aspen Music Festival and School, SongFest at Colburn, Saarburg Chamber Music Festival and Walnut Hill Summer Opera Intensive. American Prize recognitions include finalist in Opera (2013,2014), second place in Art Song (2013), and first place Arts Song Division (High School) in 2012.   Among her many other awards are recipient of an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Arizona (2014), winner of both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition (2012,2014), and a winner of the Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Competition (2012).  In the summer of 2015, Clare will continue her vocal training as a fellow at the Art of Song Program - Toronto Summer Music Festival and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, Canada.


3rd Place:
BRIANNA MEESE
Franklin Lakes, NJ
BRIANNA MEESE
A New Jersey native, Brianna Meese is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, where she was a Distinguished Major in Music and studied French, Italian, and German. While attending the University, Brianna was a member of The University Singers, OperaViva, Chamber Singers, and a soloist with the Baroque Ensemble.  She has performed with the Franco American Vocal Academy, OperaFest Italia, Ash Lawn Opera; and this summer will be attending the Opera Workshop at the Atlantic Music Festival. In addition to performing, Brianna is passionate about arts administration and advocacy and has worked closely with the Charlottesville Symphony, and the historic Paramount Theater of Charlottesville. Brianna plans to begin her graduate studies at The Boston Conservatory in Fall of 2015, working toward her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
TASCHA ANDERSON
Helena, MT
TASCHA ANDERSON
Montana native, mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson has most recently been seen performing the title role in L'Italiana in Algeri under the direction of maestro Andrew Altenbach and Johnathon Pape in Boston. Also in 2014, Ms. Anderson performed the role of Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with maestro Altenbach, under the direction of Nathan Troup. Additionally, she sang the alto solo in BWV 12 with The Boston Conservatory Baroque Ensemble with Altenbach. In 2013, she performed the role of Mrs. Pasek in Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen; again with maestro Altenbach and Pape, director.  Ms. Anderson has recently performed many roles internationally, as well, most notably a performance as Flora (La Traviata) at Flagstaff in Fidenza (Italy). Ms. Anderson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, with a focus on music, and a Master's of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. This summer, Ms. Anderson will be a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, performing the roles of Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Cinderella's Stepmother (Into the Woods). Ms. Anderson currently studies with Rebecca Folsom in Boston.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
HIGH SCHOOL ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
NICOLE KOH
Daly City, CA
NICOLE KOH
Nicole Koh, soprano, is from Daly City, California. From 2011-2015 she attended Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts high school and studied voice with Todd Wedge. She has placed in every year that she has competed in the NATS competition and was the first place recipient in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Early Teen Division in 2012 and High School Division in 2015. She won first place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition (high school division) in 2014 and was a winner of the YoungArts Competition (HM) in 2015. In 2012, she was casted as the Second Woman in the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts opera "Dido and Aeneas." She is currently a freshman at UCLA and studies voice with Michael Dean.


2nd Place:
SARAH AALDERING
Los Gatos, CA
SARAH AALDERING
Sarah Aaldering is a 15 year old Sophomore at Los Gatos High School in California. She Began private Voice lessons at the age of 11. She has won 1st Place in NATS Art Song Division for 3 years, and recently placed 1st in the Aria Division(21 years & under). She recently won 2nd and 3rd place for both Musical Theater, and Art Song in the Cal Western Region Division of NATS, and now qualifys to audition this Spring for the National NATS Competition. She recently won 1st place in her local VOCE MTAC(Music Teachers Association of California) competition, and will now compete at Chapman University at the VOCE State Finals in April. She recently was given a CMEA award for her singing with a Superior Command Performance in vocals. She has appeared in 11 musicals, of which her favorite roles being Griddlebone(CATS), and Barnum(Jenny Lind).


3rd Place:
TAYLOR SEE
Las Vegas, NV
TAYLOR SEE
Taylor See is a sixteen year old junior at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, NV.  She has always loved music!  Taylor began studying piano when she was five.  She tried her hand at singing while playing piano when she was twelve.  Her piano teacher suggested she study voice, which she began doing just three years ago with LaDonna Young.    In the short time she has been singing, she has been named a regional winner and national qualifier for the Music Teacher’s National Association competition, a Nevada State Command performance vocal finalist, and has received the highest honors in numerous local and regional festivals and competitions.  Taylor has also sung with the Nevada All-State Choir.  She serves as first soprano section leader for her high school women’s and vocal ensembles, and plays piano and sings in the praise band.  Taylor also enjoys performing in musical theatre productions at school.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
GYWNETH CAMPBELL
New York, NY
GYWNETH CAMPBELL
16-year-old American Gwyneth Campbell is a rising lyric coloratura soprano. Recently won the role as Drusilla in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the NY Lyric Opera; sang as a soloist with Orquestra Clássica do Centro in the University of Coimbra 725th anniversary celebration; sang at Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York on the National Day of the Russian Federation. Performed in Carnegie Hall 30 times as prize winner in recital and orchestral soloist; sang at Stanislavsky Theater in "Moscow Meets Friends" sponsored by the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation; solo recitalist at the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Soloist at Merkin Hall, Liederkranz Foundation, Curtis Institute, Peter Norton Symphony Space. At age 12, Gwyneth was accepted as the youngest student of Lorraine Nubar, Head of the Vocal Division, Juilliard Pre-College. She now studies with Maria Lyudko, Head of Vocal Department, St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, Russia.

***

Congratulations!
11 months ago | |
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Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and special citation recipients in the women's opera divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.

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

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
PROFESSIONAL OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
AUNDI MARIE MOORE
Bowie, MD
AUNDI MARIE MOORE

Aundi Marie Moore is quickly establishing herself as one of America's leading young sopranos,  receiving accolades from audience and critics alike.  The Washington Post recently hailed her as possessing a voice of “clarion beauty,” and The Richmond Times raved “Now to the spectacular: Throughout the program, Moore was riveting- a dazzling stage presence. Her lyric soprano, more than powerful enough to fill the hall, displayed a shimmering luster, effortless flexibility and a remarkable range of color...one sensed that this woman could sing anything in any style, with stunning results.” Career highlights include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with L'Opéra de Monte Carlo, Nedda in Pagliacci with Sarasota Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with Atlanta Opera and Virginia Opera, Young African American Soprano in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County with Virginia Opera, and Odessa Clay in the World Premier of Approaching Ali with Washington National Opera. Additional engagements of note include Lady Thiang in The King and I with Lyric Opera of Virginia, and Nettie Fowler in Carousel with Ashlawn Music Festival. Engagements for the soprano during the 2013 - 2014 season included the National Symphony for Knoxville: Summer of 1915, as well as portraying Serena in Porgy and Bess with Syracuse Opera and the role of Soprano 2 in the World Premiere of Nyman’s Facing Goya with the Spoleto Festival USA and on tour with the Singapore Arts Festival.  Upcoming engagements for 2015 are Soprano Soloist with Virginia Symphony Orchestra presenting Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Soloist with Corpus Christi Symphony in Texas.


2nd Place:
ADELAIDE BOEDECKER
Sarasota, FL
ADELAIDE BOEDECKER
Native of Sarasota, Florida, Adelaide Boedecker grew up singing with the Sarasota Youth Opera and the Church of the Redeemer choir.   After many youth opera roles, Adelaide was asked to sing Barbarina in Sarasota Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro.  Dr. Paula Page was her private instructor, and both Nozze and Dr. Page inspired her to pursue a music degree.  Adelaide attended the University of Florida, where she studied with Dr. Anthony Offerle, while there she performed many roles.  After graduating from Florida in 2011, Adelaide earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Professor Kathryn Cowdrick.  At Eastman, Adelaide sang Marenka in The Bartered Bride and Rose in Street Scene, and also represented Eastman at the Kennedy Center in March, 2012. After graduation in 2013, Adelaide toured the country as the soloist for the University of Rochester Meliora Capital Campaign, and was a freelance artist in the Rochester and Sarasota areas.  Adelaide currently studies with Kathryn Cowdrick. This past summer Adelaide headed to San Francisco, California, as a selected participant in the Merola Opera Program, where she sang the role of Stella in Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.   Currently, Adelaide is a resident artist with the Pittsburgh Opera, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, singing Marbouka in Mohammad Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, and Marie in the student matinee of Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment.  This summer Adelaide is headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera.  She will return to Pittsburgh in the fall, for a second year as a resident artist with the company.


3rd Place
JODI KAREM
Brooklyn, NY
JODI KAREM

Ms. Karem recently performed the role of Carmen with Opera New York..  She has performed Eboli with La Forza dell'Opera, Flora with The Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the Witch from Hansel & Gretel with Bronx Opera.  Ms. Karem premiered the role of Lady Mabel with the Center for Contemporary Opera's production of The Secret Agent in New York City, the European debut with the Armel Festival in Hungary as well with Opera Grand Avignon in France.  The release of The Secret Agent CD features Ms. Karem as part of the debut cast.  Other roles include Santuzza,, Olga (Eugene Onegin), Ericka and Suzuki. Concert performances include 2 performances at Carnegie Hall as the Alto Soloist in Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore and alto soloist in Mozart's Requiem. She has performed with Dayton Philharmonic, Palm Beach Theatre Guild, the Metropolitan Opera Guild's "Spinning Strauss" Master Class Series with Jane Marsh as well as for the Lincoln Center Patrons and with the Louisville Orchestra.  In the spring, Ms. Karem will be performing with the Palm Beach Theatre Guild.  More information can be found at www.jodikarem.com


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
GWENDOLYN BROWN
Chicago, IL
GWENDOLYN BROWN

Gwendolyn Brown’s performances of traditional and 20th century in opera, symphonic, musical theater and concert has earned her consistent critical acclaim. Ms. Brown’s performances have been hailed as “imposing,” and her “deep contralto” as “a transfixing force of nature” (Mark Swed).  “To hear Gwendolyn Brown is to experience that primal thrill which comes in the presence of a singer whose fusion of soul with a vast, resonant instrument is total.” (Kitty Montgomery). As one critic states, her singing is simply "stunning" (Andrew Patner).

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Gwendolyn Brown obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Fisk University,and pursued the Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Memphis. Young artist development included Des Moines Metro Opera, and The Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago.  Her awards include Regional Winner and Finalist with the Metropolitan Opera Council in Memphis and Chicago. She resides in Chicago, Illinois.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
SARAH BAUER
Houston, TX
SARAH BAUER

Sarah Bauer, a native of St. Joseph, Michigan is the current soprano resident artist at Shreveport Opera for the 2014-2015 Season, where she has recently performed the role of Annina in La Traviata and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and will sing the role of Clorinda in La Cenerentola. Other roles performed include Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore and Peep-bo in The Mikado (Shreveport Opera), Beth in Little Women (Opera in the Ozarks), Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (University of Missouri - Kansas City Opera Theater).  She has also performed operetta with the Kansas City Metro Opera, as Casilda in The Gondoliers and Yum-yum in The Mikado. She has appeared as a featured soloist with The Rapides Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. You can hear more from her at www.sarahbauer-soprano.com.


2nd Place: (there was a tie)
JULIA DIFIORE
Gainesville, FL
JULIA DIFIORE

Mezzo-soprano Julia Di Fiore, recently named the Most Outstanding Voice Major at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, made her opera debut as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte. She has since portrayed the characters of Rose Segal in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening, Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, the Witch in Into the Woods, for which she won the prestigious Magda Lachs Award for Exceptional Performance in the current year’s Vanderbilt Opera Theatre production (2013-2014). She will be performing the role of Foreign Singer in Florida State Opera’s production of Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. Julia has also toured in China performing opera scenes for the Vanderbilt Office of International Studies. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in May of 2014, Julia has gone on to pursue a Master’s at Florida State University with a fully funded graduate assistantship.


2nd Place: (there was a tie)
JANESE LEWIS
Jackson, MS
JANESE LEWIS
Janese Lewis has appeared in gala concerts with such artist as George Shirley, Faye Robinson, Barbara Conrad, Emma Goldman, Curtis Rayam and Chester Patton. She attended OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program in Northridge, CA and was accepted into residency at Carleton College with Dr. Lawrence Burnett. She is a graduate of Jackson State University where she studied with Phyllis Lewis-Hale. She has performed as a soloist in Austria, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan and throughout the U.S. She has most recently performed Handel’s Messiah with Jackson State University Chorale with orchestra. She is currently listed in the Artist Roster of the Mississippi Arts Commission. She has performed the role of La Tia Principessa in Suor Angelica, and covered Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Opera/South in Jackson, MS. She has performed scenes as Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), Manon (Manon Lescaut), Eboli (Don Carlos), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutti), Carmen (Carmen), Maddelena (Rigoletto) and Ericka (Vanessa). www.janeselewis.com.


3rd Place: (there was a tie)
TASCHA ANDERSON
Helena, MT
TASCHA ANDERSON
Montana native, mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson has most recently been seen performing the title role in L'Italiana in Algeri under the direction of maestro Andrew Altenbach and Johnathon Pape in Boston. Also in 2014, Ms. Anderson performed the role of Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with maestro Altenbach, under the direction of Nathan Troup. Additionally, she sang the alto solo in BWV 12 with The Boston Conservatory Baroque Ensemble with Altenbach. In 2013, she performed the role of Mrs. Pasek in Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen; again with maestro Altenbach and Pape, director.  Ms. Anderson has recently performed many roles internationally, as well, most notably a performance as Flora (La Traviata) at Flagstaff in Fidenza (Italy). Ms. Anderson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, with a focus on music, and a Master's of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. This summer, Ms. Anderson was a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, performing the roles of Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Cinderella's Stepmother (Into the Woods).  Ms. Anderson currently studies with Rebecca Folsom in Boston.


3rd Place: (there was a tie)
STACEY TRENTESEAUX
Hattiesburg, MS
STACEY TRENTESEAUX

Stacey Michelle Trenteseaux resides in Hattiesburg, MS. Stacey recently sang Micaëla with CCM Summer Opera “Creating Carmen.” She makes her professional debut in Spring 2016 as Micaëla with Mississippi Opera’s Carmen and a concert version in Wuhan, China. She performed Hanna in Die lustige Witwe, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, and the title role of Suor Angelica with Southern Opera and Musical Theater Company; Fiordiligi with Astoria Music Festival; First Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Manhattan Opera Studio; and as a resident artist with the Natchez Festival of Music, International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany, Sherrill Milnes VOICE Studio in Savannah, GA, and Operafestival di Roma. She is a winner of the 2015 William T. Gower Concerto Competition and currently pursues a DMA from the University of Southern Mississippi with Dr. Maryann Kyle. Stacey holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and Master’s degree from USM.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
HIGH SCHOOL OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
GWYNETH CAMPBELL
New York, NY
GWYNETH CAMPBELL
16-year-old American Gwyneth Campbell is a rising lyric coloratura soprano. Recently won the role as Drusilla in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the NY Lyric Opera; sang as a soloist with Orquestra Clássica do Centro in the University of Coimbra 725th anniversary celebration; sang at Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York on the National Day of the Russian Federation. Performed in Carnegie Hall 30 times as prize winner in recital and orchestral soloist; sang at Stanislavsky Theater in "Moscow Meets Friends" sponsored by the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation; solo recitalist at the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Soloist at Merkin Hall, Liederkranz Foundation, Curtis Institute, Peter Norton Symphony Space.  At age 12, Gwyneth was accepted as the youngest student of Lorraine Nubar, Head of the Vocal Division, Juilliard Pre-College. She now studies with Maria Lyudko, Head of Vocal Department, St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, Russia.

On accepting The Prize, Ms. Campbell wrote: "I am thrilled to be chosen as the winner of The American Prize in Voice Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award for 2015, in the high school opera division.  Winning the prize is such an encouragement to me, and I am sure that my teacher Maria Lyudko from the St. Petersburg Conservatory and Elizabeth Heuermann from the New York Lyric Opera will be pleased with this result." 


2nd Place:
SARAH AALDERING
Los Gatos, CA
SARAH AALDERING
Sarah Aaldering is a 15 year old Sophomore at Los Gatos High School in California. She Began private Voice lessons at the age of 11. She has won 1st Place in NATS Art Song Division for 3 years, and recently placed 1st in the Aria Division(21 years & under). She recently won 2nd and 3rd place for both Musical Theater, and Art Song in the Cal Western Region Division of NATS, and now qualifys to audition this Spring for the National NATS Competition. She recently won 1st place in her local VOCE MTAC(Music Teachers Association of California) competition, and will now compete at Chapman University at the VOCE State Finals in April. She recently was given a CMEA award for her singing with a Superior Command Performance in vocals. She has appeared in 11 musicals, of which her favorite roles being Griddlebone(CATS), and Barnum(Jenny Lind).


3rd Place:
TARYN SURRATT
Houston, TX
TARYN SURRATT
Taryn Surratt is a high school junior at Northshore Senior High in Houston, Texas. She is a two year member of TMEA’s All-State mixed choir and a recipient of the Outstanding Soloist Award from Texas's UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest. She was also a winner in UofH's 2015 Classical Singers Competition and is a two year member of St.Paul's Choral Scholars. She aspires to receive Masters in both Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. 


HONORABLE MENTION:
NICOLE KOH
Daly City CA
NICOLE KOH
Nicole Koh, soprano, is from Daly City, California. From 2011-2015 she attended Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts high school and studied voice with Todd Wedge. She has placed in every year that she has competed in the NATS competition and was the first place recipient in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Early Teen Division in 2012 and High School Division in 2015. She won first place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition (high school division) in 2014 and was a winner of the YoungArts Competition (HM) in 2015. In 2012, she was casted as the Second Woman in the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts opera "Dido and Aeneas." She is currently a freshman at UCLA and studies voice with Michael Dean.

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11 months ago | |
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