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The American Prize
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Marilyn Miller, Ziegfeld star of the 1920s
The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALISTS in music theater divisions for 2017-18 in all categories, including conducting. Congratulations!

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

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

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2017-18

Nancy Allen
Belmont University
Nashville TN
David Schamburger, stage director
Parade (Uhry/Brown)

Hugh Conor Angell
Taylor University
Upland IN
Tracy Manning, artistic director
Oklahoma!

Brian DeMaris
Arizona State University
Tempe AZ
Shrek the Musical

Kristina Keener Ivy
Top Billing Entertainment
Glendora CA
Little Mermaid 

Kelly Stevens
Saint Patrick School
Rodeo CA
Benjamin Stevens, conductor
The Lion King Jr.


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting, (musical theater) 2017-18

Jo Lynn Burks
Belmont University
Nashville TN
Parade (Uhry/Brown)

Hosun Moon
Five Towns College
Dix Hills NY
In the Heights (Miranda)

***

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

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a 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 results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.


  

2 days ago |
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Marilyn Miller, 1920s Ziegfeld star
The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST stage directors. (The official announcement changing the name of this competition to The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize will be made on May 25, 2018, recognizing the eleventh anniversary of the Tony Award winner's death.)

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

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

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Stage Direction

Joshua Borths
Crane School of Music—SUNY Potsdam
Potsdam NY
The Magic Flute 

Herschel Garfein
Eklund Opera Company, University of Colorado
Boulder CO
The Magic Flute
Tracelyn Gesteland
University of South Dakota
Vermillion SD
The Marriage of Figaro

David Holley
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro NC
Amahl and the Night Visitors

Kristina Keener Ivy
Top Billing Entertainment
Glendora CA
The Little Mermaid

Darren P. Lawson
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC
Il Trovatore 

Justin John Moniz
Florida State University—Student Opera Society
Tallahassee FL
Amahl and the Night Visitors
Erin Naler
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC
The Trip to Bountiful (Horton Foote)

David Ronis
University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Music
Madison WI
Transformations (Conrad Susa)

Damian Savarino
Messiah College
Mechanicsburg PA
The Night Bell (Donizetti)

Copeland Woodruff
Lawrence University
Appleton WI
The Beggar's Opera (Gay/Britten)
and
Hydrogen Jukebox (Philip Glass)



***

We invite 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 have 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 results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.
7 days ago |
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Caruso as Canio (I Pagliacci)
The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST opera companies for 2017-18 in all categories. Congratulations!

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

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

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Opera Performance—professional division,
2017-18

Maria Sensi Sellner
Resonance Works/ Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh PA
Falstaff

Isaac Selya
Queen City Opera
Cincinnati OH
Siegfried

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

Emma Clarkson
OperaTheatre of Yale College
New Haven CT
The Cunning Little Vixen

Brian DeMaris
Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre
Tempe AZ
H.M.S. Pinafore

David Holley
University of NC at Greensboro
Greensboro NC
Amahl and the Night Visitors

Darren P. Lawson
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC
C. Stanley Eby, conductor
Il Trovatore

Justin John Moniz
Florida State University Student Opera Society
Tallahassee FL
Alex Favazza, conductor
Amahl and the Night Visitors

David Ronis
University of Wisconsin—Madison
Madison WI
Falstaff

Kirk A. Severtson
The Crane School of Music, SUNY—Potsdam
Potsdam NY
The Tender Land


Copeland Woodruff
Lawrence University
Appleton WI
The Beggar's Opera (Gay/Britten)
and
Hydrogen Jukebox (Glass)

***

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

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a 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 results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.
10 days ago |
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Jonathan Sternberg
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts and chief judge David Katz mark with sadness and a true sense of loss the death of famed American conductor and important international conducting pedagogue, Jonathan Sternberg, who died May 8, 2018 at the age of 98.

When David Katz conceived of The American Prize nearly ten years ago, Maestro Sternberg was one of the very first to heed the call for judges, serving as advisor and adjudicator to the contests for a number of seasons well into his tenth decade.

“When The American Prize was in its infancy, Jonathan Sternberg was there, offering his advice, his expertise, and his time,” said Katz. “Now, literally thousands of contestants and more than $50,000 in prizes later, The American Prize thanks Maestro Sternberg for his service and understanding, and for his belief in the TAP ideal before practically anyone else did.

"God’s speed, Maestro, and with so many thanks. You will be sincerely missed, not only by us, but by artists around the world.”


You can read Jonathan Sternberg's biography here (simply scroll down):
http://www.theamericanprize.org/judges2014.html
11 days ago |
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The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in opera divisions. Congratulations!

"Fine conductors and productions, each worthy of additional consideration and evaluation."—DK

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

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

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional opera division, 2017-18

Walter Morales
Pittsburgh Festival Opera
Pittsburgh PA
Julius Caesar—Handel

Maria Sensi Sellner
Resonance Works/Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh PA
Falstaff

Isaac Selya
Queen City Opera
Cincinnati OH
Siegfried


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

David Holley
University of NC at Greensboro
Greensboro NC
Amahl and the Night Visitors

Chad Hutchinson
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN
Suor Angelica

Matthew Mailman
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City OK
Dark Sisters—Muhly; Our Town—Rorem

Walter Morales
Carnegie Mellon University Opera
Pittsburgh PA
Die Fledermaus

Kirk A. Severtson
The Crane School of Music, SUNY—Potsdam
Potsdam NY
The Tender Land


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

Tiffany Chang
North End Music and Performing Arts Center Opera Project
Boston MA
La Cenerentola

Ezra Donner
University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Ann Arbor MI
The Pirates of Penzance

Ace Edewards
Opera in the Ozarks
Eureka Springs AR
Il Tabarro

***

We invite 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 results in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.





12 days ago |
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| Read Full Story

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST choruses for 2017-18 in all categories. Congratulations! Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

"The American Prize continues to attract some of the finest choirs in the country, in all their varieties of size, repertoire and style. The competition in the College/University choral division is especially keen—simply very fine choirs, every one, led by conductors not only of skill but sometimes of remarkable creativity. Regardless of the final outcome, here are performers (and performances) to remind everyone why choral singing at the highest level is artistry to be cherished. What a privilege to experience such beauty of tone, expression and idea."—David Katz, chief judge, The American Prize

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

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in years past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


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

Jason Harris
Schola Cincinnati
Cincinnati OH

Wendy K. Moy & Jeremiah Selvey
Chorosynthesis Singers
Seattle WA



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

Nicholle Andrews
University of Redlands Chapel Singers
Redlands CA

Donna M. Di Grazia
Pomona College Glee Club
Claremont CA

Lynda R. Hasseler
Capital University Chapel Choir
Columbus OH

Brandon Johnson
Eastern Michigan University Choir
Ypsilanti MI

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

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

David Mann
Michigan State University Chamber Choir
East Lansing MI

Catherine Sailer
University of Denver Lamont Chorale
Denver CO

David Schildkret
Arizona State University Chamber Singers
Tempe AZ

Ethan Sperry
Portland State Chamber Choir
Portland OR

Alan Stevens
BucsWorth Men's Choir
Johnson City TN



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

Scott Hanoian
University Musical Society Choral Union
Ann Arbor MI

Karen Hart
Vox Femina Los Angeles
Los Angeles CA


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

Debbie Aurelius-Muir
Olympia HS Concert Choir
Stanford IL

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

Jacob Cook
Youth Performing Arts School Chamber Choir
Louisville KY

Andrew Dibble
Indian Springs School Concert Choir
Pelham AL

Karyn Joaquino
Brearley B-Naturals
New York NY

Chris Maunu
Arvada West HS Vocal Showcase
Arvada CO

Shawn M. Small
Fifth Avenue Falcons
Lebanon PA


***

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

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a 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 results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.


  

17 days ago |
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The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2017-18, in vocal chamber music divisions. Congratulations!

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

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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


The American Prize in Composition—VOCAL CHAMBER MUSIC, professional division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick   Newton MA
    Kollwitz-Konnex (… im Frieden seiner Hande)
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick was born Yusuf Mustafa Zeren in Pfaffenhofen-an-der-Ilm, Germany, in 1969. He studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Texas at Austin and the New England Conservatory of Music as well as at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien and the Academy of Music in Lódz, Poland.  With his Romani-Kurdish ethnicity wrapped within his German-Polish-American identity, his music travels far afield by drawing inspiration from and engaging with literary, visual and musical landscapes both in time and place. This dialogue across centuries and among the arts informs much of his solo, chamber, orchestral, film and vocal music. Gawlick’s music (www.ralfgawlick.com), broadcast on NPR and available on the Musica Omnia and Capstone labels, is published by ECS Publishing, Musica Omnia Publishing and Brazinmusikanta Publications. He teaches at Boston College and lives in Newton, MA, with his wife Basia and their two children.


2nd Place:
Tony Solitro   Philadelphia PA
    More Beautiful Than Night
Tony Solitro
Tony Solitro is composer of concert and stage music whose recent works have been commissioned by Boston Opera Collaborative, Joseph Conyers (Assistant Principal Bass, Philadelphia Orchestra), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and Network for New Music. His compositions have been performed by People Inside Electronics (Los Angeles), the Litha Symphony Orchestra (Manhattan), International Opera Theater (USA/Italy), and in venues such as the Red Note New Music Festival (Illinois State University), the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, England), and the International Guitar Research Centre (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK). Tony has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, VCCA, Brush Creek, Kimmel Harding Nelson, and the Brevard Music Center. He earned his Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania) as a recipient of the George Crumb Music Fellowship and his M.M. (Longy School of Music) on a Nadia and Lili Boulanger Scholarship. To hear recordings, see videos, and explore his composition catalogue, visit www.tonysolitro.com.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Curtis Bryant   Union City GA
    THE LAUGHING MONKEYS OF GRAVITY
Curtis Bryant
Curtis Bryant (b. 1949) composes and teaches in the Atlanta area and served on the faculty of Georgia State University School of Music for ten years. For over three decades his music has been performed throughout North America and worldwide in concerts, music festivals and radio and television. Bryant composes for virtually all concert media including chamber, choral, orchestral, art song, and opera. He is a 2016 winner of THE AMERICAN PRIZE in composition opera/theater/film division for his opera ZABETTE. THE LAUGHING MONKEYS OF GRAVITY is a four-part song cycle based on a set of poems by Stephen Bluestone. Written for high soprano voice and expanded Pierrot ensemble, it is a meditation on the great comedians of the early film era, Laurel and Hardy, Lou Costello, The Three Stooges, and Charles Chaplin. The world premiere was given by soprano Arietha Lockhart in 2003 with faculty members of Mercer University. http://www.curtisbryantmusic.com



3rd Place (there was a tie):
Moshe Shulman   Buffalo NY
    Song of Songs
Moshe Shulman
Russian-born Israeli composer, violin, viola, bandoneon and accordion player, Moshe Shulman (b.1978) holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and the PhD degree in composition from the NY State University at Buffalo, studying with Mark Kopytman, David Felder and Johannes Schollhorn through the years. His music was performed in Israel, Canada, United States, Russia and France and Hungary with various ensembles such as Norrbotten NEO and Juventas New Music Ensemble, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Meridian Brass Quintet, Slee Sinfonietta (Buffalo, NY), International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Arditti Quartet. As a student he received numerous award, scholarships and assistantships from Israel and USA. He received a 2015 Fromm Foundation Commission from Harvard University. In summer 2009, Moshe won 3rd prize for “Construction 3” at the Jurgenson Contemporary Music International Competition in Moscow. He is on the Walden Summer Music Camp Faculty since 2014, and University at Buffalo adjunct professor. www.mosheshulman.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Jennifer Bellor   Las Vegas NV
    Songs in the Dark
Jennifer Bellor
Jennifer Bellor is a versatile composer who has been recognized for both her classical and jazz works with awards including The American Prize for her composition Chase the Stars, Elevate Ensemble Call for Scores winner for Moments Shared, Moments Lost, IAWM Judith Lang Zaimont prize for Skylark Lullaby, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra prize for Noir, and a Downbeat Award for Midnight Swim. Fanfare magazine praised Bordello Nights as being a “terrific piece of big-band jazz.” Her works have been performed by Washington National Opera, Lviv Philharmonic, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, and many others in the United States and abroad. Jennifer’s album Stay (2016) was featured on NewMusicBox’s Staff Picks as displaying a “wonderful demonstration of how to maintain a highly individual compositional identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos.” (Frank J. Oteri). Jennifer earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. She is currently Visiting Lecturer at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches courses in music composition and theory. For more information, please visit www.jenniferbellor.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Timothy Lee Miller   Mahwah NJ
    Three Poems of Henry W. Longfellow
Finalist Honorable Mention:
Timothy Lee Miller
Timothy Lee Miller is an American composer, arranger and publisher writing contemporary concert music for chamber ensembles, orchestra, wind ensemble, and voice, as well as jazz and film music. He has earned degrees from the University of Tennessee, the University of Miami and Vermont College of Fine Arts. His principle composition teachers have been John Anthony Lennon, James Progris, Tamar Diesendruck, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Andy Jaffe, John Fitz Rogers and Roger Zahab. He has received numerous commissions and awards, including several ASCAP awards. His works have been performed throughout the US and in Europe. His music is recorded on ERMMedia, Navona Records, Ansonica Records and Phoenix Classics. He lives in Mahwah, New Jersey with his wife and son.   


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Craig Thomas Naylor   Kalispell MT
    our voices, for now, sustained
Craig Thomas Naylor
The music of Craig Thomas Naylor (b. 1954) has been played worldwide by ensembles ranging from elementary school band to the orchestral soundtrack for the IMAX film "To The Limit."  His commissions include the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, The "President's Own" Marine Band Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, the Wind Ensembles of the Universities of Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Colorado State, Yale, Cornell, California at Los Angeles, numerous professional musicians and chamber ensembles, and community college, high, middle and elementary school choirs, bands, and orchestras. He received two Continental Harmony commission/residencies from the American Composers Forum. Recent residencies include Illinois Wesleyan University, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, San Jose State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Richmond. Craig earned his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Humboldt State University and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Composition from the University of Southern California.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Adam Schumaker   Portage MI
    The Best Thing Ever
Adam Schumaker
Adam Schumaker is a composer, educator, arts administrator, father, husband, and a generalist. He currently directs the education programs for The Gilmore Keyboard Festival and is a visiting professor of music theory & composition at Kalamazoo College, where he teaches music theory, composition, and arts entrepreneurship. Schumaker has composed for film, theater, chamber ensembles, concert band, promotional video, electronic mediums, and an intensive care unit hospital bed. He has received numerous local grants and commissions, most recently the Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative grant from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, to premiere his new song cycle, “The Best Thing Ever.” www.adamschumaker.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Reginald Unterseher   Kennewick WA
    Here, Bullet, a cycle of songs
Reginald Unterseher
Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and his web site, and are available at NWChoral.com. He was the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013. Mr. Unterseher’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at regional and national ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He is the Repertoire & Resources Chair for Composition for the Washington State American Choral Director’s Association. Mr. Unterseher is founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest as well as a founding member of Chor Anno. He is currently the Associate Conductor of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David von Kampen   Lincoln NE
    UNDER THE SILVER AND HOME AGAIN
David von Kampen
David von Kampen (b.1986) is a composer from Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s music spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including choral music, jazz, hymnody and liturgy, art song, chamber music, and musical theater. David is a six-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories, a three-time winner of the Vancouver Chamber Choir Young Composers Competition, and was named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle "Under the Silver and Home Again." David was the recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award, winner of the San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. David has over 50 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with Walton Music, Santa Barbara, G. Schirmer, Concordia Publishing House, UNC Jazz Press, MusicSpoke, and others.


The American Prize in Composition—VOCAL CHAMBER MUSIC, student division, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
Michael Lanci   Saratoga Springs NY
    Songs For Joe Hill
Michael Lanci
Michael Lanci (b.1984) is an active composer, teacher, and performer residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. Michael's music has been performed throughout America, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Michael has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and performed by the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with a variety of ensembles, including Klangpar2, Duo d’Entre Deux, Tres Por Radio, the harp duo Beyond Pluck, Decho Ensemble, Azalea Quartet, All of the Above, Hypercube, Fredonia Saxophone Ensemble, and Buffalo Chamber Players. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from SUNY Albany, where he also studied composition with Max Lifchitz and Master of Music degree in composition from SUNY Fredonia, where he studied with Rob Deemer and Karl Boelter. Michael is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he is studying with Michael Fiday. (michaellanci.com)

2nd Place:
Jihyun Kim   Houston TX
    Gorilla
Jihyun Kim
Jihyun Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Studying Composition with Shinuh Lee, she graduated early from Seoul National University with a Bachelor of Music as valedictorian and then earned a master's degree in Composition. Later, she graduated with a Master of Music from Indiana University where she studied with Don Freund, Aaron Travers and PQ Phan. She is currently pursuing a DMA at Rice University, studying with Karim Al-Zand. Her composed pieces have been performed at the festivals in Korea such as the Korean Music Expo and the ISCM World Music Days. Her works have also been performed in the United States and Brazil, including International Symposium of New Music, the RED NOTE New Music Festival and the Midwest Composers Symposium. Additionally, she won the Libby Larsen Prize in the International Alliance for Women New Music Competition and the Merit Award in the LinYao Ji International Competition for Composition in Hong-Kong.


3rd Place:
M.O. Abbott   Urbana IL
    Transistor
M.O. Abbott
M.O. Abbott's music has been performed by ensembles such as loadbang and Illinois Modern Ensemble, and by esteemed new music performers such as Kevin McFarland, Caleb Burhans, Martha Cluver, Tomoko Ono, Melody Chua, Victor Pons, and Yi-Wen Chen. M.O.'s work has recently been heard at festivals and conferences including Diffrazioni, Electronic Music Midwest, the SPLICE Institute, the SEAMUS National Conference, NUNC! 2, and New Music on the Point. M.O. was recently awarded the 19th Annual 21st Century Piano Commission with pianist Whitney Ashe. M.O. holds a B.M. in Theory from Eastman School of Music and a M.M. in Music Composition from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he now pursuing a D.M.A. as the graduate teaching assistant administrator of CAMIL (Computer Assisted Music Instruction Laboratory) and CMP (Computer Music Project). His principal composition instructors include Sever Tipei, Scott A. Wyatt, Heinrich Taube. Brian Belet, and David Liptak.


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Congratulations!
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Gioachino Rossini
The American Prize is pleased to announce the four winners of the Chicago Oratorio Award for 2018. These artists have been selected to perform as soloists with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus in Rossini's Stabat Mater on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7:30pm, in St James Epsicopal Cathedral, Chicago. The performance will be under the baton of the orchestra's founding music director, David Katz. Stephen Blackwelder is the chorus director.
For ticket information, please visit: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3055822 

If you would like to learn how you too can utilize the considerable artistic resources of The American Prize to help identify soloists for your ensemble's performances, please contact: theamericanprize@gmail.com 

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CHICAGO ORATORIO AWARD winners: 
Rossini's STABAT MATER
Christine Steyer, soprano
Christine Steyer, soprano
Soprano Christine Steyer has distinguished herself as artist of great versatility and is the recipient of numerous performances awards. Christine received critical acclaim for her operatic portrayals of the Marschallin, Madama Butterfly and Violetta. A frequent recitalist, Christine sang concerts of Russian and American music with pianist Philip Morehead and Spanish music with classical guitarist Brandon Acker. Recently Steyer sang for the Cuban Ambassador, the American Opera Society of Chicago, Beethoven's 9th at the University of Chicago, Lady Liberty in Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson with Chicago Folks Operetta, Mrs. Croft in Persuasion with Chamber Opera Chicago and a recital of Schubert at Unity Temple, Oak Park. She has commissioned and premiered several new works for soprano by composer David Shenton set to contemporary American poetry. As Artistic Director of Bellissima Opera, she is heading the creation of the new opera Future Perfect with a libretto by Chicagoland youth. Christine is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Concordia University in River Forest, IL.


Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano
Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano
“A born star who effectively stole the show” is how the press describes mezzo-soprano ANNA TONNA.  Well known for her commitment to the music of Spain and Latin America, her performances have been depicted as “...full of charm and magnetism with her dark, compact lyric mezzo-soprano, ideally suited for the flamenco-like vocal flourishes of Spanish music”.  In the role of Ernestina in the North American premiere of Gioachino Rossini's L'equivoco stravagante, she was described as "a mezzo heroine who knows how to sing Rossini" by the Rossini Gessellschaft and as "showing off her warm, secure mezzo-soprano to maximum advantage" by the New York Magazine.  Her combination of a highly developed coloratura with a full, balanced, flexible lower register have guaranteed her acclaim as a lyric mezzo, both in familiar roles of Rosina, Carmen, Dorabella, as well as in the more rare repertoire by Paisiello, Vivaldi, Mascagni, Zandonai and Giordano.  She has sung leading roles with Teatro Grattacielo in Lincoln Center, New Jersey State Opera, Opera Illinois State Opera of Brno (Czech Republic), Opera de Santo Domingo among others. As a solo recitalist she has presented at The Casals Festival of Puerto Rico, Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes in Puerto Rico, Música de Cámara of New York, Festival de Segovia (Spain) among many others.  She can be heard on her new disc release Espana alla Rossini with iTinerant Classics.   www.annatonna.com
Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, tenor
Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, tenor
Romanian tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman has appeared with opera companies, symphony orchestras and on the recital stage in Europe, South America and North America. Mr. Caraman has performed with Los Angeles Opera, George Enescu International Music Festival in Bucharest, Miami Lyric Opera, South Bend Lyric Opera, Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Opera in the Heights in Houston, Die Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie, New England Chamber Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and New Philharmonic Orchestra. Operatic highlights include Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Alfredo in La Traviata, Don José in Carmen, Fritz in L’Amico Fritz, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, Nemorino in L'elisir D'amore, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Lawrence Budmen of South Florida Classical Review: “In the title role, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman displayed a well-schooled lyric tenor that scaled the opera’s peaks impressively. He brought passionate lyricism to Fritz’s melodic outbursts. His aria of despair at losing his beloved Suzel was imbued with real vocal drama, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman’s high notes ringing through the house.”
Benjamin Howard, baritone
Benjamin Howard, baritone
Previously based in Chicago, baritone Benjamin Howard was marked as a “standout in the huge cast” (Chicago Tribune) as Connie Rivers in the Chicago premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at Northwestern University. Howard has sung roles with Chicago’s Main Street Opera in Serrano’s La Dolorosa and Rodrigo’s Ausencias de Dulcinea. Recent roles include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at Opera in the Ozarks and the title role in Don Giovanni at the University of North Texas. As a soloist, Howard most recently sang with the Abilene Philharmonic, performing Broadway love songs. This summer Howard will be a Young Artist at Utah Festival Opera, singing the roles of Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods and the Sergeant in The Barber of Seville. A Los Angeles native, Howard received his BM at Northwestern and currently pursues an Artist Certificate at UNT, where he completed his MM.
 
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The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in band/wind ensemble divisions. Congratulations!

"Wow, what great competitions. Many semi-finalists have been advanced, leading many different kinds (and strengths) of programs, in a variety of repertoire. All those listed below are worthy to receive further consideration for the fine work they are doing. Bravi, tutti."—DK

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

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

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

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

Kaleb Benda
OCU Wind Philharmonic
Oklahoma City OK

Michael Scott Butler
UWSP Wind Ensemble
Stevens Point WI

Daniel Cook
Recital Chamber Winds
Evanston IL

Austin Davis
University of Redlands Symphonic Band
Redlands CA

Pamornpan Komolpamorn
The University of Texas Bands
Austin TX

William L. Lake, Jr.
UNCG Casella Sinfonietta
Greensboro NC

Dongyul Lee
USC Bands
Los Angeles CA

Matthew Mailman
Oklahoma City University Wind Philharmonic
Oklahoma City OK

Leah McGray
Rhodes College Wind Ensemble, U-Memphis Symphonic Band
Memphis TN

Sixto F. Montesinos
Rutgers Wind Ensemble
New Brunswick NJ

Courtney Snyder
University of Michigan Concert Band
Ann Arbor MI

Mason St. Pierre
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony
Sydney Australia

Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Wind Ensemble
Seattle WA

Adam Waller
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Baltimore MD

Ryan M. Yahl
Indiana University Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble
Bloomington IN

Chee Weng Yim
Frost Wind Ensemble
Coral Gables FL

Boyang Yu
New England
Conservatory Wind Ensemble
Boston MA


FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—school and community band division, 2017-18

Brian Hughes
Quad City Wind Ensemble
Dubuque IA

Curtis Melton
Legacy HS Wind Ensemble
North Las Vegas NV

Bradley Morrison
Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester
Ossining NY

Shayna Stahl
University of Washington Concert Band
Seattle WA

Richard J. Whitley
The Blacksburg Community Band
Blacksburg VA

Gregory X. Whitmore
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble
Irvine CA


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We invite 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 results in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.


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Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce 2017-18 FINALIST conductors in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations!

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

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

Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—college/university division

Thomas Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK

Johannes Dietrich
Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
Annville PA

Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC

Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca NY

David Alexander Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA



FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—community division

Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA

Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA

Annette Jurcevic
Shoreline Symphony
Muskegon MI

Walter Morales
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh PA
 
FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—youth orchestra division
(This listing was updated on April 21, 2018)

Tigran Arakelyan
Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra
Bainbridge Island WA

Robert Boardman
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra
South Bend IN

Chad Hutchinson
SD Symphony Youth Orchestra
Sioux Falls SD



***

We invite 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 results in my division in soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.
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