chorusThe American Prize in Virtual Performance, 2021

The American Prize in Virtual Performance recognizes and rewards the best virtual performances by indivudals or ensembles in America in 2020 or 2021, based on submitted applications.


UNDER CONSTRUCTION—February 2021—everything below will be changed to accommodate the new contest criteria.

Winning concert bands or wind ensembles receive cash prizes and award certificates. Finalists receive certificates and written evaluations. Semi-finalists receive certificates. Finalists and winners are announced to local and national arts media and on our website, were winners are also profiled.

POSTMARK DEADLINE for application(s): November 30, 2010.

The American Prize in Wind Ensemble/Concert Band Performanceis offered in five categories, based on the membership in the ensemble. Applications on behalf of wind ensembles & concert bands may be made by the conductor of the ensemble, its board members or other leaders, such as faculty or administrators, by the musicians themselves, or, in the case of student ensembles, by parents. Only one application per ensemble per year may be submitted. Conductors may apply separately for conducting awards (see Conducting Prizes).

The five categories are:
    1. professional wind ensemble/concert band (all musicians are paid)
    2. community or faith-based wind ensemble/concert band (some musicians may be paid/some may be students)
    3. college/university wind ensemble/concert band (mostly students/no paid vocalists—except soloists/faculty participation ok)
    4. secondary school wind ensemble/concert band (students from a single school)
    5. youth wind ensemble/concert band (students from more than one secondary or high school)

This contest is for designed for “seated ensembles”—those that give concerts. Marching bands should apply in the Marching Band category (competition to be posted in spring 2011.) “Pep” or “spirit” bands, organized primarily to generate enthusiasm at sporting events, are not eligible to apply.

The American Prize defines a “wind ensemble/concert band” to be (at minimum) a conducted ensemble of at least 10 instrumentalists, which may be a mixed, all brass or all woodwind ensemble. (This definition is purposely broad to allow the largest number of potential contestants to be eligible. We seek to welcome the greatest variety of wind ensembles/concert bands found in schools, churches and communities throughout the country.)

There is a single application form for The American Prize in Wind Ensemble/Concert Band Performance. On it, select the category which best identifies your ensemble.
   1. Send the completed application form by the deadline date.
   2. Include two identical recordings of the band/wind ensemble in performance, with the conductor, ensemble and selections clearly indicated.
   3. Be sure to sign the form and include the application fee.
   4. Be sure to also email the required information.

The application fee is $65 per ensemble. Make checks payable to HCMT/The American Prize. Application fees are nonrefundable. No incomplete applications will be accepted.


The American Prize in Wind Ensemble/Concert Band Performance:
not less than thirty minutes of music, selected from a recent performance or performances. You need not prepare a special tape for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a concert made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the size, make-up, location or repertoire of any qualified organization limits its eligibility. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of finalists and winners. Performers and works must be clearly identified on the disc, cover or video box. There are no other restrictions. We accept CD, DVD or VHS recordings only. No cassette tapes or other electronic media. The judging panel will listen from the beginning of the recording unless you request otherwise. No materials will be returned.


If applying for both the ensemble prize and the conducting prize, please note that the requirements for the recording in the conducting category are different from those listed above. (See Conducting Prizes.)

TIMELINE for this competition:

1. Deadline for postmark of applications: November 30, 2010. The application will be acknowledged by email upon receipt.
2. Announcement of semi-finalists: week of February 6, 2011
3. Announcement of finalists: week of March 13, 2011
4. Announcement of winners: week of April 17, 2011