batonThe American Prize in Conducting—Choral Division, 2017

 

The American Prize in Conducting recognizes and rewards the best orchestral, choral, band/wind ensemble, opera and musical theater conductors in America, based on submitted recordings. There is no live competition.


ALSO: NEW CONTEST for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC:

A new contest with expanded categories in 2017 for orchestras, choruses, bands, conductors and composers, offered for the first time in 2016, recognizes the finest performances of American Music from any age and in practically any style or instrumentation:

To learn about the ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, .

 


DOWNLOAD CHORAL CONDUCTING APPLICATION HERE (PDF)


PRELIMINARY DEADLINE for postmark or emailing of application(s): Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Extended deadline—for those who need more time to complete materials: Tuesday, May 30, 2017. There is no need to email in advance to take advantage of the later date.


WHAT CONTESTANTS WIN:
The American Prize is more than monetary. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners are announced to national arts media and on our websites, where winners are profiled. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners earn the right to use The American Prize logo and official seal on printed programs and other documents, and on the web.


SEMI-FINALISTS: All semi-finalists receive official certificates.

FINALISTS and RUNNERS-UP: All finalists and runners-up receive certificates and written, unbiased evaluations from our distinguished national panel of judges. When winners are announced on The American Prize blog, RUNNERS-UP are also profiled on the blog with their photos, biographies and website links.

WINNERS: A single winner in each category and/or division is selected. Winners receive certificates, written evaluations, personalized press releases sent by us to local media and other contacts you provide as part of your application, and cash prizes up to $500, depending on the year, the category and the number of entrants.
Only with your explicit permission, excerpts of winning performances may be posted to The American Prize channel on .

The judges reserve the right to award citations and honorable mentions as warranted, and to combine categories when necessary. The decision of the judges is final.


OVERVIEW:
The American Prize in Conducting—Choral Division, is offered in as many as six categories, based on the type of ensemble you conduct, and on the number and quality of entries. You may make separate applications in as many categories as you are eligible, and may apply additionally for your ensemble, should you desire (see Performance Prizes).

The six categories are:
    1. professional chorus (all musicians are paid)
    2. community or faith-based chorus (some musicians may be paid/some may be students)
    3. college or university chorus (mostly students/no paid vocalists—except soloists/faculty participation ok)
    4. secondary school chorus (mixed choir, women’s or men’s choir)
    5. youth chorus (musicians from more than one secondary or high school, or from an arts academy or magnet school)
    6. children's chorus (musicians from more than one elementary or middle school)

The American Prize defines a “chorus” to be (at minimum) a conducted ensemble of at least 8 vocalists, which may be a mixed ensemble, women’s chorus or men’s chorus. (This definition is purposely broad to allow the largest number of potential contestants to be eligible. We seek to welcome the greatest variety of choirs found in schools, churches and communities throughout the country).

Choirs may sing unaccompanied or with any accompaniment appropriate to the repertoire they perform, including orchestra, wind ensemble or concert band.


ELIGIBILITY:
The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories. All application fees must be remitted in U.S. funds.

HOW TO APPLY:

Every applicant must send certain required information by email.

Applicants can then complete their application either of two ways:

 

A. ONLINE ONLY: pay fees online, submit the downloaded application as a PDF file, along with the required emailed information (see application form), and include links to your online audition selections. (Application forms for The American Prize can be filled out on computer, saved and emailed by using Adobe Reader 11. Download it free here.)

or
B. BY MAIL & EMAIL: mail the completed, downloaded application form and send audition selections on disc or tape to the office, and email the required information (see application form), paying fees online, or by check, by money order or credit card.

 

    1. Download the application form for The American Prize in Conducting, choral division. Select the category which best identifies the applicant.
    2. MAIL the completed application form by the deadline date or EMAIL it as a PDF attachment with your required email.

    3. If providing audition selections ONLINE, include the links to them in your required email (see application form.)

    4. If providing audition selections BY MAIL, include two identical recordings of the applicant in performance, with the selections clearly indicated on both the recording itself and on the recording's cover or box. Be sure it lists applicant's name.
    5. Be sure to sign the form and pay the application fee. Pay ONLINE (click "FEES/GIFTS" in the menu bar, above), or send check, money order or credit card information by mail.
    6. Be sure to email the required information (see application form.)

The application fee is $40 per application. Pay ONLINE (click "FEES/GIFTS" in the menu bar, above), pay by credit card, or make checks payable to HCMT/The American Prize. Application fees are nonrefundable. No incomplete applications will be accepted. When paying online, BE SURE to identify the applicant with the payment.


REQUIREMENTS for the RECORDED AUDITION:

The American Prize in Conducting (choral division):

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 location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual limits eligibility, provided the general guidelines listed below have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of finalists and winners.

1. MAIL recordings of, or email ONLINE links to, not less than thirty minutes of music of your choice, selected from a recent performance or performances recorded within the last five years. Complete works or complete movements only. No excerpts.

 

2. Performers and works must be clearly identified on the disc itself and on the cover or video box. For Conducting Prizes, we accept DVD or VHS recordings or online links only. No audio tapes. The judges prefer recordings that show the conductor from the vantage-point of the ensemble, but that is not an absolute requirement. Some rehearsal footage is helpful but also not required.

 

3. If submitting ONLINE links, include them in your required email. Be sure to identify the links by title of the selection and provide any passwords necessary, so judges can easily access your audition. Links must remain active until results in the category are officially announced. PLEASE NOTE: The responsibility for the viability of links rests with the contestant. Please double-check that they work correctly.

 

4. There are no other restrictions. No materials will be returned.

 

SEND required email to: theamericanprize@gmail.com


TIMELINE for this competition:
Final deadline for postmark or emailing applications: Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Applications will be acknowledged by email following that date.


In general, the entire competition process is completed just after the start of the new year. Semi-finalists are announced in the fall, finalists in the winter, followed by winners—after which all certificates, evaluations and prizes are mailed. Specific dates for the announcement of each stage of the competition are posted in regular updates to our blog and facebook pages. Find those links on the homepage of this website.