Winners of The American Prize in Composition, 2011

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

Orchestral Prizes

Choral Prizes

The American Prize in Composition (Orchestral Division), 2011

The American Prize winner:
Jesse Ayers,

Canton, OH

The Passion of John Brown, commissioned by the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, music director.

Jesse Ayers's (b. Knoxville, TN 1951) music has been performed in Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and over 100 U.S. cities, and has twice been selected to represent the United States at the ISCM World Music Days. His awards include a MacDowell Fellowhip, an Individual Creativity Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, annual awards from ASCAP, and grants from Meet the Composer and the American Music Center. For more about Mr. Ayers and The Passion of John Brown, please visit

Among judges' comments: "Well orchestrated, well voiced...quite moving."


2nd Place:

Lee Actor,

Monte Sereno, CA

Dance Rhapsody

3rd Place:

Todd Goodman,
Midland, PA

Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra

4th Place:

Robert Wendel,
New York, NY

Towers of Light


The American Prize in Composition (Choral Division), 2011

The American Prize winner:
Ted Vives,

Los Alamos, NM

Castrovalva, Lux Aeterna and Gloria

Ted Vives has received many awards and commissions for his choral and instrumental works. He holds Bachelor's degrees in Music Composition and Education from Florida State University and a Master's in Music Composition and Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Florida. His composition instructors have included John Boda, Charles Carter, and Budd Udell. He is the musical director for the Los Alamos (NM) Community Winds where he resides with his wife and children. Visit

2nd Place:

John Van Geem,
Mount Prospect, IL