chorusThe American Prize in Virtual (online/remote/streamed) Performance, 2022-23

The American Prize in Virtual Performance recognizes and rewards the best virtual (online/remote/streamed) performances made since February 2020 in response to the pandemic by ensembles and soloists in the U.S., based on submitted recordings. Applications are accepted from professional, college/university, community and high school age solo artists, chamber ensembles or conducted ensembles, competing in separate divisions, and from composers with excellent recordings of their works.


There are two main categories: 1) online/streamed, recorded performances in which all the participants were in the same location at the time of performance, and 2) online/streamed, recorded performances in which the participants performed together from remote locations. Separate prizes will be awarded in each category, based on submitted applications. There are no restrictions as to repertoire, instrumentation or voicing. (See the application form and "Requirements for the Recorded Audition"— below—for complete details.) The Virtual Performance competition is a new contest requiring a separate application fee. Contestants may also apply in corresponding ensemble, conducting, chamber music and solo divisions using the same performance(s).


EXTENDED DEADLINE (because of many requests): Tuesday, September 27, 2022. A short further extension may be available by emailing the office. Questions?

The American Prize is more than monetary. The Prize grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians. Laureates of The American Prize at all levels of achievement derive local, regional and national recognition to help generate jobs, build audiences and sustain careers. 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. Thousands of artists have derived benefit from their participation in the contests of The American Prize.

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

FINALISTS & RUNNERS-UP: All finalists receive certificates and short comments about their audition. 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 with 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.


The American Prize in Virtual Performance is offered in two divisions and as many as five categories, based on the age or experience of the artist or artists, and on the number and quality of entries. Applications may be made by soloists, chamber ensembles of any size, by conducted ensembles—by their members, by composers, conductors, board members or other ensemble leaders, such as faculty or administrators—or, in the case of student ensembles, by parents. In this category, multiple applications by the same artist or ensemble are acceptable. Conductors may apply with more than one ensemble, and separately for conducting or ensemble awards. (see Ensemble and Conducting Prizes in the drop-down competition menu—above).


The two divisions are:

1. streamed, recorded performances in which all the participants were in the same location at the time of the performance.

2. streamed, recorded performances in which the participants performed together from remote locations.


The five categories are:
    1. professional artist or artists (solo artist or composer, chamber ensemble or conducted ensemble)—all musicians are paid
    2. community or faith-based artist or artists (solo artist or composer, chamber ensemble or conducted ensemble)—in the case of ensembles in this category, some musicians may be paid/some may be students.
    3. college or university artist or artists (pre-professional solo artist or composer, chamber ensemble or conducted ensemble)—in the case of ensembles in this category, most members are students/no paid players except "ringers"/faculty participation ok.
    4. secondary school artist or artists (high school age solo artist or composer, chamber ensemble or conducted ensemble)

    5. youth chamber or conducted ensemble (ensemble made up of musicians from more than one secondary or high school, or an ensemble from an arts magnet school)

See "Requirements for the Recorded Audition," (below) for more information about what may be submitted.

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. The American Prize does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age, spiritual or personal belief, disability, sexual preference or gender identification. All application fees must be remitted in U.S. funds.


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, photo or scan, along with the required emailed information (see application form), and include links to online audition selection(s). (Application forms for The American Prize can be filled out on computer, saved and emailed by using Adobe Reader 11. Download it free here.)

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


    1. DOWNLOAD the application form for The American Prize in Virtual Performance. Select the categories which best identifiy the applicant(s).
    2. MAIL the completed application form by the deadline date or EMAIL it as a PDF, photo or scan with your required email.

    3. If providing audition selections ONLINE, include the link(s) in your required email (see application form.)

    4. If providing audition selections BY MAIL, include two identical recordings of the applicant's virtual performance, with the selection(s) clearly indicated on both the recording itself and on the recording's cover or box. Be sure it lists applicant's name. No loose discs, please.
    5. Be sure to sign the form and pay the application fee. Pay ONLINE (click "FEES/GIFTS" in the menu bar, above), or use this link: "Pay competition fees", 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 for this contest is $60 per application. Pay ONLINE (click "FEES/GIFTS" in the menu bar, above) or use this iink: "Pay competition fees" pay by credit card, or make checks payable to HCMT/The American Prize (see application form.) Application fees are nonrefundable. No incomplete applications will be accepted. When paying online, BE SURE to identify the applicant with the payment. Parents, teachers and others interested in applying for a David Daniels Scholarship, which covers up to 80% of application fees to The American Prize contests for high school-age students only (currently enrolled or home schooled in any U.S. state, territory or protectorate), please write to David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, at Place the words "Daniels Scholarship" in the subject line of the email. In the Virtual Performance contest, the scholarship opportunity applies to individual high school artists or chamber ensembles only, not to conducted ensembles. To learn more about David Daniels and the scholarship created in his memory, please click to visit the article on our blog.

email with questions:

The American Prize in Virtual Performance

Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual or ensemble 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, the streamed performance of any work (or works) from any period, including "new" music, recorded between February 2020 and the present day. Up to approximately 20 minutes of music may be submitted. There is no minimum length requirement. The judges prefer complete works, but complete movements—not excerpts—may be submitted if the full work is not available, even if they exceed the time limit. Recordings in the Virtual Performance category must be video. Audio-only is not accepted.


2. If sending performances by mail, performers and works must be clearly identified on the disc itself and on the cover or box. We accept DVD recordings only in this category. No materials will be returned


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 the end of the contest year. 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. Completed applications will be confirmed by email.


SEND required email to:

GENERAL TIMELINE for this competition:


In general, the competition process is completed over a number of months. Semi-finalists are announced in the fall and winter, finalists in the winter & spring, 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 the competition's blog, twitter and facebook pages. Find those links on the homepage of this website.


The American Prize competitions are administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc. (HCMT), the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Danbury, CT.