Sunday, November 6, 2016

ORCHESTRAL PROGRAMMING (Marijosius Memorial Award) semi-finalists, 2016

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce 2016 SEMI-FINALIST conductors in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations! To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing:

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

James Allen Anderson
    University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra
    Newark DE 
Peter Askim
    The Next Festival of Emerging Artists
    The Raleigh Civic Symphony Orchestra
    Raleigh NC 
Nicholas DeMaison
    Rensselaer Orchestra 
    Troy, NY
Johannes Dietrich
    Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
    Annville PA 
Jaemi Loeb
    Centre College Orchestra
    Danville KY 
David Rahbee
    University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
    Seattle WA

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

Donald L. Appert
    The Jewish Community Orchestra of Portland
    Portland OR
Thomas Rainey
    Williamson County Symphony Orchestra
    Round Rock TX
Matthew Hooper
    West Shore Symphony Orchestra
    Mechanicsburg PA
Pia Liptak
    Cordancia Chamber Orchestra
    Rochester NY 
David William Oertel
    Starlight Symphony Orchestra
    Wimberley TX
Anthony Spain
    Northwest Symphony     Orchestra
    Seattle WA
Ubaldo Valli
    SUNY Cortland College Community Orchestra
    Cortland NY

SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—youth orchestra division

Robert W. Boardman
    South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras
    South Bend IN
Orlando Cela
    NC Governor's School Orchestra
    Winston-Salem NC
Alyze Dreiling
    YPO Soloists Ensemble
    San Diego CA
Farkhad Khudyev
    Youth Music Monterey
    Monterey CA


We invite semi-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 semi-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 finalists in my division in several weeks. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: or follow the news on Facebook: or Twitter: "

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

Congratulations to all semi-finalists.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

MARIJOSIUS AWARD winners, 2015

Maestro Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is proud to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award, 2015. Awards were made in three divisions this year: college/university orchestras, community orchestras and youth orchestras. All the results are below.

Please make us aware of any misprints by emailing: 

For nearly thirty five years Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford, Vytautas Marijosius programmed concerts that were alive in every sense—not programming for novelty’s sake, nor neglecting the great masters of the past—but always bringing to the awareness of his students and his audiences great composers of the current time and potential masters of the future. I believe he would be pleased in different ways with each of this year's honorees." —DK

For more about Maestro Marijosius, please visit the companion blog here.

The American Prize in Orchestral Programming
Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award
—College/University Orchestra Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Tian Hui Ng   South Hadley, MA
   Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra

Tian Hui Ng
The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra (MHSO) is one of the largest musical groups on campus. Led by their conductor Ng Tian Hui, the group reflects the diversity of the college's community, with musicians from the five colleges and the Pioneer Valley, in addition to students, faculty and staff from Mount Holyoke College. Students who perform in the Orchestra might be majors in Music or Biology, English or International Relations, philosophy or mathematics. They are drawn by the collective desire to be an active participant in creating great beauty in the realm of sound.

The orchestra is particularly proud of its second prize in the 2014 American Prize for Orchestral Programming, and acknowledged for its fine work by grants from the Massachusetts Arts Council, Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, National Arts Council of Singapore, the Singapore International Foundation, Women’s Philharmonic and WomenArts in acknowledgement of its creative and engaging programming.

2nd Place:
Chris Younghoon Kim   Ithaca, NY
   Cornell Chamber Orchestra
Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Chris Younghoon Kim, present multiple concerts during each academic school year.  The membership of the orchestra is formed from students of all colleges and departments across the university-wide community.  It is the only non-music major orchestra to win first place among collegiate orchestras the ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary music during the 2008-2009 season. It has won the Adventurous awards for 6 years in a row from 2008-2014. For the last seven seasons Cornell Orchestras have been jointly producing the Ithaca International conducting masterclasses with Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra.

3rd Place:
Michael Griffith   Laramie, WY
    University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra
Michael Griffith
Now in his 26th year as Conductor of the University of Wyoming Symphony, Michael Griffith’s guest conducting ranges from NY’s Times Square to Rio de Janeiro; locally Denver’s Mercury Ensemble, Ft. Collins Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, and Opera Fort Collins. With younger musicians he’s conducted ensembles in China, Canada, and across the US. He was a visiting professor at the Sibelius Academy and Shanghai University, twice elected a Top Ten Teacher by UW graduating classes, and taught UW’s London Semester. Past president of the Conductors Guild, he’s won an ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award. Broadcast performances include the Nigerian Broadcasting Company, CBC, Minnesota Public Radio, KUSF San Francisco, and Wyoming Public Television. Dr. Griffith inherited his musical talent from his grandmother, a leading soprano in the Vienna Folksoper. He grew up in Cleveland, studying oboe with Harvey McGuire and Robert Zupnic of The Cleveland Orchestra. His conducting teachers were Charles Bruck (Monteux School), Dennis Burkh (MSU), and Giora Bernstein (Colorado).

The American Prize in Orchestral Programming
Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award
—Community Orchestra Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Michael Korn   Waltham, MA
    The Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra

Michael Korn
In just a few years  since immersing himself into conducting Michael Korn appeared on stage of Tsai Performance Center and Paramount Theater in Boston and amassed extensive repertoire ranging from works by Lully and Handel through the 21st century orchestral music by living composers.  American music advocate, he premiered in Boston works by many contemporary composers and performed Gaelic Symphony by Amy Beach and À Montevideo Symphony by Louis Moreau Gottschalk.  

As an accompanist, Michael Korn collaborated with many outstanding Boston musicians and young talented performers alike.  He regularly teaches young students in orchestral settings and conducts Oliver Ames High School orchestras in Easton and Sharon Community Chamber Youth Orchestra.  In 2014 he directed 2014 senior S.E.M.S.B.A. Festival Orchestra in Massachusetts. 

Michael Korn is Music Director of Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra and Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra.

2nd Place:
Donald L. Appert   Vancouver, WA
    Clark College Symphony Orchestra, Jewish Community Orchestra

Donald L. Appert
Donald Appert has been Artistic Director and Conductor of the Jewish Community Orchestra of Portland, OR since 2012. He has guest conducted orchestras in Europe, Central America, Japan and Australia. Currently he is Music Director/Conductor of the Clark College Orchestra and a Professor of Music and Head of the Music Department at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. In addition he is the Music Director/Conductor of the Oregon Sinfonietta in Portland, Oregon.  He received The American Prize in Orchestral Programming—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in 2011 for his work with the Oregon Sinfonietta, an Honorable Mention in 2012, and 3rd Place in 2014. The Clark County (WA) Arts Commission awarded him the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award in 2014. He has received the ASCAPLUS Award numerous times. Videos of his conducting and his original compositions may be seen and heard via the Internet on his web site at

The American Prize in Orchestral Programming
Maestro Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award
—Youth Orchestra Division 

The American Prize Winner:
Robert Boardman   South Bend, IN
    South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra

Robert Boardman
Robert W. Boardman, a native of Ithaca, New York is currently Music Director and Conductor of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Artistic Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's webcast, "Life from Orchestra Hall." He has assisted Marin Alsop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and served as Associate Conductor for CAMI's worldwide tour of Howard Shore's "The Lord of the Rings Symphony." Boardman received the DMA of Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan in 2010 where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler. He has participated in dozens of workshops nationwide and been a participant in masterclasses with conductors Larry Rachleff, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Mazur, Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, and many other fine pedagogues. 

2nd Place:
Allen Tinkham   Chicago, IL
   Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

Allen Tinkham
Allen Tinkham is hailed by the Chicago Tribune as one of Chicago's most important "educators, mentors and inspirational guides in the training of tomorrow's orchestral professionals," working "wonders" in concerts performed at a "professional-level."  As Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Tinkham has led them to critical acclaim on four continents, winning nine ASCAP Awards for the Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

Recent guest appearances include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He is on faculty at the New York Summer Music Festival and the Columbia College of Chicago and conducts all-state and other youth festival orchestras across the country, including the 2015 NAfME All-Northwest and All-Eastern orchestras.

Tinkham holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. He began his career as an Apprentice Conductor of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra under Music Director James DePreist.