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Malone Professor Awarded American Prize for Composition

The American Prize series announced that it has awarded Professor of Music Jesse Ayers, D.M.A., The American Prize in Composition (Orchestral Division) 2011 for The Passion of John Brown, commissioned by the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, music director.
From The American Prize website:
The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the very best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on recorded performances. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Complete information on the website: www.theamericanprize.org.
Winners of The American Prize in Composition receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on submitted recordings of works previously performed. In addition to monetary rewards and written evaluations from judges, winners are profiled on The American Prize website, where links will lead to video and audio excerpts of winning performances.
JESSE AYERS's (b. Knoxville, TN 1951) music has been performed in Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and more than 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 Fellowship, 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 Dr. Ayers and The Passion of John Brown, please visit www.jesseayers.com.

THE AMERICAN PRIZE—History & Judges
The American 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 country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.
With the performing arts in America marginalized like never before, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.
David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize. Professional conductor, award-winning composer, playwright, actor and arts advocate, Katz is author of MUSE of FIRE, the acclaimed one-man play about the art of conducting. Joining Katz in selecting winners of The American Prize is a panel of judges as varied in background and experience as we hope the winners of The American Prize will be. Made up of distinguished musicians representing virtually every region of the country, the group includes professional vocalists, conductors, composers and pianists, tenured professors and orchestra and choral musicians.
“Many artists may never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or perhaps ever even be nominated,” Katz said, “but that does not mean that they are not worthy of recognition and reward. Quality in the arts is not limited to the coasts, or to the familiar names, or only to graduates of the most famous schools. It is on view all over the United States, if you take the time to look for it. The American Prize exists to encourage and herald that excellence. ”
By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize receive world-class bragging rights to use in promotion right at home. “If The American Prize helps build careers, or contributes to local pride, or assists with increasing the audience for an artist, ensemble or composer, builds the donor base, or stimulates opportunities or recruitment for winning artists and ensembles, then we have fulfilled our mission,” Katz said.
In 2011 The American Prize sponsors competitions for conductors, ensembles, vocalists, pianists and composers. The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.