Next Entry Deadline
February 28, 2014
Awards of Excellence ___________________________________________________________________________
Belmonte Trio, Piano Trio C minor op. 1 #3, Movement 1,2,3,4, instrumental ensemble; and Otono Portexo, instrumental performance in a group (Robert Durso), brings together the artistry of three prominent Philadelphia-based musicians: violinist Jennifer K. Lee, cellist Glenn Fischbach and pianist Robert Durso. These are thoughtful, passionate and sophisticated performances. LINK Charles L. Booker, Jr., Radiant Blues, album, is written with skillful scoring and interesting instrumentals appealing to performers and audiences. This is a high quality recording with sections devoted to alto saxophone and wind ensemble, tuba and wind band, piano and wind ensemble and a suite for band. It is a collection of music from a much loved composer who knows what audiences want to hear. LINK Craig Marks - CineMedia Music, Alain's Embellishment, production value/producer. Like a master chef who elevates food into art, composer Craig Marks serves up a sumptuous feast of musical delight, expertly blending exotic textures and heart-breaking melodies. Fluent in a wide variety of genres, Marks has written for feature films, television, animated series, commercials, and classical ensembles. LINK Danaë Vlasse, Fantasie #2 Swan Song, composition, is chromatic and harmonically unstable, and punctuated with painful accents. It represents the mournful song of an ailing swan caught between its desire to grasp onto a few moments more of life and its resignation to a passage into afterlife. Several technical elements dramatically portray thrashing wings, fluttering heartbeat and panicked episodes. LINK Dorothy Hindman, Tapping the Furnace, creativity/originality, is unique and multilayered, revealing deep organization on every level. Hindman’s very personal style shows development of a single idea to create highly complex structures. She favors symmetrical harmonies and consonance. This is high impact, urban music with abstract musical language. LINK Federico Truzzi (Italy), The Dream, composition, has uplifting themes by an accomplished composer, musician, orchestrator for theater rock and metal music and sound engineer. Turzzi is passionate about his work and has dedicated his life to the constant pursuit of music; touching upon all facets from classical composures to an inclination towards the distorted guitar. LINK Giovanni Rotondo (Italy), Napoli, composition, is a four movement symphony; each movement inspired by different neighborhoods within Napoli, Italia. The music pays tribute and is a love letter to the composer’s beautiful, sometimes hidden, but always uncontainable home city. Listeners fly like seagulls over the hills of Napoli while being warmed by the sun’s reflection from the sea. LINK Hope Wechkin, Leaning toward the Fiddler, album, breakthrough artist and female vocalist, explodes with lush and haunting musical vocabulary. Wechkin has the dazzling ability to sign and simultaneously play violin. This collection of original compositions defies genres and has a fusion of influences ranging from Bosnian, Croatian and Russian folk songs to contemporary poetry and Italian art song. LINK Jeremy Tisser Music, Zombie SC, composition, augments reality in an iPhone zombie game. To keep the game silly and quirky, Tisser wrote a score using big band instrumentation of five trumpets, five trombones, five saxophones, drums, bass, guitar and piano. The score has been nominated for Best Mobile Game Score at the upcoming 2013 Hollywood Music in Media Awards. LINK Mikhail Volchok, Brahms: Piano Pieces Op. 116-119, album. Volchok, on the Piano Faculty at the University of Maryland, performs a distinguished recital of Johannes Brahms’ last piano pieces. These brief pieces, most of them two to four minutes in duration, provide insight into the soul of Brahms as composer and the sublime beauty of his music. LINK
Awards of Merit ________________________________________________________________________________
Alan Williams, Patriots of Freedom, original score, celebrates the bravery, heroism and sacrifice of American soldiers and airmen struggling to preserve freedom. This substantial composer has created music that is fitting in scope and treatment to dramatically portrays the awful cost of fighting for freedom. LINK Alester & Marquis Owens, Blue, creativity/originality, highlights the bass in this recording as the primary melodic element in the composition. The Owens’ specialize in film production, music composition and direction and are recipients of numerous awards and honors. LINK Bayer AG – Thomas Helfrich (Germany), Anniversary Song Project: A Better Life, song and motivational/inspirational; and Anniversary Song Project: A Better Life Video, music video and special purpose recording. The Anniversary Song Project was created as part of the 150th anniversary of Bayer and was recorded and sung by employees from around the world. LINK Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Don't Be a Zombie, Be Prepared!, motivational/inspirational, use of voice, is an audio-only podcast series for kids by kids. These recordings highlight health and safety information in fun, creative ways to motivate kids to prepare for emergencies. LINK Craig Marks - CineMedia Music, Alain's Embellishment, composition, is an unexpected mastery of unlikely juxtaposition. His comprehensive musical expertise is reflected in this composition by his extraordinary eclecticism. Marks says, "There's music in everything." LINK Damien Dematra Productions (Indonesia), Tuhan (God), motivational/inspirational, is a song in praise to God. Dematra is a musician, novelist, script writer, director, producer, international photographer, and painter. He has written 85 novels in dual languages, English and Indonesian. LINK Danaë Vlasse, Fantasie #2 Swan Song, listener impact, is driven by depiction of a dying swan that has never uttered a beautiful sound in life, but miraculously sings one glorious song with it parting breath. This myth forced the composer to delve into empathetic embodiment of the swan. LINK Dorothy Hindman, Tapping the Furnace, composition, on Hindman’s debut solo release, has ear-grabbing works that are interpreted by some top new music performers. The result is a wide-ranging album that hits the visceral via highly structured compositions. LINK Jeremy Tisser Music, Tricklab, video game music, sets the mood for an iPad game about a baby hamster and its mother. Tisser cleverly uses solo violin to express the cuteness of a little hamster, solo flute to symbolize the mysteriousness of night, and chirping birds express fear. LINK Katie Stump Music, Natural, album, offers songs that are earnest and heartfelt. Stump has performed her original music at various charity events, festivals and coffeehouses. This is her debut album, which for listeners will return them to the simplicity of honest musical expression. LINK Mick Fitzgerald (Ireland), When Dublin is Tired, song, from the album, The Piper and the Púca: Strange Goings On. Fitzgerald is an Irish actor and musician born in Dublin into a family of performers. This is Fitzgerald’s second singing/story-telling CD. LINK Nan Avant, Tributum, composition, is a concert work that pays homage to the great music of Ireland and Scotland, performed with Eliot Grasso on the Uilleann Pipes and Kevin Auld on the Great Highland Bagpipes. Interestingly, Avant is a pianist of Latin heritage. LINK Pedro Contreras Almela (Spain), Olite's Castle, original score, memorizes the deaths of 1477 young soldiers off the coast of Cartagena, Spain, aboard the naval ship Olite Castle. This film documentary music is part of their last joys, their last agonizing moments but with a heroic spirit. LINK Thom Chacon & Perry Margouleff - Pie Records, Thom Chacon, listener impact (Thom Chacon) and production value/producer (Perry Margouleff/Pie Records), delivers a gritty dose of Americana by Durango, Colorado, singer-songwriter. This heartland storytelling guitar player is a crowd pleaser. LINK
Timothy Luke Smith, Benjamin Seeing Tessellations, composition, is a keyboard percussion octet for one vibraphone and seven marimbas. Smith was inspired to create this composition by minimalist music, especially that composed by Steve Reich. Like Reich, Smith uses loops to create phasing patterns.
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Best of Show ___________________________________
Todd Oxford, Finesse, instrumental performance solo, is an expressive musical treat with a wide range of rich, colorful tone performed by Todd Oxford using baritone saxophone to feature the works of César Franck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Eugène Bozza and Paul Bonneau. Oxford is one of the world’s pre-eminent classical saxophonists. He is active internationally as a performer, recording artist, and educator appearing in Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, and throughout forty-six of the fifty United States in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, CAMI Hall, Dallas’s Meyerson Center, Georgia’s Spivey Hall, and the Texas Ranger’s Ballpark to perform the National Anthem for a crowd of 30,000. Oxford is Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Chamber Music at the Texas State University School of Music. LINK