Choral Union, a choir based at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, has just won first place in the 2011 American Prize in choral performance (community chorus division), and PLU’s student choir Choir of the West has won second place. The annual prize, created in 2009 to recognize excellence in performing arts around the nation, includes cash prizes and national recognition on the American Prize website (www.theamericanprize.org).
Conducted by Richard Nance, Choral Union is an 80-voice ensemble made up of PLU faculty, staff, alumni and students that has performed since 1984, singing major choral works and shorter programs, performing at regional and national conventions and on four European tours.
Choir of the West was founded in 1925, and performs in several PLU concerts every year, as well as singing at conferences and on tour.
“Many artists will likely never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or perhaps even be nominated,” said David Katz, conductor, composer and chief judge for the American Prize, “but that does not mean that they are not worthy of recognition and reward…The American Prize exists to encourage and herald that excellence. ”
The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, a non-profit Connecticut company, and includes competitions for orchestras, opera and musical theater companies, choruses, pianists, vocalists, composers and conductors.