Denver Young Artists Orchestra Awarded National Prize for Performance of American Music

American Prize Recognizes Musical Excellence Nationwide

Denver, CO – The Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) is honored to be awarded the 2016-2017 American Prize, Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in the youth orchestra category.

Established in 2009, The American Prize consists of a series of competitions for musical soloists, ensembles, composers and conductors.  Judged by recording only, each entry is evaluated by a panel of esteemed judges from across the United States.

The Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music recognizes performances of music by American composers only.  The prize awarding consists of separate categories for professional, collegiate, community, secondary school and youth orchestras.  Along with national recognition and prestige, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award includes a cash prize.

The Denver Young Artists Orchestra received notification of the award on January 3, 2017.  Music Director Wes Kenney was informed of the win by chief American Prize judge, David Katz.  “We are honored to receive this recognition,” says Kenney. “Performing American music with conviction and excellence is something every young musician with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra gets to experience. It is an important part of our mission and sets a standard that will carry our students throughout their careers.”

Preceding a summer tour and concert appearances at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, DYAO had performed and recorded music from Aaron Copland’s ballet, Billy the Kid.  This recording, made in the fall of 2015, was then submitted for consideration for the American Prize.  As Copland’s music evokes the vast expanse and unique culture of the American West, this piece was an ideal repertoire selection for DYAO.