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Becoming a Finalist in The American Prize: A Dream Come True

As I reflect on my journey in music, I am thrilled to share the news that I have become a finalist in The American Prize, one of the most prestigious music competitions in the United States. This achievement is a significant milestone in my career, and I am deeply honored to be recognized among such talented artists.

The American Prize, founded in 2010, is an annual set of nonprofit national competitions in the performing arts. It recognizes and rewards both commercial and noncommercial recorded performances of classical music in the United States. Unlike many competitions that require live performances, The American Prize bases its evaluations on submitted recordings. This format allows artists from various levels, including professional, college/university, community, and high school, to showcase their talent in a range of categories such as composition, piano, voice, chamber music, conducting, and ensemble performance.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this competition is the opportunity for detailed feedback from a distinguished panel of judges. The jury, which includes renowned artists like composer Judith Lang Zaimont, pianist Jeffrey Biegel, and Metropolitan Opera soprano Sharon Sweet, provides written evaluations to all finalists. This feedback is invaluable for my growth as an artist, offering insights from some of the most respected figures in the music world. The chief judge, David Katz, a highly respected conductor and composer, leads the jury with a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to nurturing talent. Katz’s involvement ensures a high standard of evaluation and recognition, making this competition even more prestigious.

The journey to becoming a finalist began with a self-nomination process. Alternatively, artists can be nominated by a teacher, parent, board member, or colleague. I decided to take the leap and submit a recording of my quintette "Unchained" , hoping that my passion and dedication to music would shine through. When I received the news that I had advanced to the finalist stage, it felt like a validation of the countless hours of practice, the sacrifices, and the unwavering support from my mentors and loved ones.

The recognition from The American Prize is more than just a personal achievement; it is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of following one’s dreams. The competition emphasizes the value of recorded performances, which can reach audiences far and wide, breaking the barriers of geography and accessibility. In a way, this aligns perfectly with my own belief that music is a universal language that transcends boundaries.

As I await the final results, I am filled with gratitude for this incredible opportunity. The prospect of receiving a cash award is exciting, but the true reward lies in the journey itself and the knowledge that I am part of a community of passionate musicians striving for excellence. The winners will be announced soon, and I am eagerly anticipating the outcome.

Looking ahead, I am more motivated than ever to continue honing my craft and sharing my music with the world. Being a finalist in The American Prize is a reminder that dreams are within reach when we dare to pursue them with all our heart. I am excited for what the future holds and eager to see where this path will lead.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. This achievement is as much yours as it is mine. Here’s to the power of music and the endless possibilities it brings!

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