Congratulations to the Concordia University Ann Arbor Orchestra for their runner-up showing in the national American Prize in Orchestral Performance, (Small University Division)!

Each year, many of the country’s most renowned music groups vie for top honors in the American Prize, known as “the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts.” This prestigious national competition is “designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, directors, ensembles and composers in the United States at professional, college/university, community and high school levels, based on submitted recordings.”

Last week, the Concordia University Ann Arbor Orchestra was awarded second-place in the College/University—Smaller Program division for performances the group submitted in the spring. As evidence of the strength of competition, the CUAA Orchestra finished second only to the Ivy League’s Cornell University. The high finish is a significant accomplishment for this dedicated and talented group of student musicians, as well as its director, Dr. William Perrine.

“We started the Concordia Orchestra in 2019, with a group of only four interested students,” said Perrine, CUAA associate professor of music and director of instrumental music. “Before that time, we only offered a chamber music experience for our students. The orchestra has expanded tremendously in a short period of time, however, and we now have a full orchestra with nearly 40 regular members.

“Receiving national recognition for a performance in our third full academic year of operation—a time which included COVID!—is a testament to the tremendous hard work and dedication of the members of this musical ensemble.”

Upcoming performances

Concordia Orchestra will next perform in public at the annual Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m., along with the Wind Ensemble (3rd place winners of the 2021 American Prize) in the Black Box Theater.

“In addition,” Perrine said, “we have been invited to perform at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in a joint concert with the Concordia Choir at the Washington D.C. International Music Festival on Monday, April 15, 2024.”

Listen now

The winning selections were recorded on May 3, 2022, at the first annual “Concordia at Hill” concert at the renowned Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. You can hear them now by clicking a link below.

W.A. Mozart, Piano Concert no. 21 in C Major, Mvt. 1 (John Boonenberg, piano):

Katherine Bergman, Superior (World Premiere), K. Bergman conducting:

Igor Stravinsky, Firebird Suite: Berceuse and Finale:

Now in its thirteenth year, The American Prize was founded in 2010 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Thousands of artists from all fifty states have derived benefit from their participation in the contests of The American Prize, representing literally hundreds of communities and arts organizations across the nation.

Want in?

The Music Department at Concordia University Ann Arbor is a comprehensive Liberal Arts music experience which offers you the opportunity to study, perform, and travel (domestic and international) with departmental ensembles. Click on the link below to learn more. We have a large variety of ensembles to choose from, so whether you’re interested in a choir, an instrumental group, contemporary worship, or classical music, you can choose the ensemble that best suits you.