CUAA Community Orchestra

The Concordia University Ann Arbor Community Orchestra and CUAA Wind Ensemble are each recognized in the prestigious American Prize competition.

A well-deserved “Bravo!” to the CUAA music department, which now boasts not one, but two groups named national semi-finalists in the American Prize competition in the classical arts. The CUAA Community Orchestra and CUAA Wind Ensemble have each received this high honor for recorded performances they submitted for the 2021 competition.

The CUAA Community Orchestra was awarded in the Community division of the Orchestral Performance category for its November 2019 performance in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity. This ensemble includes not just music students from the CUAA campus, but also dual-enrollment students, CUAA music faculty, community members, and even a few professionals to round things out.

The Wind Ensemble was honored for its April 2018 performance at Chicago Symphony Center. To make entry more accessible during the pandemic, guidelines were relaxed this year to allow entry of archival performances from up to five years ago.

“Our musical ensembles are a vibrant part of the life of our campus, providing both a creative outlet for our students and a musical outreach to the surrounding community, said Dr. Bill Perrine, CUAA Associate Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Activities. “These ensembles include not only music majors, but also a cross-section of every major on campus. So this recognition shows that we can continue to make meaningful music regardless of our vocational path.”

A National Accomplishment

The American Prize sponsors a wide range of prestigious competitions designed to “evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles, composers and administrators” across the United States. Since its inception in 2010, thousands of entrants from all 50 states have competed in divisions that include professional, college/university, community, and high school age solo artists and groups.

“These awards provide national recognition for the hard work and abilities of our student musicians, and demonstrate that even in a small liberal arts environment we can achieve artistic excellence,” Perrine added. “Our musicians work extraordinarily hard to contribute to these groups, and it is wonderful to see them honored for their accomplishments.”

Finalists and winners for the 2021 competition will be announced later this spring. In the meantime, you can enjoy the CUAA performances here:

Community Orchestra

Wind Ensemble

To learn more about the CUAA Community Orchestra or the CUAA Wind Ensemble, visit

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