2016 | Stacy Garrop

Stacey Garrop | Winner, 9th Annual Commission Competition

Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on direct and dramatic narrative.  The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. In her works, this manifests programmatically in pieces without text (sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly) and more directly in pieces that draw upon poets and writers for source material. She has won numerous awards including a Fromm Music Foundation Grant, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, and two Barlow Endowment commissions, as well as competitions sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Her chamber and orchestral works are published by Theodore Presser Company, and she self-publishes her choral works under Inkjar Publishing Company. She is a recording artist with Cedille Records with compositions on nine CDs; her works are also commercially available on Blue Griffin Recording, Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella Records, Equilibrium, Innova, Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Ravello Records, Saxophone Classics, and Summit Records. She has been commissioned by numerous ensembles and organizations including the Albany Symphony, Capitol Saxophone Quartet, Chanticleer, Cedille Chicago, Gaudete Brass Quintet, Rembrandt Chamber Players, San Francisco Choral Society, and Volti. Stacy earned degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Indiana University-Bloomington (D.M.). She teaches at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and is on the composition faculty of the annual Fresh Inc Festival, sponsored by Fifth House Ensemble. For more information, visit her website at www.garrop.com or her blog at www.composerinklings.com/

Honorable Mentions

Dominick DiOrio | Honorable Mention, 9th Annual Commission Competition

Conductor and composer Dominick DiOrio was recently named the 2014 winner of The American Prize in Composition with the judges saying “his depth of vision, mastery of compositional technique, and unique style set him in a category by himself.”

DiOrio is assistant professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he directs NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, an auditioned chorus specializing in music of living composers. Under his leadership, NOTUS has performed at both regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and as an invited ensemble on the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) Artist Series at Carnegie Hall. He mentors graduate conductors and also teaches courses in score reading, choral literature, and undergraduate and graduate conducting. He was named a recipient of the 2014-2015 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award–IU Bloomington’s highest honor for tenure-track faculty.

Called “a forward-thinking young composer filled with new ideas, ready to tackle anything,” DiOrio was named Best Composer 2011 by HoustonPress for Klytemnestra, his chamber opera with Divergence Vocal Theater and librettist Misha Penton. His second opera, The Little Blue One with librettist Meghan Guidry, had its premiere in April 2014 in Boston with Juventas New Music Ensemble and musical director Lidiya Yankovskaya. Of the opera, the Boston Examiner wrote, “The Little Blue One defies the widespread notion that contemporary classical music is inaccessible; DiOrio’s score abounds with gorgeous lyricism, supported by compelling harmony.” He has been awarded prizes in composition from ASCAP and ACDA, among many others. His work is published with Alliance, Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Éditions à Couer-Joie, Edition Peters, G. Schirmer, Lorenz, Oxford and Santa Barbara.

DiOrio earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the Yale School of Music, studying with Marguerite Brooks, Simon Carrington and Jeffrey Douma. His DMA research on Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion is published in The Choral Scholar. He also earned the MMA and MM in conducting from Yale and the BM in composition summa cum laude from Ithaca College, where he studied with Gregory Woodward, Dana Wilson and Janet Galván. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board for the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), as a member of the Board of Directors for Chorus America, and on advisory boards for the Choral Arts Initiative, the Princeton Pro Musica, and the Young New Yorker’s Chorus (YNYC).


DiOrio was also chosen as BCE’s Honorable Mention in the 2009 Commission Competition.

Dana Kaufman | Honorable Mention, 9th Annual Commission Competition

The works of composer Dana Kaufman (b. Chicago, 1989) have been heard throughout North America, and in Estonia, the Czech Republic and Italy. Her music has been featured at venues and festivals such as Estonian Music Days,Charlotte New Music Festival, Centro Musica Contemporanea di Milano, Ravinia Festival’s One Score, One Chicago series, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Fall Festival, Peoria Civic Center, Jordan Hall, Atlas Performing Arts Center, College Music Society, Baltimore War Memorial, North American Jewish Choral Festival, FEASt Festival and Frontwave New Music Festival; it has been performed and recorded by ensembles including Great Noise Ensemble, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, a very small consortium, Firebird Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble and So Percussion. A 2015 Semi-Finalist for the American Prize in the Opera/Theater/Film Division for her one-act opera/undergraduate thesis, Diary of a Madman, Ms. Kaufman is also the recipient of numerous awards including a 2012-2013 Fulbright Student Research Grant to Estonia, University of Miami (UM) Dean’s Fellowship, New England Conservatory (NEC) Merit Awards and Scholarships, Amherst College Edward Poole Lay Fellowship, Finalist in the 2016 New American Voices Composition Competition, First Runner-Up/Finalist in the Black House New Operas Project Composers’ Competition, First Place in the Music Institute of Chicago’s Generation Next Composition Competition, and was a winner of the Women Composers Festival New England Score Call and flutist Orlando Cela’s “Project Extended” Score Call. Ms. Kaufmancompleted her MM in Composition at NEC and is currently pursuing her DMA in Composition at UM Frost School of Music, where she is the first Frost School of Music student to be a Dean’s Fellow.