UMass Chamber Choir Named Finalist for American Prize

UMass Amherst Chamber Choir
UMass Amherst Chamber Choir

The UMass Chamber Choir, directed by Tony Thornton, has been selected as a National Finalist for this year’s American Prize in Choral Performance in the College and University Division. Thornton also conducts the Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble, based in Amherst, which was selected as a Finalist in the Community Division. 

According to the competition’s website, the American Prize holds national performing arts competitions to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The awards are presented annually in many performing arts divisions, including orchestras, choruses and musical theater companies, as well as vocalists, pianists, arts administrators and stage directors. The competition has attracted thousands of contestants from all fifty states, and has awarded nearly $100,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010.

The UMass Chamber Choir, the university’s premier choral ensemble, recently celebrated their 40th anniversary with a gala performance in 2018. The ensemble was lauded by The New York Times for their “stirring” performance at the 2017 UMass Bach Festival and was the chorus in residence at the Brescia (Italy) International Early Music Summer School and Festival later that same year. 

More information on the American Prize and about forthcoming announcements of the national winners is available at