The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions designed to recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and has been awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts since in 2010. The American Prize was founded from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in major cities but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians. Finalists for The American Prize receive professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on submitted recordings of their performances.

"To be recognized by a national organization as one of the finest choirs in the country is truly exciting," said Holdhusen, who sees this recognition as a great honor and one that speaks volumes to the musicianship and artistry of the choir. "It is a testament to how hard our students work and the quality of musical performance they produce. This is a fabulous way to begin our school year. We look forward to sharing our musical message with audiences throughout the year."

Chambers Singers, the premiere vocal ensemble at the University of South Dakota, is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students selected through audition from the entire university student body. Its repertoire, which is primarily a cappella, includes music from the Renaissance to the present in a wide variety of styles. The ensemble presents formal concerts on campus each semester and has toured throughout the United States and Europe. The ensemble’s current CD, entitled “Nature’s Witness,” can be purchased by contacting the USD Music Department.

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Conn.

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