University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor Michael Griffith has been awarded third place in a nationwide competition for his excellence in orchestral programming. The American Prize, which is awarded annually in multiple categories, was founded in 2009 and seeks to “recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States.”
Orchestral programming, Griffith says, involves “choosing what pieces to play, both on a certain given concert, and over the whole season.” Unlike other music categories which are judged through recorded performances, The American Prize in Orchestral Programming is judged solely on the conductor’s choice of repertoire.
As a musician who puts a lot of thought into programming, Griffith says it’s nice to have a prize that recognizes the process. He also hopes his win in the category will show his students, many of whom are focused only on the performance aspect of music, that programming is an acceptable and important part of the profession as well.