American Prize-winning Performances

Baylor School of Music Earns Pair of Prestigious Honors

A Capella

Baylor’s A Cappella Choir, the flagship of the University’s choral program, claimed The American Prize in the Collegiate Choral Division this year. The nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in classical arts, The American Prize annually evaluates, recognizes and rewards the nation’s best performers, ensembles and composers based on submitted recordings.

Dr. Brian A. Schmidt, associate professor of choral music and director of graduate choral studies, directs Baylor’s choir.

“This is a wonderful honor for our students,” Schmidt said. “They have proven that they are capable of working at a level comparable to some of the nation’s most highly regarded choral programs.”

Baylor’s A Cappella Choir, selected by competitive audition, combines some of the University’s most advanced singers, including music majors and non-music majors.

“As Baylor faculty, we all know our Baylor students are talented and amazing individuals,” Schmidt said. “It is wonderful to receive such a positive confirmation from an esteemed jury of national experts in the field.”

Baylor Symphony Orchestra, led by Baylor Conductor-in-Residence Stephen Heyde, has also received The American Prize. This year’s American Prize in Orchestral Performance in the college/university category, represents the ensemble’s fifth time to win first place in the past six years. 

The Baylor Symphony Orchestra’s winning recorded performance was Symphony No. 2 in C minor, “Resurrection” by Gustav Mahler, during the Feb. 8, 2019, President’s Concert: Baylor Symphony; A Cappella Choir; Concert Choir. 

“I am very gratified by this national recognition,” said Heyde, the Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies at Baylor’s School of Music. “For me, winning the award as consistently as we have over the past six years indicates that the program has gained momentum and a reputation for excellence.”