Pacific Chorale congratulates John Orfe of Metamora, IL, and Michael Rickelton of Baltimore, MD, the co-winners of our 2011–2012 Young Composers Competition! Dr. Orfe’s Fire! on text by Langston Hughes and Mr. Rickelton’s Pentecost on text by Dana Gioia were chosen out of submissions received from across the country to be premiered by the John Alexander Singers under the baton of Artistic Director John Alexander at their American Voices concert on March 11, 2012.
In addition, Pacific Chorale is pleased to recognize the outstanding work of the following six finalists, who were chosen for honorable mention among the strong submissions for this year’s competition:
Travis Alford of West Newton, MA, for Melange Mine Own (Whitman Fragments)
- Christian Guebert of Orange, CA, for Aboard at a Ship’s Helm
- James Kallembach of Chicago, IL, for The Letter
- Jonathan Kolm of Alexandria, VA, for The Beauty Been
- Greg Simon of Denver, CO, for One
- Roger Zare of Ann Arbor, MI, for Invocation
John Orfe has fulfilled commissions for Duo Montagnard, Dez Cordas, Alarm Will Sound, the NOVUS Trombone Quartet, the Two Rivers Chorale and the Northwestern College Choir, Ludovico, the Music Institute of Chicago, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Diocese of Peoria, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Lila Muni Gamelan Ensemble. He is a winner of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, a Tanglewood Fellowship, the William Schuman and Boudleaux Bryant Prizes from BMI, and eleven Standard Awards and the Morton Gould Award from ASCAP. His works for solo, chamber, choral and orchestral ensembles have been performed in Russia, Denmark, Canada, Germany, the Baltics, Italy, the United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and throughout the US, earning praise from The New York Times, LAWeekly, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Die Welt, and Hamburger Abendblatt. He is a winner of a 2008 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was awarded the DMA by the Yale School of Music in February 2009. In 2011 he won national competitions held by the Choral Arts Ensemble and the Eastern Trombone Workshop. As piano soloist and collaborative artist he has earned critical acclaim for his interpretations of five centuries of keyboard repertoire ranging from the canonic to the arcane. Dr. Orfe lives in Peoria, IL, where he is Temporary Assistant Professor of Music at Bradley University and Composer-in-Residence of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra.
Michael Rickelton, a native of Charlotte, NC, earned the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, where he studied composition with Dr. Jerome Reed. In the summer of 2005, Michael received a scholarship to attend the European American Musical Alliance program at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France, studying with Claude Baker and Narcis Bonet. Rickelton received his master’s degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is currently a DMA candidate at Peabody, where he is a student of Michael Hersch. An award-winning composer, Rickelton writes for a variety of ensembles. His choral, solo, chamber and orchestra works have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. Recently, his works have been played by the Nashville and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. In addition to his work as a composer, Rickelton remains active as a singer. He currently resides in Baltimore, MD with his wife Emily.
Pacific Chorale’s Young Composers Competition was founded in the 2007–2008 season as part of the NEA-funded American Masterpieces Choral Festival. You can learn more about this biennial program and previous competition winners here.
Due to programming considerations, Pacific Chorale's Young Composers Competition will not be held during the 2013-2014 season. Stay tuned for details about our next competition taking place in 2014-2015!
For more information, please contact Katherine Yang at (714) 662-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.