Hickory’s Western Piedmont Symphony and its Music Director and Conductor, John Gordon Ross, have captured this year’s American Prize, an award of fairly recent vintage that has already gone to several NC-based performing arts organizations, in various categories, including these:

2012: East Carolina University Chamber Singers, Andrew Crane, conductor (Greenville): The American Prize in Choral Performance, college/university division.
UNC Symphony Orchestra, Tonu Kalam, music director (Chapel Hill): The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, college/university division.

2011: Carole J. Ott, conductor of the UNCG Chorale and Chamber Singers (Greensboro): The American Prize in Conducting, college/university choral division.

& 2010: James Allen Anderson and the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra (Boone): finalists for The American Prize (Mr. Anderson in conducting, the ASO in Orchestral Performance)
The Western Piedmont Symphony (Hickory):  runner-up in the Orchestral Performance category.


The WPS received the 2013 award in the professional orchestra category.

The announcement was transmitted to various news organizations, arts councils, and foundations with a gracious note from the Music Director himself, who wrote: “I am so very proud of the men and women who perform in our orchestra!  We as an orchestra are also very mindful of the many people and organizations whose support helped to make this possible. Thank you.”

Those Hickorians have class – and a class act in the orchestral department, too, thanks to the WPS. Hearty congratulations!


Here’s a little more information on the program, followed by a link to the presenters, for still more information:

“The American Prize grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.

“With the performing arts in America marginalized like never before, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.”

Details of the 2014 cycle will be available here in due course.