Composer Nilo Alcala named The American Prize semi-finalist
posted 27-Jan-2019  ·  
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A grandson of the Alcala clan based in Virac who is now an internationally-known composer has been selected as semifinalist of The American Prize, a prestigious competition for the arts in the Unites States.

Nilo Alcala II dedicated his latest feat, landing in the list of semifinalists in the Choral Composer Professional Division, to his father who succumbed to a lingering illness last Jan. 1, 2019.

The Filipino composer, arranger and vocalist is the second of three US-based sons of

Nilo Mendez Alcala, a certified public accountant who was raised in Virac, and retired teacher Regina Belarmino Alcala of San Pablo City. The family’s children were raised in Lucena City.

He is also one of the many grandsons of the late musician and retired Virac South District Supervisor Fredeswindo Alcala Sr. and teacher Soledad Mendez-Alcala, who turns 100 years old on Nov. 8, 2019, both of San Roque.

“This is for you Papa,” the award-winning composer based in North Hollywood, California, said in his facebook post last week.

“I’m very honored to be selected as semi-finalist in the Choral Composer Professional Division of THE AMERICAN PRIZE! They will be announcing the finalists in this division soon,” he added.

He expressed his gratitude to Grant Gershon, artistic director of Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the choral’s then president/CEO Terry Knowles, for commissioning “Mangá Pakalagián/Ceremonies” in 2015, the manuscript which Alcala submitted to the national search.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels.

It is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels.

Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually. The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories

Nonprofit and unique in scope and structure, it is designed to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. There is no live competition.

The American Prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than $60,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.

On the other hand, Nilo Alcala’s works have been performed in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. He is the first Philippine-born composer to receive the COPLAND HOUSE Residency Award, as well to be commissioned and premiered by the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale.

​Alcala’s awards include the POLYPHONOS Young Composer Award from The Esoterics (Seattle, WA), IGNITE Commissioning Competition of  C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (New York, NY),  Asian Composers League Young Composer Award (Israel), the very first Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honor) from the Philippine President, and Musical America Worldwide's Artist of the Month . Music His commissions include the National Music Competition for Young Artists; Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival; Korean Ministry of Culture; Asia-Europe Foundation; Metro Manila Concert Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles.

Alcala was composer-in-residence of the Philippine Madrigal Singers which premiered his works in international competitions such as the 2004 Florilege Vocal de Tours (France); the 2007 and 2017 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (Italy); and events including the American Choral Directors Association National Conference (Dallas, TX); the 9th World Symposium on Choral Music (Argentina); and America Cantat 7 (Colombia). In 2017, This group also released a CD and digital album of Alcala’s choral works entitled ONOMATOPOEIA: The Choral Works of Nilo Alcala.

An Asian Cultural Council grantee, Alcala is also a Billy Joel Fellow at Syracuse University where he earned an MMus in Composition and received the Irene L. Crooker Music Award. He holds a BM in Composition at the University of the Philippines, graduating Magna cum laude and recipient of Gawad Chancelor Natatanging Mag-aaral (Chancellor’s Outstanding Student Award).

Committed to educating the next generation, Alcala has been composer-mentor since 2016 for Pasadena Master Chorale’s “Listening to the Future” program for promising high school composers.

           


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