The American Prize recognizes the best performing artists in the country.
Texas Tech University's saxophone quartet has won the college division of a national competition.
The Mirasol Quartet, composed of Texas Tech students Ben Still and Andrew Reinhart and alumni James Barger and Ben Donnell, won the American Prize in chamber music, said David Dees, a professor of saxophone in the School of Music. The group won a cash prize and professional marketing and promotion from the American Prize organization.
"More than anything else, we cherish the experiences we have playing together and the memories we've made through our travels and performances," Reinhart said. "Being recognized for our collective musicianship is just the icing on the cake. Of course, we cannot acknowledge our success without recognizing professor David Dees and many other faculty and colleagues for their assistance with our growth in the past few years."
"We're very honored to have been selected as winner of the American Prize in chamber ensemble performance for 2016," Still said. "For me, it's truly a pleasure to collaborate with such fine musicians on a deep, artistic level, and I look forward to Mirasol's future endeavors."
- The Mirasol Quartet formed in 2013 and has become one of the leading young chamber music ensembles in the country. The group won the Grand Prize in the 2015-2016 ENKOR International Chamber Music Competition and the Gold Medal in the 42nd annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
- The American Prize is a series of new, nonprofit national competitions designed to recognize the best performing artists in the country. There are awards for college groups and professional musicians as well as church and community groups.
- The award is based on recorded, not live, performances, with the best performance in each category winning the American Prize. The number of finalists and semifinalists is chosen by the judges, and they are not ranked. The judging panel considered musicality, rhythmic incisiveness, ensemble, tone quality, accuracy, intonation, knowledge of style and the overall effect of the performance.