Rapido 2010 Wrap-up

Thanks to the many of you out there who have supported or participated in the 2010 Rapido Composition Contest! It was a great project, and we're excited that the grand prize winner has been named: John Elmquist of Chicago. For those of you who weren't aware of it over the summer, we joined forces with the Atlanta Chamber Players and Boston Musica Viva to expand this successful competition developed by ACP in 2009. Last summer, we posted the competition and opened registration to 100 spots (we got 99 entries in the midwest). At 9am on Monday, June 7, all registrants were presented with the specific challenge; write a 4-6 set of miniatures piece for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano. 14 days later, all pieces had to be postmarked and on their way.

It took us a long time to go through the whole judging process, and all 5HE members served as jurors. We narrowed down the entries to a top 10, and played through scores until we picked our 3 favorites. At that point, we found out who our 3 choices were, and started preparing for a public concert in October.

On October 3rd, we played works by Juri Seo, Justin Merritt, and John Elmquist, while our distinguished judges (Michael Lewanski, Stacy Garrop, and Mason Bates) listened and judged. John Elmquist (with piece Junk Shot) emerged as the regional winner, and earlier this month, he and I traveled to Atlanta for the national finals. Atlanta Chamber Players hosted the auspicious event and played the winning compositions from the three regions.

But at last, a winner was named. The head of the committee, Maestro Robert Spano, enthusiastically announced John as the overall winner. He has now won an additional $5,000, 2 weeks at a composer's retreat in Georgia, and will expand his 5 minute work into a 15-minute piece that all three ensembles will program in the 2011-2012 season.

Congrats to John, a phenomenal teacher at Merit and other schools in Chicago. It has been a pleasure getting to know him through this process, and I for one can't wait to play the complete work.

But it wasn't all fun. At the end of the evening, the benefactor of Rapido (Ron Antinori), broke out the good scotch. Hence why I'm doing my best "My Name Is Earl" face in this photo. Pictured are Paula Peace (pianist and Artistic Director of Atlanta Chamber Players), myself, and Ron.

Fifth House Ensemble