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Accolades for Villa Keith and Davidson College Symphony Orchestra

Tara Villa Keith Headshot
Prof. Tara Villa Keith

The Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) has been awarded the 2018 American Prize in Orchestral Performance in the college orchestra division.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit competitions designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all 50 states and has awarded more than $50,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010.

In addition, DCSO orchestra director Prof. Tara Villa Keith placed second for The American Prize's Vytautas Marijosius Award for Orchestral Programming for the DCSO 2016-17 season, for which she received a special judge's citation for "remarkable growth in the programming of major repertoire." Villa Keith also won third place in conducting, college/university orchestra division, with a special judges' citation for "exceptional improvement in ensemble performance."

"I have always been proud that Davidson College music ensembles are open to all interested students rather than just limited to music majors," said Leslie Marsicano, associate dean for academic administration. "This prize is confirmation that under the direction of our talented and committed faculty, our students achieve the highest level of performance."

Villa Keith credits her students as the real winners.

"This award is a testament to the hard work, dedication and relentless spirit of the student musicians. Even though most of the students aren't music majors, their talent is, obviously, strong enough to make them competitive on a national level," she said. "It is an honor to be able to create and share music with the Davidson College students and community, and I'm looking forward to seeing where our orchestral journeys take us in the upcoming seasons."

The symphony orchestra's season opening performance, "Celtic Adventure," is slated for Thursday, Sept. 27. The ensemble will be joined by internationally-recognized artists Jamie Laval and Rosemary Warren-Green.

Purchase tickets for this performance.

Take a tour of the solar system with the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, set to the music of Gustav Holst.

Amanda Preston
ampreston@davidson.edu