November 18, 2016

Windham Chamber Singers, semifinalist in national competition - By Elizabeth Richards

Good news just keeps coming for the Windham High School music department.  On Tuesday, November 8th, semi-finalists for The American Prize youth and high school chorus division were announced, and the Windham Chambers Singers landed a spot on the list.

Recently, director of choral music at Windham High School, Dr. Richard Nickerson, was named a semi-finalist for the 2017 Music Educator Award to be presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.  

Nickerson said he knew about the American Prize competition because he has known some people who have been awarded the prize.  Nickerson said he submitted a video to the competition. The video mainly consisted of acapella renaissance music from the Chamber Singers performance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City last spring.  

He had almost forgotten about the submission, Nickerson said, when he got a notice that semifinalists were being announced.  “I checked, and was scrolling through and there was our name,” he said.  “You put that with the Grammy nomination and it has been some exciting times around here!”
“I’m so proud of these students, and how hard they work,” Nickerson added.  “It’s nice to see their efforts rewarded.”

Fourteen choirs made the list of semifinalists in the youth and high school chorus division.  As Nickerson looked over the list of these choirs from around the country, he discovered another fun fact.  One choir, from Brookline, Massachusetts, is directed by a former student of his.

According to their website, “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.”  

Finalists in the division will be announced via the American Prize website and Facebook page several weeks from now, according to the site.  To learn more about this prestigious national competition, visit

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