Each year the Julius Herford Prize Subcommittee of the Research and Publications Committee accepts nominations for the outstanding doctoral terminal research project in choral music. Projects are eligible if they comprise the principal research component of the degree requirements, whether the institution defines the project as a “dissertation,” “document,” “thesis,” or “treatise,” etc. The submitted projects are evaluated entirely blind with regard to dissertator, assisting faculty, institution, and any other identifying material, by an unpaid panel of choral conductor-scholars.
When a dissertation may be nominated: The dissertation of a student with a degree earned the prior year can be nominated through June 15 of the following year (e.g., a 2021 dissertation should be nominated in 2022).
The award: The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque. The committee reserves the right to award two prizes or no prizes in any given year.
Information required for nominations (next call in 2023)
1. PDF abstract of the dissertation WITHOUT any material identifying the student, faculty, or institution.
2. PDF title page of the dissertation WITH identifying information, including the dissertator’s name and institution.
3. PDF of a signed letter from the dean, director, or chair of the music school of recommendation. Letters from the chair of the choral area are not acceptable. The letter must include the following: (a) the full name of the student, (b) the year in which that student’s degree was granted, and (c) the full title of the dissertation.
4. PDF page with contact information (full name, title, mailing address, email address, telephone number) for (1) the faculty member making the submission and (2) the dissertation author.
5. PDF of the complete dissertation WITHOUT any material identifying the student, faculty, or institution. The information can be removed or blacked out.
2020 – Dr. A.J. Keller, for “Poor in Material, Non-Dramatic, Without Pathos: Elements of the Danish New Simplicity in the Choral Works of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen.” (Northwestern University) Learn more.
2019 – Dr. Lindsay Pope, for “Beyond the Binary: The Intersection of Gender and Cross-Cultural Identity in Reena Esmail’s Life and Choral Works.” (University of North Texas)
2018 – Dr. Amanda Kate Weber, for “Choral Singing and Communal Mindset: A Program Evaluation of the Voices of Hope Women’s Prison Choir.” (University of Minnesota)
2017 – Dr. Alison Allerton, for “‘Leave All That You Have, That You May Take All’: What Hugo Distler’s Totentanz Reveals About His Life and Music.” (Louisiana State University)
2016 – Dr. Michael Driscoll, for “Jan Dismas Zelenka’s ‘Dixit Dominus’ Settings Within the Context of the Dresden Hofkapelle.” (Boston University)
2016 – Dr. Carolyn Rose Rynex, for “Arabesque and the Early Music Influence in Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Charles d’Orléans.” (Arizona State University)
2015- Dr. Allison Fromm, for “Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning: context and creative process.” (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana)
2015 – Dr. Michael Slon, for “Leonard Bernstein – The Crisis and Revision of Faith: Kaddish, Chichester Psalms, and Mass.” (Indiana University)
2014 – Thomas J. Tropp, for “Cantaten in Musik gesetzt von W. A. Mozart: The Contrafacta Cantatas, K. Anh. 124-130.”(Northwestern University)
2014 – Cory D. Wikan, for “Robert Shaw and the Brahms Requiem, op 45: A Conductor’s Approach to Performing a Masterpiece.” (Boston University)
2013 – Trey Davis, for “‘No one imagined…’: ennobled suffering in David Lang’s the little match girl passion, An examination of profane pietism amid sacred form.” (Texas Tech University)
2012 – Christopher Shepard, for “Evolution and Revolution: J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor, BWV 232 in New York City, 1900-1980.” (University of Sydney)
2011 – Kevin O’Brien, for “Russell Woollen: “Catalogue and Contextual Examination of the Sacred Music.” (The Catholic University of America)
2010: Michael McGaghie, for “Macaronic Things: Thornton Wilder and the Late Choral Music of Dominick Argento.” (Boston University)
2009 – Brian T. Russell, for “The Psalm Settings of Telemann: A Study in Performance Practice with Critical Editions of Seven Psalms for SATB Voices and Orchestra.” (Eastman School of Music)
2008 – Kevin Leong, for “The Hymn Settings of Ludwig Senfl’s Liber vesperarum festorum solennium, D-Mbs Mus. Ms. 52.” (Boston University)
2007 – Mark Chaney, for “Four Motets from the Florilegium Portense.” (Ohio State University)
2007 – Robert Gehrenbeck, for “An analysis of Giles Swaynes CRY, Magnificat I, Missa Tiburtina, and Stabat Mater.” (Indiana University)
2006 – Robert Lamb, for “Michel-Richard de Lalande’s In convertendo Dominus: A Performance Edition with Performing Commentary.” (University of Cincinnati)
2005 – Laurier Fagnan, for “The Acoustical Effects of the Core Principles of the Bel Canto Method on Choral Singing.” (University of Alberta/IRCAM)
2005 – Christopher Jackson, for “An Examination, Reinterpretation and Application of Selected Performance Practices in Four Motets of Luca Marenzio (1553-1599): Implications for a Modern Choral Performance Context.” (University of Arizona)
2004 – Timothy Newton, for “A Study and Critical Ediition of Samuel Capricornus’s Theatrum musicum (1669, 1670) and Continuatio theatri musici (1669).” (University of Illinois)
2003 – none selected
2002 – Elizabeth Zobel, for “Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.” (University of Colorado)
2001 – James John, for “Johannes Brahms’s Nänie, Op. 82: A Study in Context and Content.” (Eastman School of Music)
2000 – Andrew Kuster, for “Stravinsky’s Topology: An Examination of his Twelve-Tone Works through Object-Oriented Analysis of Structural and Poetic-Expressive Relationships with Special Attention to his Choral Works and Threni.” (University of Colorado)
1999 – Kirin Nielsen, for “The Spiritual Madrigals of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.” (University of Illinois – Urbana)
1998 – none selected
1997 – Richard Sparks, for “The Swedish Choral Miracle: A Cappella Choral Music.” (University of Cincinnati)
1996 – none selected
1995 – Betty Karol Fairchilds Wilson, for “Choral Pedagogy: Crossroads of Theory and Practice in Sixteenth-Century Germany.” (Boston University)
1994 – David Newby, for “Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus rex: Literary background, musical structure, and dramatic symbolism.” (Indiana University)
1993 – James Armstrong, for “Litaniae Laurentanae: Sacred Music at the Viennese Imperial Court, ca. 1700-1783.” (University of Wisconsin – Madison)
1992 – Marika Kuzma, for “Dmitrii Stepanovich Bortnianskii (1751-1825): An introduction to the composer through an edition of his Choral Concertos Priidite, vospoim and Hlasom moim.” (Indiana University)
1991 – Edward J. Lundergan, for “Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem: stylistic and technical sources.” (University of Texas at Austin)
1991 – A. Christopher Munn, for “Medieval and Renaissance prescriptions regarding text underlay and their application to music of the fifteenth century.” (University of Oklahoma)
1990 – Christine De Catanzaro, for “Sacred music in Mozart’s Salzburg: authenticity, chronology, and style in the church works of Cajetan Adlgasser.” (University of North Carolina)
1989 – Carmen Helena Téllez, for “Musical form and dramatic concept in Handel’s Athalia.”(Indiana University)
1988 – Melinda Pauly O’Neal, for “Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ: trilogie sacrée, op. 25: a conductor’s analysis for performance.” (Indiana University)
1987 – Stanley B. Wold, for ” Eskil Hemberg-Swedish composer, choral conductor, and administrator: a survey of his works.” (University of Cincinnati)
1986 – Craig Jon Westendorf, for “The textual and musical repertoire of the Spruchmotette.” (University of Illinois – Urbana)
1985 – Leonard Ratzlaff, for “A conductor’s preparatory analysis of Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum.” (University of Iowa)
1984 – G. Roberts Kolb, for “Tours MS. 168: The music of Guillaume Bouzignac.” (University of Illinois – Urbana)
1983 – Catherine Rose Melhorn, for “Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht.” (University of Illinois – Urbana)
1982 – Chester Lee Alwes, Jr., for “Georg Otto’s Opus musicum novum (1604) and Valentin Geuck’s Novum et insigne opus (1604): a musico-liturgical analysis of two collections of gospel music from the court of Hesse-Kassel.” (University of Illinois – Urbana)
1981 – Graeme Cowen, for “Igor Stravinsky’s Threni: a conductor’s study for performance.” (Indiana University)