Sioux City, Iowa – The Morningside Choir under the direction of Dr. Ryan Person, Morningside University professor of music and director of choral activities, was recently selected as a semi-finalist for The American Prize in Choral Performance (College/University Division).

     “The Morningside Choir being named a semi-finalist recognizes what we have known for a long time now, which is that our students are incredibly talented and are led by one of the finest small university choir directors in the country, Dr. Ryan Person,” said Heath Weber, dean of the Morningside University School of Visual and Performing Arts. “This honor is truly a reflection of the dedication to music excellence held by our students, both past and present.”

     The Morningside Choir is one of 15 choirs chosen via recorded audition from around the United States. Finalists for the prize will be announced later this spring.

      The Morningside Choir is acclaimed for forging innovative musical paths through the performance of vibrant choral literature. Recognized for its outstanding musical merit, the ensemble showcases versatility and artistry across many music genres. Students within the choir have various primary areas of study, and additionally, are some of the university’s finest scholars. As a touring ensemble, The Morningside Choir travels each year to regional, national, and international destinations. Most recently, the choir has completed international tours of Japan, Spain, and Italy, and the group recently embarked on an Eastern European tour of Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic in May 2022. Notable performance locations have included the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain; the Kansai Gaidai Concert Hall in Japan; and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Founded nearly a century ago, The Morningside Choir will celebrate 100 years of musical excellence in 2024. 

     The American Prize is a national non-profit competition in the performing arts and exists as the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts. The American Prize is designed to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles, composers, directors and administrators in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize has attracted thousands of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than 100,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010 and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.