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December 10, 2012

Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra Earns American Prize Competition Honors

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra recently placed third in the American Prize in Orchestral Performance competition.

The competition recognizes and rewards the best performances in America, based on submitted applications. Under the direction of Conductor Daniel Sommerville, the orchestra placed third behind the University of North Carolina and University of Denver in the College/University Division.

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, an 80-member ensemble comprised of students studying music at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, tours regularly throughout the United States and recently played for the 2012 College Orchestra Directors Association national conference at Northwestern University.

“We are thrilled to receive third place in the American Prize,” says Dr. Daniel Sommerville, associate professor of music and conducting at the Conservatory. “The award is an honor not only to the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra and myself, but also to our fine faculty who teach and prepare our students in lessons, in coaching sessions, and in the classroom.”

The orchestra regularly performs with Maestro John Nelson on such works as Britten’s War Requiem, Berlioz’s Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Brahms' German Requiem.

The submitted recording of Wheaton College’s Symphony Orchestra was recorded and produced by Brian Porick, a producer in the College’s Academic and Media Technology department.

"This accolade is a substantial honor for the Symphony Orchestra – Maestro Sommerville and ensemble members – as well as for Wheaton College,” says Dr. Michael Wilder, Dean of the Conservatory, Arts and Communication. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to again celebrate all that is a part of the excellence in the arts that makes this such an amazing institution.”

More information about the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra is available on A selection of Orchestra performances is available on

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