The American Choral Directors Association has named Massachusetts’ own Michael Driscoll as winner of the prestigious 2016 Julius Herford Prize for the outstanding doctoral terminal research project in choral music. His dissertation, “Jan Dismas Zelenka’s ‘Dixit Dominus’ Settings Within the Context of the Dresden Hofkapelle,” was accepted at Boston University in fulfillment of a Doctoral Degree in Choral Conducting under the supervision of Professor Susan Wharton Conkling, Assistant Professor John Wallace, and Associate Professor Peter Sykes. While at BU, Driscoll studied conducting with Professor Emerita of Music Ann Howard Jones and Professor Emeritus of Music David Hoose. Herford Prize committee members’ comments include: ‘well-documented and to-be-applauded reasoning”; “a model of outstanding research and presentation.”
Dr. Driscoll received an MM in Choral Conducting from New England Conservatory in 2003, and an MS and BS from in Electrical Engineering Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He currently serves as Music Teacher and Director of Choirs at Brookline High School, Music Director of the Andover Choral Society, and Lead Musicianship Teacher at Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society’s Vocal Arts Program. He has also served as Music Director of the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus.
Each year the Julius Herford Prize Subcommittee 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. Eligibility is limited to doctoral recipients whose degrees were conferred during the calendar year prior to the year of nomination. 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. Dr. Driscoll shares the prize with Dr. Carolyn Rose Rynex for her dissertation, “Arabesque and the Early Music Influence in Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Charles d’Orléans.” The winners will split the $1,000.00 cash prize and each will receive a commemorative plaque. These prizes will be presented at the upcoming regional ACDA conferences.