Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award

Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award 

The Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award recognizes individuals or organizations whose work furthers diverse African American choral traditions through performance, research, or the creation of new compositions of significance; and demonstrates a long-term commitment to access, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  


The Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award honors the life and achievements of educator, conductor, and arranger Brazeal Wayne Dennard, who championed the breadth of African American works with the Angelic Choir of Peoples Baptist Church, Northwestern High School, Brazeal Dennard Chorale, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  

This award will be given in recognition of a member chorus or individual for their sustained efforts specifically in the areas of:

  • Furthering diverse African American choral traditions
  • Advancing access, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the choral field

The award will recognize one or more of the following activities:

  • Performance
  • Recordings or other methods of dissemination
  • Research 
  • Creation of new compositions of significance 

For the 2024 Awards cycle, this award is open to organizations.

The awardee receives an engraved plaque and $2,500.


Applicants for the Chorus America Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award must be members of Chorus America. Individuals or organizations may self-nominate for this award.

Organization recipients are eligible to reapply after 15 years. Individual recipients may only receive the award once. 

Eligibility rotates through a two-year cycle: 

  • 2024 Awards Cycle: Ensemble or organization
  • 2025 Awards Cycle: Individuals
Deadline and How to Apply

The deadline to submit via the Chorus America Application Portal (CAAP) is Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 11:59PM ET.

The application includes the following:

  • A statement describing how the nominee has furthered diverse African American choral traditions over the course of the individual’s career or the organization’s history. 
  • Specific examples of performance, recording, research, and/or new composition(s) of significance in support of the above. 
  • A statement describing how the individual or organization has demonstrated a sustained commitment to access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • A statement describing as specifically as possible how the work of the individual or ensemble has benefited the field. 
  • One letter of support, for which nominators will send a request through CAAP. 

Please refer to the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award rubric as an additional resource. 

Please note: While there are no word limits for responses to the narrative questions, we find that concise responses that address the prompt and award rubric criteria in 2-4 paragraphs tend to be most successful.

Applications will only be accepted through CAAP

Recipients are selected by an award panel composed of experts in the award area from the Chorus America community, Chorus America board members, and/or past award recipients. This award is not required to be given annually and will be given at the discretion of the panel. 

Questions? Contact Karyn Castro at 202.331.7577 x246 or [email protected]

Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award Rubric