Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal

The Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal is given to a conductor who has been involved with a professional or professional-core ensemble for 5-10 years.

This award will next be presented in 2024. 


This award was established in memory of Louis Botto for his artistry, selfless service to the choral art, and entrepreneurial spirit in founding the men's vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Botto brought Chanticleer to national prominence as the first professional choral ensemble in the U.S., outside the military, to consistently offer full-time employment to its singers.

Demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit may include:

  • Taking risks to create a superior artistic product
  • Presenting adventurous programming
  • Placing artistic achievement above personal gain
  • Continuously advancing the artistic mission of the ensemble

The recipient will have demonstrated a firm commitment to the fair payment of professional choral ensemble singers.

The winner receives an engraved plaque.


The nominee must be a member of Chorus America. Self-nominations are not accepted.

The Louis Botto Award can be received only once by any individual. It is not an annual award and will be given at the discretion of the selection panel.

Deadline & How to Apply

This award will next be presented in 2024.

The nomination should be no longer than five pages and include:

  • A statement of the nominee's qualifications for the award
  • A summary of the accomplishments of the professional or professional-core ensemble under the nominee's leadership

Applicants will be asked to provide information about the fair payment of singers in the ensemble.

Additionally, two letters of recommendation in support of the nominee are required. The request for these letters is sent as part of the application in CAAP. Recommenders who receive the request then upload the letters directly into the system.

Note: No attachments of recordings, reviews, or repertoire lists are required.

Applications will only be accepted through CAAP

Past Awardees

2021 Alexander Lloyd Blake, Tonality
2020 Ruben Valenzuela, Bach Collegium San Diego
2019 Katherine FitzGibbon, Resonance Ensemble
2018 Vince Peterson, Choral Chameleon
2016 Michael Alan Anderson, Schola Antiqua
2015 Grant Gershon, Los Angeles Master Chorale
2014 Beth Willer, Lorelei Ensemble
2013 Joel Rinsema, Phoenix Chorale
2012 Donald Nally, The Crossing
2011 Patrick Dupré Quigley, Seraphic Fire
2010 Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble
2009 Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare
2008 Jonathan Miller, Chicago a cappella
2007 Mary Deissler, Handel and Haydn Society
2004 Gregg Smith, Gregg Smith Singers
2002 Dale Warland, Dale Warland Singers
2000 Jon Washburn, Vancouver Chamber Choir
1998 Dennis Keene, Voices of Ascension


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

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