Michael Korn Distinguished Service Award


The Michael Korn Distinguished Service Award is Chorus America’s highest individual honor. It is given to a Chorus America member whose contributions in an artistic or administrative capacity have had a national and/or international impact on the choral field, enabling Chorus America’s vision of a vibrant society in which diverse singing communities affirm and share the full range and depth of our humanity.

The award honors Michael Korn, one of the founders of Chorus America and its first President (1977 to 1985). Korn was artistic director and conductor of The Philadelphia Singers, which he founded in 1972, and associate conductor and chorus master of the Opera Company of Philadelphia.

Beginning with the 2024 awards cycle, the Distinguished Service Award has been renamed the Michael Korn Distinguished Service Award in honor of Michael Korn and his many contributions to Chorus America and the field.

The awardee receives an engraved plaque. 


Nominees for this award must be members of Chorus America. Individuals may not self-nominate for this award. 

The nominee’s contributions may have been made in either a professional or volunteer capacity but should have an impact on a national and/or international scale.

An individual may receive this award only once.

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.

Self-nominations are not accepted for this award.

The nomination should include:

  • A resume and/or CV for the nominee
  • A statement outlining the national and/or international impact of the nominee, naming specific administrative or artistic achievements that qualify the individual for consideration 
  • A statement describing  the nominee’s involvement with and/or impact on Chorus America. Include how the nominee’s body of work has furthered Chorus America’s mission and vision of creating a vibrant society in which diverse singing communities affirm and share the full range and depth of our humanity.
  • 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, or nominators can upload them directly to the application on behalf of the recommender.

Please refer to the Michael Korn Distinguished Service 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 the Executive Committee of the Chorus America board. 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]

Michael Korn Distinguished Service Award Rubric