Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art

The Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art was established in 1978 to honor an individual with a lifetime of significant contributions to the professional choral art.


Michael Korn, one of the founders of Chorus America and its first President (1977 to 1985), received this special namesake citation in 1986. Mr. Korn was artistic director and conductor of The Philadelphia Singers, which he founded in 1972; and also the associate conductor and chorus master of the Opera Company of Philadelphia. In 1991, in response to Mr. Korn's untimely death at the age of 44, this citation was renamed The Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art.

Selection of the award is made by members of the Chorus America board of directors.


The winner of this award must be a Chorus America member of national stature and must work with a chorus that is fully professionalized (pay all singers, 100% of the time).

Deadline & How to Apply

The deadline to submit nominations via the Chorus America Application Portal (CAAP) is Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 11:59PM ET.

Nominations are solicited from the membership of Chorus America. They must be no longer than five pages and include the following:

  • a brief biographical sketch
  • a statement about the nominee’s qualifications to receive this award

Applications will only be accepted through CAAP

Past Awardees

2023  Robert Geary
2022  Grant Gershon
2021 Harry Christophers
2020 Kent Tritle
2019 Brad Wells
2018 Ragnar Bohlin
2017 Donald Nally
2016 Robert De Cormier
2015 Craig Hella Johnson
2014 Jon Washburn
2013 Christopher Bell
2012 Duain Wolfe
2011 Robert Porco
2010 Robert L. Simpson
2009 Alan Harler
2008 John Alexander
2007 Joseph Jennings
2006 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
2005 Libby Larsen
2004 Mary Lyons Earl Rivers
2003 Philip Brunelle
2002 Mary Deissler
2001 Marshall A. Rutter
2000 Paul Salamunovich
1999 Albert McNeil
1998 Vance George
1997 Richard Westenburg
1996 Louis Botto
1995 Dale Warland
1994 Alice Parker
1993 Dominick Argento
1992 Paul Hill
1991 Margaret Hawkins & R. Murray Schafer
1990 Ned Rorem
1989 Alfred Mann
1988 Doralene Davis
1987 Janice Kestler & Robert Page
1986 Michael Korn
1985 Lukas Foss & Walter Gould
1984 Todd Duncan & Gregg Smith
1983 Robert Shaw
1982 Jester Hairston
1981 Roger Wagner
1980 Margaret Hillis & Hugh Ross
1979 Fred Waring
1978 Thomas Pyle


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

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