Most musical ArtPrize ever? St. Cecilia awards ArtPrize song contest winners $1,000 prizes

In a ceremony Thursday at St. Cecilia Music Center, 10 Michigan songwriters were honored in five categories of the competition, which included dozens of “busking” performances by contestants. (Photos)

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Unexpected, Much Appreciated: Members of Lou Baron & The New Lovers happily accepted their award Thursday at St. Cecilia Music Center. (Photo/Anna Sink)[/caption]


The argument could be made that music was a bigger part of ArtPrize than ever before, with ArtPrize-related concerts, events, street busking and performances by 19 bands in 18 days at the Michigan House pop-up venue on Ottawa Avenue NW at Pearl Street.

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Winners’ Row: From rock to classical, Thursday’s award recipients on stage. (Photo/Anna Sink)[/caption]

And while ArtPrize officially wrapped up last week, upbeat remnants of Grand Rapids’ international art competition continued to resonate this week with some contestants and their fans.

St. Cecilia Music Center on Thursday night presented $1,000 cash awards to 10 songwriters and bands who won their respective genre categories in the 2015 ArtPrize music contest, and all of them were from West Michigan.

Matthew Fisher, winner of the public vote for songs in the classical music category for his composition, “Seasons,” said participating in the annual competition has “been an incredible opportunity for me to get my music out there as a musician.”

Indeed, in 2015, it also gave more musicians and songwriters a chance to win: St. Cecilia added a critic’s choice component to the contest this year, recruiting judges from the West Michigan music scene to review entries in five categories. Each genre carried a $1,000 award determined by ArtPrize voters and a second $1,000 prize awarded by the critics. All winners also received recording time at Michael Crittenden’s Mackinaw Harvest Music studios.

Crittenden and St. Cecilia Music Center Executive Director Cathy Holbrook were hailed by many award recipients and judges on Thursday for their hard work in spotlighting music as part of the annual ArtPrize competition.

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Kyle Sullivan of AOK (Photo/Anna Sink)[/caption]

Here’s the list of winners:


(Sponsored by CompuCraft; judged by AJ Paschka) Public vote: Amanda Vernon, “Justice for All” Listen to the song here:

Critic’s choice: AOK, “Kickin up Stones” Listen to the song here:

Jazz Category

(Sponsored by Joan Buchanan, Dave and Barb Martin, Sue Tiggleman; judged by Lazaro Vega) Public vote: Roger MacNaughton, “Michigan Morn” Listen to the song here:

Critic’s choice: Jim Cooper Trio, “Third Circle” Listen to the song here:

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Jim Cooper (Photo/Anna Sink)[/caption]

Classical Category

(Sponsored by Kim S. Mitchell; judged by Andrew Li) Public vote: Matthew Fisher, “Seasons” Listen to the song here:

Critic’s choice: Grand Rapids Symphony composers, “Mathias Alten Triptych” Listen to the song here:

Folk/Country Category

(Sponsored by St. Cecilia Music Center Board of Directorsl judged by John Sinkevics) Public vote: The Accidentals, “The Silence” Listen to the song here:

Critic’s choice: Max Lockwood, “Burning it Down” Listen to the song here:

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Anthony Lubenow and Joe Bockheim of The Legal Immigrants (Photo/Anna Sink)[/caption]

Rock/Blues Category

(Sponsored by Revue Magazine; judged by Rich Tupica) Public vote: Lou Baron & the New Lovers, “Rock Bottom” Listen to the song here:

Critic’s choice: The Legal Immigrants, “Fork in the Road” Listen to the song here:

It’s the fifth year that songs have been part of the ArtPrize competition and the fourth year that St. Cecilia has awarded cash prizes to winning entries.

As part of the ArtPrize competition, songwriters and bands performed, or busked, at several different locations indoors and outdoors around Grand Rapids to help promote their song entries.

Check out the Local Spins photo gallery of some of those performances, along with the usual array of street performers and acts who played the Michigan House pop-up venue and at Rosa Parks Circle.

PHOTO GALLERY: Images of Music at ArtPrize 2015 Photos by Anna Sink, Tori Thomas and Anthony Norkus [shareprints gallery_id=”45308" gallery_type=”thumb_slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100" image_size=”xlarge” image_padding=”0" theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]

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