February 7, 2023

Quarantine Camp wins 2nd Prize in the 2023 NATS Art Song Composition Competition

NATS awarded second prize and $1,000 to Raphael Fusco for his work, “Quarantine Camp,” which is a set of six songs for mezzo-soprano (or baritone) featuring the poems of Ryan Vine.

Quarantine Camp is a song cycle for voice and piano on poetry by American poet Ryan Vine. The work tries to capture the various emotions we’ve all felt during the Covid-19 pandemic from anxiety and solitude to fear and frustration. It was commissioned by The German Forum and premiered at the inaugural installation of the virtual concert series “Songs from Afar” streamed online in February 2021 with mezzo-soprano Eva Maria Summerer and the composer at the piano.

Every year NATS is committed to keeping the composers and their submissions anonymous in the adjudication process as to evaluate only the music itself. Benjamin Krause, Jan McDaniel, and Melissa Wimbish served as preliminary adjudicators. These three chose 11 finalists out 49 submissions. Noted composers Lori Laitman and Tom Cipullo served as the final adjudicators.

“The quality of finalists for this year’s NATS Art Song Composition Award was of the highest caliber,” Laitman said. “All the cycles revealed the composers’ great imaginations and respect for the text, making our adjudicating jobs very pleasant.”

NATS established its Art Song Composition Award in 1983 to encourage the creation of quality vocal literature through the cooperation of singer and composer. Recent winners have included Ericsson Hatfield (2022), Jeffrey Ryan (2021), Kurt Erickson (2020), Philip Lasser (2019), Benjamin C.S. Boyle (2018), Matt Boehler (2017), David Conte (2016), Robert Patterson (2014), Melissa Dunphy (2012), and David Sisco (2010).