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A Saint Meinrad monk has been named as a semi-finalist in a national performing arts competition.

Br. Michael Reyes, OSB, a junior monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, has been named a 2021 semi-finalist for The American Prize, a national competition in the performing arts.

A current seminarian at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, Br. Michael is one of the eight semi-finalist composers for the vocal chamber music category. His vocal piece was chosen from countless composition entries across the U.S. by a distinguished jury.

Br. Michael earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019.

Br. Michael’s work has been awarded by juries made up of experts in the field in various international competitions and concerts. In 2016, he won the grand prize at the 6th Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble Composition Competition, where he bested composers from 18 countries.

His international music achievements include the Ani Ng Dangal National Award for music bestowed by the Philippine government in 2017. Br. Michael is one of five composers from around the world to be invited by the University of London’s prestigious School of Oriental and Asian Studies to write a new electroacoustic piece for its annual Composers Conference and Festival.

He also was selected by the University of Kent and the Vienna Acousmonium to diffuse his composition at the institution’s Sound-Image-Space Research Center, also known as the Music and Audio Arts Sound Theater, alongside notable electroacoustic composers, including Jonty Harrison and Denis Smalley.

For his academic work in music, Br. Michael received the President’s Research in Diversity Award from the University of Illinois, an award bestowed by the university president to 15 high performing faculty and graduate students across the three campuses of the university conducting research in their respective fields. Br. Michael presented a paper on current compositional aesthetics and ideas at the University of London.

In collaboration with Saint Meinrad’s Fr. Harry Hagan, OSB, Br. Michael recently composed and premiered a song commissioned by Epiphany Catholic Church in Louisville, KY, for its jubilee year celebration.

The American Prize, founded in 2009, is a series of nonprofit competitions in the performing arts that honors performances by ensembles, individuals, and composers at levels ranging from professional to secondary school.

The finalists and winners will be announced later in the year.

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