University of Mary Washington sophomore Austin O’Rourke won the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gold Young Composer Award for his composition Hazel Colored Nebula.
“This is the most prestigious award a young composer can win,” said Mark Snyder, assistant professor of music.
O’Rourke, along with Morton Gould award winners from across the country, was recently recognized at an event in New York City by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
The award is given to honor late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and former ASCAP Foundation President Morton Gould’s lifelong commitment to encouraging young creators. Gould, an eminent and versatile American composer, was a child prodigy whose first composition was published by G. Schirmer Inc., when he was only six years of age, according to a press release about the award.
O’Rourke wrote the composition in an electronic music course at UMW taught by Snyder.
“Our class produced a piece of art that won this award,” said Snyder, exuding pride. “The evolution of the work can be traced over three drafts on UMWblogs…the critiques offered on the blog are not just by music students, but by a political science major and a geography major too.”
ASCAP, which is made up of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music, is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members, according to ASCAP’s website.