Musica Canis Avem is fortunate to have had the participation of exceedingly well-qualified judges for the inaugural Gibbons Prize for solo guitar composition. They are, in alphabetical order, William Kenlon, Matt Palmer, and Ronald Pearl.
William Kenlon is a Washington, D.C., based composer who specializes in chamber, choral, and jazz ensembles. His most recent work, Dreamless, an opera in one act, premiered at the Capital Fringe Fest.
William holds degrees from James Madison and Tufts universities, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. He serves on the faculties of the University of Maryland and the Catholic University of America.
Additional biographical information about William Kenlon is available at williamkenlon.com.
Matt Palmer, also based in the Washington area, is renowned as a virtuosic and soulful guitarist. Matt tours regularly, performs widely, and is a prolific, critically acclaimed recording artist. He is the author of the book, The Virtuoso Guitarist. Matt Palmer has collaborated with many important composers to write new music for the guitar.
Matt holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona, where he studied with Thomas Patterson, David Russell, Odair Assad, and Sergio Assad. He serves on the faculty of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Additional biographical information about Matt Palmer is available at mattpalmerguitar.com.
Ronald Pearl is a distinguished composer and guitarist based in Baltimore, Maryland. Ronald toured throughout the world for twenty years performing as half of an acclaimed duo with Julian Gray. Pearl's compositions have been performed, recorded, and broadcast throughout the US and Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia, including recent premieres in Switzerland, Germany, and Finland, and New York.
Ronald hold degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory and the Peabody Conservatory. He serves as Professor and Music Program Director at Loyola University of Maryland. Additional biographical information about Ronald Pearl is available at ronaldmpearl.com.
The Gibbons Prize was founded and is coordinated by Bill Chandler. Chandler studied music composition with David Van Vactor and guitar with Larry Long and Matt Palmer. He is an award-winning energy and climate scientist and holds a B.S. from the University of Tennessee and an M.P.A. from Harvard University.