The Music Publishers Association of North America (MPA) has announced the recipients of its 2019-2020 Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence in an online presentation earlier today. (Yes, that Paul Revere who, in addition to uttering the now historic phrase “The British are coming” during the Revolutionary War, was the notesetter for the first musical score published in the United States.) MPA Executive Director Brittain Ashford and MPA Board President Robert Thompson (of Wise Music) introduced the event and New Music USA’s Frank J. Oteri served as the announcer of the awards. An awards presentation for scores published in 2019 had originally been scheduled to take place during the MPA Annual Membership Meeting scheduled for June 2020, but that meeting was cancelled and the submission process was delayed due to the pandemic. Following a virtual MPA meeting in June, the first-ever online application for these awards was organized for which member publishers could submit PDFs for scores published in the calendar years 2019 and 2020. The MPA plans to resume with its usual awards ceremony next year if it is safe to do so again.
Among the winners in this cycle were two scores by Stacy Garrop published by Theodore Presser (which were both engraved by Zachary Fick-Cambria), two anthologies published by NewMusicShelf (both engraved by Dennis Tobenski), scores by Charles Ives and John Musto (both engraved by Marina Voyskun and published by Peermusic Classical), and a score for viola and piano that was both composed and engraved by Scott Wollschleger (published by Schott Music Corporation/European American Music). The top prize for book design went to a landmark publication of the complete scores of music by Jimi Hendrix finally published some 50 years after his death (coordinated by Jim Schustedt and published by Hal Leonard). Scores by Samuel Barber, Big Bill Broonzy, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Kenneth Frazelle, George Gershwin, John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Vijay Iyer, Pierre Jalbert, Leanna Kirchoff, Edward Knight, Erik Morales, Ervin Nyiregyházi, Allen Shawn, and Sean Shepherd were also among the 35 publications which received honors in eleven different categories.
Overall, a total of 97 scores were submitted by 23 different publishers. The submitted scores were assessed by two engraving judges were charged to evaluate notesetting as well as formatting and layout–Lastcaster PA-based NakedEye Ensemble director and pianist Ju-Ping Song and Florida Orchestra and former Cabrillo Festival librarian Ella M. Fredrickson–for nine of these categories which are based on instrumentation. Awards for cover and overall book design were assessed by two graphics judges: Philadelphia-based hand lettering and typography specialist Emmanuel Wisdom and Brooklyn-based graphic and lettering artist Nim Ben-Reuven who has returned for a fifth year of judging. All of the others are first time judges for these awards. A complete list of this year’s award recipients is posted on the MPA website or can be watched in the ceremony posted below.