The BMI Foundation has announced nine members of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as the winners of its annual Musical Theatre Awards, encompassing the Jerry Harrington Awards for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre, the Jean Banks Award and the newly established Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Literary Merit in Lyric Writing. The awards were presented by BMI Director of Musical Theatre/BMI Foundation Board member Pat Cook and BMI Foundation Executive Vice President David F. Bills, during a ceremony held on June 15, 2015, at Broadcast Music, Inc.’s headquarters in New York City.
The 2015 award winners are:
• Kristin Bair - Advanced Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Ray Bokhour - Advanced Workshop, Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Literary Merit in Lyric Writing
• Will Buck - First Year Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Jamie Cowperthwait - Second Year Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Geoffrey Goldberg - Second Year Workshop, Jean Banks Award for “Everyday”
• Kevin Hammonds - Advanced Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Ok Kyun Kang - Second Year Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Joseph Allred Olson - Second Year Workshop, Jean Banks Award for “Everyday”
• Richard Sheinmel - Librettists Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
The Jerry Harrington Awards were established in 2000 by BMI Foundation Board Member Evelyn Buckstein in honor of her late friend and colleague Jerry Harrington, who was an avid supporter of musical theatre. Awards totaling $2,600 are presented annually for the works judged “most outstanding” in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, a program that is widely regarded as the premiere training ground for emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists.
The Jean Banks Award was created by the BMI Foundation in 2012 to honor the legacy of former BMI Senior Director of Jazz and Musical Theatre and BMI Foundation Secretary Jean Banks. A $500 prize is presented each year for the best ten-minute musical written in the Musical Theatre Workshop.
The newly bestowed Ellen Schwartz Award commemorates the life and career of the late songwriter, Ellen Schwartz. A $1,000 award will be given annually to a Second or Third Year Workshop participant whose lyric writing demonstrates exceptional literary merit.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!