David “Clay” Mettens, senior composition and clarinet major, has achieved 3rd place nationally in The American Prize in the Band/Wind Ensemble Composition Competition, student division, for his work "A Very Hungry Butterfly." Mettens was selected from applications reviewed this spring from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, nonprofit, competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings.
Among judges' comments about Mettens' work: "...the piece is effective in its use of timbre and texture and takes us somewhere we may not have been before..."
Finalists for The American Prize receive professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on their recorded performances. In addition to written evaluations from judges, winners and runners-up are profiled on The American Prize website, where links lead to winners' websites. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. www.theamericanprize.org.
Mettens is a recipient of the McNair Scholarship, the top award given to out-of-state students. Recently, his works have been played at the NewNowNorse New Music Festival at Northern Kentucky University, the New Voices Student Composer concerts at USC, student recitals at USC, in an orchestra reading at the Aberystwyth MusicFest in Aberystwyth, Wales, and in a reading by the USC Wind Ensemble. Mettens was a finalist for the 2011 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and a regional finalist for the 2012 SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition. He was selected by the USC School of Music to be the 2012 recipient of the Cantey Award for Excellence and the John and Lucretia Herr Composition Award. His primary composition teachers have been John Fitz Rogers and Fang Man.