McKee has a double major in biology and music at Bard. For his senior project in music, he will be performing two full-length piano concerts and is writing an orchestral piece for the American Symphony Orchestra, to be premiered at Bard’s commencement concert next year. At Bard, McKee has worked closely with composer Joan Tower (Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts) and pianist Blair McMillen (artist in residence).
“These professors have gone far beyond the call of ordinary teacher-student duty to give me an incomparable education in these disciplines. It is a great honor to receive this national recognition,” McKee said in a college news release.
Each year, ASCAP holds a national juried competition for gifted young composers under the age of 30. The competition is named in honor of the late Morton Gould, who was a gifted composer prodigy, a Pulitzer Prize–winning composer, and a president of ASCAP.
In a Bard news release, ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams said, “The ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards program provides recognition and cash awards to gifted young composers of concert music. There were 730 submissions this year, and our dedicated jury selected 29 composers between the ages of 12 to 29. We congratulate the recipients and thank our ASCAP composer judges for their expertise in selecting this year’s gifted young creators, who represent the bright future of American Concert Music.”