Christopher Kendall Award

2021 Recipient

Damien Crutcher (MM ’96, wind conducting)

Damian Crutcher holding a baton under his chin, wearing a long-sleeved black shirt in front of a grey background.Damien Crutcher is a native Detroiter and a graduate of Cass Technical High School. He holds a bachelor degree in music education from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in conducting from the University of Michigan. Damien studied horn with Bryan Kennedy and Doug Campbell and conducting with Dr. Ronnie Wooten and Professor H. Robert Reynolds.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Damien served as Director of Bands and Orchestra at Southfield-Lathrup High School. Under his direction the Southfield-Lathrup ensembles, including the Lathrup Symphony Band, performed in San Francisco, Chicago, the Bahamas, the White House, and Carnegie Hall. Many of his students from Southfield-Lathrup are currently professional musicians, music teachers, and artists across the country

He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Crescendo Detroit. Crescendo Detroit is a nonprofit whose mission is to transform the lives of school age children, ages 5-18, in Detroit by engaging them in intense instrumental music, vocal music, and dance programs that promote artistic excellence and character building.

Damien is a frequent guest conductor and clinician throughout Michigan and Ohio and also serves as the conductor of the Farmington Community Band. Damien is in his fourth season as conductor of the Detroit Symphony’s Civic Youth Concert Band and the Detroit Community Concert Band.


Ryan Hourigan


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Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (Shannon McGinnis, Nicholas Hutchinson, and Nicholas Phan)


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PRISM Quartet