Washington City Paper contributor Sadie Dingfelder has received an Evert Young/Seth Payne Award honorable mention for her outstanding cover story from our 2009 Arts in Review issue, “Writing Music for Monkeys.” Dingfelder’s feature follows David Teie, a cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra who is working on a “unified field theory of music, one that explains why songs have such a powerful emotional pull.” His research involves composing songs for monkeys.

The story contains what I’m pretty sure is my favorite quote from the paper since I’ve worked here.

“I may be just a schmo to you,” he says, “but, man, to monkeys I am Elvis.”

From the press release for the Evert Young/Seth Payne Award for young science journalists:

The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to Sadie Dingfelder for what they called a “wonderful” tale of a cellist who develops and successfully tests novel ideas about the evolution and effects of music. The story, entitled “Play that Monkey Music,” appeared in the Washington City Paper. The judges commended the story for using vivid characters and a compelling narrative to illuminate the often surprising twists and turns in the pathways and processes of science.

The $1,000 prize went to Amber Dance for four stories in the Los Angeles Times, Nature, and Nature Medicine.