|SOUSA-ABA-OSTWALD COMPOSITION CONTEST |
Cash Prize of $5,000
Since 1956, this composition contest has stimulated the creation of many important new compositions for concert band and is responsible for more original band music than any other competition of its kind.
The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) and John Philip Sousa Foundation are proud to announce the 62nd Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Composition Contest. Since 1956, this composition contest has stimulated the creation of many important new compositions for concert band and is responsible for more original band music than any other competition of its kind.
The 2021 Contest Committee will consider concert band compositions with a completion date no earlier than August 1, 2018, with a difficulty rating of grade 4 or under.
The Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Composition Contest Committee consists of ABA members who screen and judge the entries according to the rules listed below.
The winning composition will be performed at the 2022 American Bandmasters Association Convention, which will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 2-6, 2022.
Rules and Entry Information
1. Entries must be emailed to the Committee Chair (address below) no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 1, 2021.
2. Submissions must be original compositions for band with a completion date no earlier than August 1, 2018 and that have not previously been submitted. No transcriptions or arrangements are allowed, with the exception of works transcribed for band by the composer. (For these entries, the completion date of the transcription will serve as the date of eligibility).
3. There is no prescribed instrumentation for this award, but entries should be scored for an ensemble that consists primarily of winds, brass, and percussion. The conventional symphonic band instrumentation is approximately as follows: Piccolo, Flutes, Oboes/English Horn, Bassoons/Contra Bassoon, E-flat Clarinet, B-flat Clarinets (3 parts), Bass Clarinet, Contra Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophones (2 parts), Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Cornets/Trumpets (at least 3 parts), French Horns (4 parts), Trombones (3 or 4 parts), Euphoniums, Tubas, String Bass, Percussion. The score may also include Piano, Harp and/or other keyboard instruments and may also include electronic elements produced by a synthesizer or computer. Works for solo instruments with wind accompaniment are also eligible for consideration.
4. There is not a maximum/minimum length for entries, nor is there a limit on the number of movements. The number of works submitted by a composer is limited to three per year, and each entry must be sent separately. ABA members are not allowed to submit a work for consideration.
5. Candidates should submit their entries via email to the address below. Submissions should include a PDF of the full score and an MP3 recording utilizing the instrumentation indicated on the score. Please do not send paper scores and/or parts and note that MIDI-type realizations will NOT be accepted; recordings MUST be produced from a live performance or recording session. There is no requirement to remove the composers name or other identifying marks from the score or recording.
6. The ABA would like to release the title and composer information for the Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Award finalists. Please note on your entry email your approval/disapproval to share this information with the public. Consent will not impact the committee’s evaluation.
In addition, if the score does not include the following information, please include it in the entry email:
*Date of Completion
*Recording Conductor and Ensemble
*Composer Biography (This should include private teachers and schools attended)
7. Receipt of entries will be verified by an email reply from the Committee Chair. Candidates who have not received a confirmation within one week are encouraged to resubmit or contact the Committee Chair.
8. After the final round of judging is complete in September, the winner will be notified by a member of ABA and an announcement will be posted on the ABA website. The winning work will be performed at the 2022 American Bandmasters Association Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Depending on the length of the work, the ABA may decide to use an abbreviated version of the winning composition at this performance.
9. The winning composer will receive a cash prize of $5,000. The prize entitles the ABA to performance rights at future ABA conventions. The composer must furnish a score and a set of parts at no charge to ABA, as well as the rights to release a recording of the ABA convention performance. Winning Composers are encouraged to attend the convention performance. Some travel expenses will be paid by the ABA in order to help facilitate the composer’s attendance at the convention.
10. The Committee reserves the option of withholding the award, a decision that would be reached by no less than a 75% majority.
11. All rights to the work, including copyright and publisher negotiation, remain with the composer, except for performance rights at ABA conventions (see #9 above).
12. PDF and MP3 files should be emailed to the Chair of the Committee, Dennis Fisher (email@example.com) no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 1, 2021.
|Winning Compositions By Year
2020 - Erik Santos - The Seer
2019 - David Biedenbender - Unquiet Hours
2018 - James Stephenson - Symphony No. 2 - “Voices"
2017 - Christopher Lowry - A Cypress Prelude
2016 - Paul Dooley - Masks and Machines
2015 - Aaron Perrine - Only Light
2014 - Steven Bryant - Concerto for Alto Saxophone
2013 - Aaron Perrine - Pale Blue on Deep
2012 - Michael Gandolfi - Flourishes and Meditations
2011 - Yo Goto - Songs for Wind Ensemble
2009 - John Mackey - Aurora Awakes
2007 - Michael Daugherty - Raise the Roof
2006 - No Contest Held
2005 - John Mackey - Redline Tango
2004 - No Contest Held
2003 - No Contest Held
2002 - Peter Graham - Harrison's Dream
2001 - No Winner Chosen
2000 - Donald Grantham - Southern Harmony
1999 - Donald Grantham - Fantasy Variations
1998 - Dan Welcher - Circular Marches - Commission
1997 - Dan Welcher - Zion
1996 - Anthony Iannaccone - Psalms For A Great Country - Commission
1995 - Anthony Iannaccone - Sea Drift
1994 - Ron Nelson - Chaconne (In Memoriam) - Commission
1993 - Ron Nelson - Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H)
1992 - Timothy Mahr - Endurance - Commission
1991 - Timothy Mahr - The Soaring Hawk
1990 - Gregory Youtz - Fire Works
1989 - Martin Mailman - For Precious Friends Hid In Death's Dateless Night for Wind Ensemble, Op. 80
1988 - Dana Wilson - Piece of Mind
1987 - David Sartor - Synergistic Parable
1986 - David R. Holsinger - In the Spring, at the Time When the Kings Go Off to War
1985 - Joseph H. Downing - Symphony for Winds and Percussion
1984 - James E. Curnow - Symphonic Variants for Euphonium and Band
1983 - Martin Mailman - Exaltations
1982 - David R. Holsinger - Armies of the Omnipresent Otserf
1981 - James Barnes - Visions Macabre
1980 - James E. Curnow - Mutanza
1979 - No Winner Chosen
1978 - James Barnes - Symphony, Opus 35
1977 - William H. Hill - Dances Sacred and Profane
1976 - Lorette Jankowski - Todesband
1975 - Robert M. Panerio, Sr. - Jubiloso
1974 - James S. Sclater - Visions
1973 - Roger Nixon - Festival Fanfare March
1972 - Robert E. Jager - Sinfonietta
1971 - Karl Kroeger - Divertimento for Concert Band
1970 - Fisher Tull - Toccata
1969 - Richard Willis - Aria and Toccata
1968 - Robert E. Jager - Diamond Variations
1967 - Lawrence Weiner - Daedalic Symphony
1966 - John Barnes Chance - Variations on a Korean Folk Song
1965 - Frederick Beyer - Overture for Band
1964 - Robert E. Jager - Symphony for Band
1963 - Frederic H. Ashe - Concert Suite
1962 - Fritz Velke - Concertino for Band
1961 - Joseph Willcox Jenkins - Cumberland Gap Overture
1960 - Florian Mueller - Overture in G
1959 - Maurice Weed - Introduction and Scherzo
1958 - J. Mark Quinn - Portrait of the Land
1957 - J. Clifton Williams - Symphonic Suite
1956 - J. Clifton Williams - Fanfare and Allegro
- Past President Col. Eugene Allen Memorial
- 2022 ABA Convention Video
- 2021 Annual Report
- Colonel John R. Bourgeois’ Book Is Now Available
- 2021 Membership Renewal Options
- 2020 Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Composition Winner
- Write or Read Lest We Forget Memorials
- ABA Archives – Files
- 2020 Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Composition Contest entries due August 1
- 2020 ABA Convention Photos
Future Convention Dates
The 2021 convention has been canceled due to COVID-19.
March 2-6, 2022
March 1-5, 2023