|Cash Prize of $5,000|
The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) and John Philip Sousa Foundation are proud to announce the 59th Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Award. Since 1956, this composition contest has stimulated the creation of many important new compositions for concert band and is responsible for more new band music than any other competition of its kind.
The 2018 Award Committee will consider concert band compositions with a completion date no earlier than October 1, 2015 and with a difficulty rating of grade 5 or 6.
The Sousa/Ostwald Committee (Committee) consists of ABA members who screen and judge the entries according to the rules listed below.
The winning composition will be performed during the 2019 American Bandmasters Association Convention, which will be held in Loveland, CO, March 6-9, 2019.
1. Entries must be emailed to the Committee Chair (address below) no later than 11:59 pm EDT on October 1, 2018.
2. Submissions must be original compositions for band with a completion date no earlier than October 1, 2015 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 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. If the score does not already 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 December, 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 2019 American Bandmasters Association Convention. 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. 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, Michael Colburn (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 11:59pm EDT on Oct. 1, 2018.
|Winning Compositions By Year
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
- 2019 ABA Convention Website
- ABA Convention Hosts – 1930-2019
- 2019 ABA Candidates
- 2018 ABA Annual Report
- ABA Welcomes New Members
- Order CDs from the 2018 ABA Fort Worth Convention Performances
- Announcing the Winner of the 2017 Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Contest
- CDs from the 2017 ABA Convention Are Now Available
- The John P. Paynter ABA CD Is Now Available
- Print the ABA Member Directory
Future Convention Dates
March 6-9, 2019
Embassy Suites Loveland
Beau Rivage Resort
March 4-7, 2020