Association of Concert Bands Young Composers Composition Contest in partnership with the John Philip Sousa Foundation

Announcing the 2018-2019 Association of Concert Bands Young Composers Composition Contest in partnership with the John Philip Sousa Foundation

This composition contest is intended for young composers who are writing music for concert band. There are over a thousand community bands in the United States and more across the globe who are performing concert band music. These ensembles play music from across the spectrum - show tunes, patriotic selections, marches, transcriptions, new works for band. These bands are looking for new music that fits a more traditional style of concert band literature that audiences will enjoy. Composers should keep this audience in mind for their submission to this contest.


  • Composers under 30 years of age on submission deadline date.
  • Composers must not be contractually obligated as an employee or under contract to any publisher or publishers.
ineligible: Current Members of the ACB Board and their family members


  • A 3 - 5 minute duration piece of original composition for concert band at a grade level of roughly 4.
  • Submissions must not have been previously published.
  • Submissions must have been written within the past 18 months.
  • Submissions must not have been previously performed in a public venue.
  • Only one submission per composer will be accepted.
  • Suggested Instrumentation:

    • C Piccolo; 1st & 2nd Flute; Oboe; Bassoon;1st, 2nd, & 3rd Clarinet; Bass Clarinet; 1st & 2nd Alto Saxophone; Tenor Saxophone; Baritone Saxophone; 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Trumpet; 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Horn; 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Trombone; Euphonium (BC/TC); Tuba; Mallet Percussion; Timpani & Percussion (expanded) Optional: Eb Clarinet, 2nd Oboe, 2nd Bassoon, Contrabass Clarinet, Piano
    • Special Considerations: Extensive cross-cueing (always on solos for Horn, Bassoon, Oboe, Bass Clarinet); composers are encouraged to use expanded percussion, particularly mallet and accessory instruments. Plan for maximum of five percussionists. 

Submit via email to

  • Cover Sheet with Composer's name, mailing address, email address, school affiliation (if current student), birth date, names of all files submitted (as a word document or PDF file).
  • One PDF of the score labeled with the Title. Other identifying information must be removed.
  • An .mp3 recording if available, MIDI files from the composing software are acceptable.
  • Program notes. (separate from the score as a word document or PDF file)
  • Naming conventions for files: TITLE_Initials_score.pdf TITLE_Initials_recording.mp3 (or .mid) TITLE_Initials_prognote.pdf (or .doc) For lengthy titles, truncate to the first 10 characters.
  • If the composition is selected as the winner, a complete set of parts in PDF form is to be provided.
  • Application fee of $25 by credit card ("buy now" below) or by check made out to the Association of Concert Bands  with a copy of the cover sheet mailed to:

Ability to pay disabled as submission period is over for this years contest.


  • Entries will be judged by a panel of judges who are well-known composers and conductors.
  • The winning composer will need to provide a complete set of parts in PDF format.
  • That set of parts and all future copies of the score and parts will need to have inscribed “Winner of the 2019 Association of Concert Bands/John Philip Sousa Foundation Composition Contest.”
  • The composer will receive a certificate suitable for framing.
  • The composer will receive an award of $2000 and reimbursement up to $1000 for travel expenses to attend the ACB Convention for the premiere.
  • The piece will be premiered at the annual convention of the Association of Concert Bands to be held in April of 24-28, 2019 in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. The piece will be conducted by Timothy J. Holtan, Col., US Army (Ret).


  • Submit by: June 15, 2018
  • Notifications by: November 1, 2018
  • Complete set of parts of the winning composition need to be provided no later than December 1, 2018

Any questions can be sent to

Download a printable Flyer or Poster

ACB Composition Contest Poster ACB Composition Contest Poster (71 KB)

ACB Composition Contest Flyer ACB Composition Contest Flyer (114 KB)


Past Winners:here

Updated January 3, 2018

Shopping cart is empty.

Posted August 1, 2017