Announcing the 2016-17 Association of Concert Bands Young Composers Composition Contest

Submission Period for the contest is now closed. Results to be announced January 1, 2017 

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.
  • Naming conventions for files: TITLE_Initials_score.pdf TITLE_Initials_recording.mp3 (or .mid) For lengthy titles, truncate to the first 10 characters.
  • Program notes.
  • 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: (Information removed as submission period is over)


  • Entries will be judged by a panel of judges who are well known composers and conductors.
  • The piece will be premiered at the annual convention of the Association of Concert Bands, May 3-7, 2017, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL by the Convention Band comprised primarily of adult musicians from around the world. The guest conductor of the Convention Band in Ft. Lauderdale will be Col. Larry H. Lang, the Commander and Conductor of The US Air Force Band, Washington, DC.
  • 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 2017 Association of Concert Bands Composition Contest.”
  • The composer will receive a recording of the premier performance and copy of the printed program.
  • The composer will receive a certificate suitable for framing indicating they have won the 2017 Tommy Guilbert Award for Musical Composition presented by the Association of Concert Bands.
  • The composer will receive an award of $1000 and reimbursement up to $1000 for travel expenses to attend the ACB Convention for the premiere.


  • Submit by: August 15, 2016
  • Notifications by: January 1, 2017
  • Complete set of parts of the winning composition need to be provided by February 1, 2017.

Any questions can be sent to

Download a printable Flyer or Poster

ACB Composition Contest Poster ACB Composition Contest Poster (69 KB)

ACB Composition Contest Flyer ACB Composition Contest Flyer (96 KB)


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