Date: May 24th, 2016

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 2017 annual American Bandmasters Association Convention, which will be held in Lexington, KY March 8-11, 2017.


1. Entries must be emailed to the Committee Chair (address below) no later than 11:59 pm EDT on October 1, 2016.

2. Submissions must be original compositions for band with a completion date no earlier than October 1, 2013 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

Grade Level

Commissioning Ensemble(s)

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.

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 2017 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 ( no later than 11:59pm EDT on Oct. 1, 2016.

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