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Outdoor Composition Contest

About the Contest

Columbia Summer Winds is dedicated to providing wind-band composers with the opportunity to present their new, unpublished works to the public. Through the biennial Outdoor Composition Contest, composers submit their works for review by CSW artistic leadership and musicians, for a chance at the grand prize: the winning piece will be performed publicly and recorded during the following Summer Season.

The contest is currently closed. The next edition is anticipated to be held in Summer 2018. 

Prizes

One First Prize Winner will receive $1,000, and the selected work will be performed and recorded during the following Summer Season.

Two Second Prize Winners will receive $100, and the selected compositions will be entered into the CSW repertoire.


Previous Winners

2016
Keynote Address
J. Scott McKenzie

Keynote Address, composed by U.S. Army band officer J. Scott McKenzie, is a stately, yet exciting and energetic piece written by a former competition winner. You can learn more about Keynote Address and J. Scott McKenzie by visiting his website.

2014
If You Could Only See the Frog
Paul Richards

If You Could Only See the Frog, composed by Professor Paul Richards of the University of Florida, is a high-energy, captivating piece that evokes the titular Ladino children's song. Richards elaborates that this percussion-driven composition spans cultures, drawing upon "Ladino melodic figurations with a traditional Bulgarian metric construction, punctuated by a curious refrain in Turkish that simply means, “I love you so much.” You can learn more about If You Could Only See the Frog and Paul Richards by visiting his website.

2012
A Summer Breeze
J. Scott McKenzie

A Summer Breeze, composed by U.S. Army band officer J. Scott McKenzie, captures the charm and playful spirit of the titular season which inspired the work. The melody passes from woodwinds to brass effortlessly, bouncing around the ensemble to create an exciting and fun energy to the work. You can learn more about A Summer Breeze and J. Scott McKenzie by visiting his website.

2010
Metropolitan Overture
Alexandre Travassos

Alexandre Travassos' Metropolitan Overture is a wild, frenetic take on the major metropolis. Fast runs and jolting interjections from brass and percussion resonate with the hustle and bustle so characteristic of the city landscape. The composition celebrates the high energy atmosphere of city life and, perhaps, portrays the city phenomenon that so much activity can be condensed into a single urban area while unnoticed by its inhabitants.