Durham University Brass Band’s annual Composition Competition supported by Durham Music Shop and Steve Robson, is set to publish two original works composed by university students and recent graduates from all across the UK.

After the success of the first composition competition in 2020, Durham University Brass Band are hosing their now annual composition competition supported by Durham Music Shop and Steve Robson. The Durham and Open Composition Competition is open to all UK university students and graduates of up to one year and is looking for pieces of music themed around the return of banding after the long break through lockdown or a concert march. The original compositions, up to 6 minutes in length, should be arranged for standard brass band orchestration, and be playable after some rehearsal by a 3rd section band.

The competition has two classes, one open to all UK university students and recent graduates, and another open to just Durham University students and recent graduates. Both offering prizes of £100, plus the chance to get your work published by Modrana Music Publishers (with a competitive royalty’s agreement) and performed by Durham University Brass Band in the upcoming academic year. The last year or so has been a struggle for us all missing banding along with many things so this is a great opportunity to channel your lockdown emotions and stories into a piece that celebrates the long awaited return to the band room.

Winning entries will be judged by Steve Robson, a composer and concert organiser from Weardale in County Durham. All compositions will be judged “blind” by Steve, with no knowledge of who has written them, giving everyone a fair opportunity! Submissions are also encouraged to include some accompanying notes about the composition.

Entries close on 1st September 2021. Submissions should be made to [email protected], and should be in the form of a score (in pdf format) and audio (notation software output in mp3 format). Scores should not have any indication of the composer’s identity so as to ensure a fair competition. If possible, the submission should also include the score in a Sibelius format, or in any other freely available notation software, however not providing this will not adversely affect the submission. Submissions are encouraged to also include a brief accompanying note about the composition. Submissions should include proof of studentship meeting the criteria set out below. Valid proof includes copies of a dated student card, a graduation certificate, and a letter of student status from the university. Other forms of proof may be acceptable.

The full rules can be found here, and entries/queries should be sent to [email protected]

See last years winning piece here: https://www.durhammusicshop.co.uk/product-page/three-images-of-north-east-england