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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences School of Music

WSU Jazz Composers Contest!!

The 2024 edition of this exciting composition will be for high school and junior college students 19 years old and younger composing for:
Jazz Combo
Jazz Big Band


The 2024 contest is open to composers not yet enrolled in a 4-year college. Compositions must be written and arranged for one of the following-

  • Jazz “Big Band” with the following instrumentation
    • 5 saxophones (2 alto, 2 tenor, 1 bari) with no doubles
    • 4 trombones (4th can be bass trombone)
    • 4 trumpets (mutes and/or flugels are okay)
    • Rhythm Section: piano (acoustic), guitar (opt.), bass (elec. or upright), drums


  • Jazz combo with the following instrumentation
    • Trumpet
    • Saxophone (alto, tenor, or baritone)
    • Trombone
    • Piano
    • Guitar
    • Bass
    • Drums or Percussion


Submitting composers must-

  • Not have reached their 20th birthday on August 16th, 2024
  • Not have enrolled in courses at any 4-year college or university during the 2023-24 academic year.
  • Currently attend or be a graduate of a high school in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, or Alaska.

Submitted compositions must:

  • Be original compositions by the submitter
  • Be unpublished and without commercial copyright
  • Written using notation software
  • Adhere to standard notational practices
  • Conform to the following parameters:
    • Do not exceed 6 minutes of written music (not including repeated or open solo sections)
    • Lead trumpet range should not exceed D6 (D above the staff)/ written E6
    • Lead trombone range should not exceed Bb4 (Bb above middle C)
  • By submitting a composition, you are giving the WSU School of Music license and permission to perform submitted compositions without need for further permission requests.

Up to three composers will be recognized*:

  • First Prize
    • Winner receives $600 cash prize.
    • The winning composition will be performed at the 2024 WSU Jazz Festival on November 6, 2024.
    • Winner receives a recording from the performance of the winning composition by the WSU Jazz Big Band or Jazz Northwest Faculty Jazz Ensemble (if winning composition is for combo).
    • Lodging for the winning composer in Pullman to attend the November 6th performance (up to two rooms will be provided. Travel is not included).
  • Second Prize
    • $300 cash prize.
    • A recording of a performance of the awarded composition by the WSU Jazz Big Band or Jazz Northwest Faculty Jazz Ensemble (for awarded combo composition).
  • Third Prize
    • $150 cash prize

*Only compositions that the panel finds as demonstrating sufficient achievement will be awarded.


  • Submit this form by June 15, 2024.
  • Create your composition using notation software (Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, Harmony Assistant, etc.)
  • Export pdf’s of the full score and parts.
  • Export an MP3 of the composition.
  • When you fill out the entry form we will email you a link to a folder where you will upload your files. All files must be uploaded by July 31, 2024 to be eligible for the contest.


This contest is made possible due to the generosity of Jerry T. Standal, Ph.D.