The Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance administers a bi-annual wind ensemble/concert band composition contest. The prize succeeds the Walter Beeler Memorial Commission Series that was established in 1975. Funded by the Ithaca College School of Music, its alumni, and friends, the highly successful original commission series produced 10 compositions for the wind band. The Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize has been created to further encourage the composition and performance of the highest quality wind band literature in honor and memory of Ithaca College's renowned director of bands. During his thirty-five year tenure as conductor of the Ithaca College Concert Band, Walter Beeler ("Mr. Band") premiered a number of new compositions for wind band. His method books, arrangements, and transcriptions for wind band number nearly 200.


The Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance announces the 2022 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize. This prize succeeds the Walter Beeler Memorial Commission Series established in 1975. Funded by the Ithaca College Center for Music, its alumni, and friends, this highly successful original series has recognized over a dozen compositions for wind band. The Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize was created to further encourage the composition and performance of the highest quality wind band literature in honor and memory of Ithaca College's renowned director of bands.

Submission deadline: January 1, 2022


  1. Entries must be original compositions for wind ensemble/concert band, utilizing standard wind band instrumentation. No transcriptions/arrangements (except those of original music by the composer) will be eligible.
  2. There is a limit of one entry per composer.
  3. The composition may have already been performed, but shall have been written (completed) no more than two years prior to the contest deadline.  [That is, since January 1, 2020.]
  4. The composition should be conceived and composed to ensure an effective performance by professional, university, and high school bands alike.  Performance time shall be a minimum of seven minutes.
  5. Compositions must be submitted with a full score and compact disc or Flash Drive digital (WAV) recording. A "hard copy" (paper) version of the score is required. Scores may be in manuscript (hand-copied) form, but composers are highly encouraged to submit computer-typeset scores. Compositions without recordings will not be considered; while synthesized versions are acceptable, they are discouraged. Do not send parts with your submission.
  6. All rights, including those pertaining to copyright, remain with the composer.
  7. The competition is open to all composers except:
    1. Past winners of the Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize
    2. Any composer who received a commission from the Walter Beeler Memorial Commission
    3. Ithaca College faculty


There will be a cash prize of $6,000, with the performance of the work in spring or fall of 2022. The winner is strongly encouraged to attend the performance. Travel and accommodation support, up to a further $1,000, is available to the winner upon the furnishing of the appropriate receipts.

The Ithaca College Center for Music has the option of withholding the award if no entry is found to be suitable.


  1. A sealed envelope containing (only) the name and address, (physical and email), of the composer should be paper-clipped to the title page of the score. The date of the composition must appear on the title page of the score and the outside of this envelope. The composer's name, (or any other identifying marks), must not appear on the score, the recording, or on the outside of the envelope.
  2. All entries must be received by the committee chair not later than January 1, 2022. Entries received after that date will not be considered.  Do not include any materials other than those specifically asked for with your submission. 
  3. The winning composition will be selected and the composer notified no later than February 1, 2022. Parts for the winning composition must be received by the Ithaca College School of Music no later than March 1, 2022.  Prize monies will be processed on receipt in good order of the performance parts.
  4. A self-addressed, stamped mailer must be included for return of materials (if desired). All precautions will be taken to ensure that manuscripts and CDs are returned safely, but Ithaca College cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage in transit.
  5. The Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize specifically encourages submissions from under-represented composers.

Mail entry to:

Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, 2022

Attention; Professor Grant Cooper
Ithaca College
School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850-7000


  • 1975 Karel Husa Al Fresco
  • 1976 Paul Creston Liberty Song '76
  • 1977 Armand Russell Myth for Winds and Percussion
  • 1978 Alfred Reed Othello
  • 1979 Anthony Milner Concerto for Symphonic Wind Band
  • 1980 Fisher Tull Concerto Grosso for Brass Quintet and Band
  • 1981 Robert Jager Concerto for Band
  • 1982 Philip Lang Tribute
  • 1983 Roger Nixon San Joaquin Sketches
  • 1984 David Amram Andante and Variations on a Theme for Macbeth
  • 1987 Paul Reale Moonrise, A Polonaise, Early Light
  • 1989 Frank Ticheli Music for Winds and Percussion
  • 1992 Warren Benson Adagietto (commissioned by Ithaca College for the College centennial)
  • 1994 Adam Gorb Metropolis
  • 1996 Jeffrey Hass Lost in the Funhouse
  • 1998 Evan Chambers Polka Nation
  • 2000 David Dzubay Myaku
  • 2002 Michael Djupstromm Homages
  • 2004 John Mackey Redline Tango
  • 2006 No Prize Awarded
  • 2008 Kathryn Salfelder Cathedrals
  • 2010 Jess Langston Turner Rumpelstilzchen
  • 2012 Viet Coung Sound and Smoke


All Inquiries:

Grant Cooper

Interim Director of Instrumental Ensembles