Congratulations to Will Healy as the winner of the 2024 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize for his outstanding composition Passages. As a biennial award, the next cycle will begin in Fall 2025 with a call for compositions and assessors. Submissions will be due in early January 2026. The webpage below remains unchanged from the 2024 competition for future reference until updated for the new cycle.


The Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is proud to administer the Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, a bi-annual wind ensemble/concert band composition contest. This highly successful and nationally renowned series is funded by the gracious support of the Ithaca College administration, alumni, and generous friends of the institution.

The current Prize is the successor to the original Walter Beeler Memorial Commission Series, established in 1975. This Commissioning Series produced 10 compositions for wind band. Subsequently, 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. 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 current iteration of the Prize has honored 15 outstanding works.


  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 two entries per composer. If electing to submit two, fill out the form two individual times.
  3. The composition may have already been performed but shall have been written (completed) no more than four years prior to this contest cycle.  [That is, since January 8, 2020.]
  4. The composition must not have been entered into this contest before.
  5. Compositions must be submitted electronically (collected via an IC form portal). Include a 1) full score PDF (computer typeset is appreciated, but hand-written and scanned is acceptable), 2) a recording in MP3 format. If this is not a world premiere, submit a live performance (live in this sense refers to non-computer rendered performances. Both truly 'live' as well as edited recordings, as in an album project, are acceptable). If this submission would be a world premiere by Ithaca College, a MIDI rendering is acceptable. Compositions without score and recordings, or with files of unreadable file type, will not be considered, and composers will not be solicited to correct file submission issues.
  6. If selected, the composer grants the opportunity for the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble to perform and/or record the composition, at IC faculty discretion. All rights to the work, including copyright and publisher negotiation, remain with the composer.
  7. The competition is open to all composers except:
    • Past winners of the Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize
    • Any composer who received a commission from the original  Walter Beeler Memorial Commission
    • Ithaca College faculty


There will be a cash prize of $5,000. There may also be the opportunity to perform the winning work with the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble in the following academic year, with travel and accommodation support of up to $1,000 for the winning composer. Depending on the length of the work, the ICWE may decide to use an abbreviated version of the winning composition at this performance. The Ithaca College Center for Music has the option of withholding the award if no entry is found to be suitable.


​​​​​​Files must be electronically submitted via the IC Formstack linked on this page. Files should be labeled as follows.

  1. Full score in PDF format. Files should be labeled as Lastname, Firstname - Composition.pdf. (i.e., Grainger, Percy - Lincolnshire Posy.pdf). Please include the composer's name on the cover page of the score, but do not have the composer's name on the first page of music. Program notes and piece context within the front matter of the score are optional. If utilized, please do not list the composer's name within these notes.
  2. Audio recording in MP3 format. Files should be labeled as Lastname, Firstname - Composition (Performing ensemble).mp3. For example: Grainger, Percy - Lincolnshire Posy (Eastman Wind Ensemble).mp3 OR Grainger, Percy - Lincolnshire Posy (Midi Rendering).mp3

NOTE: When distributed to the committee, the files will be renamed for anonymity and the score stripped of its cover page, thus these stipulations on the files above. Please do not include any metadata within the files, as it may accidentally unveil composer identity.

All entries must be received no later than Monday, January 8, 2024, at 11:59pm EST. Entries received after that date will not be considered.  Do not include any materials other than those specifically asked for with your submission. 

The winning composition will be selected and the composer notified during the academic spring semester.  Prize monies will be processed on receipt in good order of the performance parts.

  • 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
  • 2014 Clint Needham - Concerto for Wind Ensemble
  • 2016 No Prize Awarded
  • 2019 Steve Danyew - Into the Silent Land
  • 2022 Eric Guinivan - Matsuri
  • 2024 Will Healy - Passages
    • Honorable Mentions - David Biedenbender (Enigma), Ivette Herryman Rodríguez (En Mi, Familia), Shuying Li (Luminance), Jim Stephenson (Symphony No. 4) 


Daniel Cook, DMA

Director of Bands