The Ithaca College School of Music administers a bi-annual wind ensemble/concert band composition contest. The prize succeeds the Walter Beeler Memorial Commission Series established in 1975. Funded by the Ithaca College School of Music, its alumni, and friends, the highly successful original 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.


An Ithaca College School of Music committee of faculty members has convened to examine and evaluate the scores and recordings of all submissions for the Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize. This is a blind procedure and the committee members have no knowledge of composers or their backgrounds during the any part of the process.

We would like to thank all the composers who submitted pieces this year and assure them that if they included return postage we will return their materials shortly. After careful consideration, the committee has decided not to make an award for this year. The next competition will take place, as usual, on an even year, in this case in 2018. We are excited to announce that the prize monies attached to the award will be increased to $5000.00! As part of Professor Beeler’s tremendous legacy, we value high quality literature for wind bands and encourage all to consider submitting a piece in 2018!


  1. Entries must be original compositions for wind ensemble/concert band, utilizing standard wind band instrumentation. No transcriptions/arrangements (except those of the composer) will be eligible.
  2. The composition may have already been performed, but shall have been written within two years of the contest deadline.
  3. The composition should be conceived and constructed to ensure an effective performance by professional, university, and high school bands alike.
  4. Entries shall be longer than 7 minutes.
  5. Compositions must be submitted with a full score and compact disc recording. A "hard copy" paper version of the score is required. Compositions without recordings will not be considered. While synthesized versions are accepted, they are discouraged. Do not send parts with your scores.
  6. All rights, including copyrighting, remain with the composer.
  7. Open to all composers except:
    • Past winners of the Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize
    • Any composer who received a commission from the Walter Beeler Memorial Commission
    • Ithaca College faculty


  1. Cash prize of $5,000, with the performance of the work in spring or fall of 2019. The winner is strongly encouraged to attend the performance. Modest travel support is available.
  2. The Ithaca College School of Music has the option of withholding the award if no entry is found to be suitable.


  1. A sealed envelope with the name and address of the composer should be affixed to the title page of the score. The date of the composition must appear on the title page.
  2. The composer's name must not appear on the score or the recording.
  3. All entries must be received by the committee chair not later than November 1, 2018. Entries received after that date will not be considered.
  4. The winning composition will be selected and the composer notified no later than December 30, 2018. Parts for the winning composition must be received by the Ithaca College School of Music no later than January 30, 2019.
  5. A self-addressed, stamped mailer must be included for return. 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.
  6. Mail entry to:

    Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize
    Ithaca College
    School of Music
    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


Inquiries should be sent to ic-bands@ithaca.edu.