The Ithaca College School of Music is offering a prize to encourage composers to write music for performance by a jazz ensemble. The winner of the David P. ’60 and Susan W. Wohlhueter Jazz Composition Contest will receive a $1,000 prize, along with a recording of the piece performed by the Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble with guest drummer Matt Wilson.
The prize was established through the generosity of Ithacan David Wohlhueter — a 1960 Ithaca College graduate and former longtime sports information director at both IC and Cornell — and his wife, Susan.
School of Music students will be among the judges of the contest, which provides them with experience in both evaluating and performing new music. Free and open to the public, the Jazz Ensemble concert at which the composition will be performed will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. in Ford Hall.
The contest entry deadline is Oct. 1. The submission will be judged on musical quality, and should be steeped in the traditions of jazz music. It must include parts for saxophone, trombone and trumpet along with a rhythm section of piano, guitar, double bass and drum set. Wilson’s role in the piece as drummer should be well-conceived and clear.
The complete contest rules can be found at ithaca.edu/music/ensembles/jazzensemble/CompContest.
Matt Wilson is one of todays most celebrated jazz artists, universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as for being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer and teacher. He leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, among other ensembles, and has performed with legends of music ranging from Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis to Elvis Costello and Pat Metheny. His most recent release, Honey and Salt, was given a 5-star review by Downbeat.