What is The Colorado Collegiate Composition Competition?

One hundred years ago, there were around 2,000 British-style brass bands in the state of Colorado. As of 2019, there are three left- Pikes Peak Brass Band, Colorado Brass, and Rocky Mountain Brassworks. Brass bands were in nearly every town in Colorado! Brass bands were an integral part of the evolution of the modern military band and historical in the Salvation Army. In order to spark interest in brass bands back into the hearts of Coloradans, The Rocky Mountain Brassworks is hosting a composition competition! 

Cash prizes are available for top three contestants! 

Top eight composers will be have the opportunity to work The Rocky Mountain Brassworks to perform their piece LIVE in February 2020!

Contestants must meet the following requirements to participate:

  1. Attend a college, university, or community college in the state of Colorado.

  2. Be enrolled as a music major or have a music concentration.

Requirements for Compositions:

  1. Compositions must have the instrumentation of a traditional British brass band.

  2. Must be five to seven minutes in length.

  3. Compositions are due on November 14th at midnight.

  4. Contestants need to fill out a submission form- located at the bottom of this page. Included in that submission needs to be a Midi Recording (.MP3 or .WAV), PDF score, and all necessary information.

How compositions are being adjudicated: 

  1. A panel of experts in the field of Brass Bands will be selected from Colorado.

  2. The judging criteria is based on an unbiased, number based system- Highest score wins.

  3. A sample judge sheet will be available once the final judging criteria has been decided.


Questions? Contact Gregory Marxen at brassworkscompetition@gmail.com

More information and resources regarding traditional brass band compositions are available upon request

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What is the instrumentation of a British brass band?

  • 1 E♭ Soprano Cornet

  • 9 B♭ Cornets

  • Front Row: 1 principal solo cornet, 3 solo cornets

  • Back Row: 1 repiano cornet, 2 second cornets, 2 third cornets

  • 1 B♭ Flugelhorn

  • 3 E♭ Tenor horns

  • 1 solo tenor, 1 first tenor, 1 second tenor

  • 2 B♭ Baritone Horns

  • 1 first baritone, 1 second baritone

  • 2 B♭ Tenor Trombones

  • 1 first trombone, 1 second trombone

  • 1 C Bass Trombone

  • 2 B♭ Euphoniums

  • 1 first euphonium, 1 second euphonium

  • 2 E♭ Basses (E♭ Tubas)

  • 2 BB♭ Basses (BB♭ Tubas)

  • 2 to 4 percussionists

With the exception of percussion and bass trombone, all parts are transposed into treble clef, with their lowest open-valve note (either B♭ or E♭) being notated as middle C. This means tubas, euphoniums, tenor trombones, baritone horns, tenor horns, and cornets all play in treble clef. This allowed for members to switch easily between different instruments when attendance was scarce. Bass Trombone is written in concert pitch in bass clef, and pitched percussion is written in their appropriate staves (for example, bass clef for timpani, treble clef for xylophone and glockenspiel).