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Students playing in brass band

Durham University Brass Band (dubb) is launching an annual Composition Competition, offering student musicians and recent graduates from all over the UK the chance to have their work published.

The Durham and Open Composition Competition is open to all UK university students and graduates of up to one year and is looking for original pieces of music themed around the return of banding or a concert march.

The competition has two classes, one exclusively for Durham students and recent alumni and one Open class for all current UK students and anyone who has graduated within the past year.

Each class offers a prize of £100 and the opportunity for the winners to have their work published by Modrana Music Publishers (with a competitive royalty’s agreement). The winning compositions will also be performed by Durham University Brass Band in the upcoming academic year

Independent judges

The competition is supported by Durham Music Shop and composer and concert organiser Steve Robson, from Weardale in County Durham, who will also judge the competition. All entries will be judged ‘blind’, without knowing who wrote the music, or where it is has come from.

Entries must all be original compositions, up to 6 minutes in length, arranged for standard brass band orchestration, and be playable after some rehearsal by a 3rd section band.

Student composers are invited to submit a musical score and audio in mp3 format, along with a few short notes about the composition. Competitors must also submit valid evidence of being a student or recent graduate with a Student Card, graduation certificate or some proof of student status from their university.

Getting back to banding

Joint President of dubb, (Saffron Heddell) is encouraging students to enter; “The last year or so has been a struggle for us all missing banding along with many things, so this is a great opportunity for student composers to channel their lockdown emotions and stories into a piece that celebrates the long-awaited return to the band room. “

Competition information

The full competition rules can be found here
Entries and queries should be sent to
Entries close on 1 September 2021.

Find out more

Visit the dubb Facebook page