Enter our Composers'

If you aged between 20 and 30, have composed a five minute work for brass band and would like it published and performed by the best young brass and percussion players in the country then let us see it. First prize £1,000, runner up £250

online entry portal
Composer Gavin Higgins studying his score

The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain Composers' Competition Rules

  1. All participants must be aged 20 or over and 30 or under on 1st January 2023
  2. Participants are invited to compose a piece for brass band of no more than five minutes duration. Pieces already published or performed will not be considered.
  3. Instrumentation should be for a standard brass band* with no more than four percussion parts.* 1 x Eb soprano cornet, 9 x Bb cornets, 1 x Bb flugel horn, 3 x Eb tenor horns, 2 x Bb baritones, 2 x Bb euphoniums, 2 x Bb trombones, 1 x bass trombone, 2 x Eb basses, 2 x Bb basses, up to 4 percussionists.
  4. There are no restrictions on the style or type of music, but the winning entry will whilst being technically challenging have an appeal to a normal brass band and its audience, therefore it is advised that entrants consider at least one of these elements of familiarity: 1. conventional use of tonality or tonal centres. 2. Rhythmically-driven music. 3. A programme or narrative
  5. Entries are to be submitted via the NYBBGB online entry portal by 31st December 2022 which must include name, address, date of birth, biography, a synopsis of the piece and a either a full score in Sibelius, or a PDF score and an audio file (eg mp3)
  6. A shortlist of six compositions will be selected by Dr Robert Childs by 31st January 2023. A panel of three judges (comprising composer Dorothy Gates, Maestro Sarah Ionnades and NYBBGB Director of Artistic Planning Dr Robert Childs) will select the winner and a runner up by 28th February 2023. The winning piece will be performed by the NYBBGB, conducted by Maestro Sarah Ionnades, at its Summer Concert.
  7. The winning composer will receive a prize of £1,000 and the title of 'Winner of The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain Composition Competition 2023’ and be invited to visit the NYBBGB Summer Course for a day to witness
  8. Prima Vista Music have offered to publish the winning piece, for which the winner (should they wish to accept this offer) would receive a contract of publication, benefitting from royalties annually. The winning entry should therefore be marketable, not just in terms of appeal, but also in terms of level of technical difficulty.
  9. Entry is free of charge. 
  10. Please be aware that the Final of the Competition may be recorded for online streaming. 


The Finalists will be judged by Maestro Sarah Ionnades, NYBBGB Director of Artistic Planning Dr Robert Childs and Commissioned Composer Dorothy Gates.

Dorothy Gates

Dorothy Gates - NYBBGB Composers' Competition Judge

Dorothy Gates was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Like her fellow countryman, George Bernard Shaw, she believes in the power of art to see your soul and transform the world.  Dorothy received her Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and Trombone Performance from Queens University Belfast, Master

of Music degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Composition from the University of Salford.  Her principal composition teachers were Kevin Volans, GeorgeWilson, Joseph Turrin and Peter Graham.

Dorothy has produced works in many genres. Brandywine Brass commissioned and premiered the brass quintet A Sea Suite in Delaware in February 2020; the New York Philharmonic Brass & Percussion premiered the Brass Ensemble version of  The Holly & the Ivy with trombone soloist Wycliffe Gordon in December 2019; the US Army Band “Pershings Own,” recently premiered the Concert Band version of Servant of Peace – Concerto for Trombone, with Soloist Dr. Natalie Mannix (Professor University North Texas) at the American Trombone Workshop in Arlington, Virginia in March 2018.

Sarah Ionnades

Sarah Ionnades - NYBBGB -Composers' Competition judge

Sarah Ioannides has gained recognition as one of the most inspiring and creative conductors of her generation. Now in her eighth season as Music Director of Symphony Tacoma, Sarah is active as a guest conductor internationally she has worked with orchestras such as the Tonkünstler, Orchestre Nationale de Lyon, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony, she has recorded world premieres with the Royal Philharmonic and most recently with the Malmö Symphony and Nordic Chamber Orchestra with a CD of music by Marie Samuelsson released in 2019.

Ioannides has also appeared as guest conductor with many return engagements with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Hawai’i Symphony, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Opera, Curtis Opera Studio, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, North Carolina Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, New West Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Daejeon Philharmonic, Sweden: Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, Malmö Symphony Orchestra,  Naumburg Orchestra, Cyprus State Orchestra, REMIX ensemble, Perth International Festival, Wuttenbergisches Kammerorchester.

Dr. Robert Childs

Dr. Robert Childs - NYBBGB -Composers' Competition judge

Dr. Childs’ status as a professional musician encompasses many fields of music making. He is Director of Brass Band Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; Musical Director of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales; a founder and Director of Doyen Recordings Ltd, Performing Arts Education Ltd. and Prima Vista Musikk Ltd. ; a Trustee and advisor to the Harry Mortimer Trust; Director of Artistic Planning of The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain; and a world renowned euphonium soloist.

In May 2000, Robert was delighted to accept an invitation to become the Professional Musical Director of the Cory Band from the Rhondda in South Wales, thus re-uniting him with Wales and associating him with the band he had held in such high esteem since he was a boy. In a short space of time Robert revitalised brass banding in Wales by steering his new band to win the British Open Championship, theNational Championship and runner-up at the European Championship in a single season.

Online entry portal

You can apply for an audition between 1st May and 31st July