The Encore Wind Ensemble proudly presents the Charles B. Olson Young Composers Contest. This contest has been created to encourage the developing young composer 15-22 years of age, and promote the performance of high quality wind band literature in honor of the Encore Wind Ensemble’s founding conductor, Charles B. Olson.

**First Prize** $1,000 cash award A public performance and recording by the Encore Wind Ensemble.

Contest Rules and Procedures: 

  • Entries must be original unpublished compositions for wind ensemble, 5-8 minutes in length, utilizing standard wind band instrumentation. No transcriptions or arrangements (except those of the composer) will be eligible.

  • Composers must be 22 years of age or younger at the time of application.

  • The composition may already have been performed but must have been written within the past two years. The date of composition must appear on the title page.

  • The purpose of the prize is to encourage young composers. Therefore, the compositions must be conceived and constructed by the composer. The composer’s name must appear on the score and recording.

  • Compositions must be submitted with a full score. Recordings are welcome but not mandatory. Please do not send parts with your scores.

  • All entries must be received no later than May 1. Entries received after that date will not be considered. The winning composition will be selected and the composer notified no later than June 15. Parts for the winning composition must be received no later than August 1.

  • The composer of the winning composition will receive a cash prize of $1,000 with the performance of the work to occur at the discretion of the conductor during Encore’s concert season. The winner must attend the performance and is encouraged to attend a rehearsal prior to the performance. Travel is at the composer’s own expense.

  • The winning composition will be recorded at the performance and a copy of the recording will be issued to the composer. All rights, including copyrighting, remain with the composer.

  • Encore Wind Ensemble reserves the right to withhold the award if no entry is found to be suitable.

  • Composers must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of their materials. All precautions will be taken to ensure that manuscripts and recordings are returned safely; however, Encore Wind Ensemble cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage in shipping.

  • There are two ways to apply. Please follow the application instructions below.

  • A $25.00 processing fee payable to Encore Wind Ensemble should be included for each score submitted.

  • Additional questions can be directed to

Apply Online:

  • Step 1: Complete the online application form to the right

  • Step 2: Upload your score (instructions below application)

  • Step 3: Pay the $25 application (via PayPal link below)


Pay Online (PayPal)

Apply by Mail:

Prepare an application packet containing the following.

  • Completed application form (download here)

  • Full score, labeled with the composer's name and the date of composition (do not send parts)

  • Recording (optional), labeled with the composer's name and title of composition

  • A self-addressed stamped envelope for return of your score and/or recording

  • $25 application fee (checks payable to Encore Wind Ensemble)

Send Materials To:

Professor Jerry Luckhardt
University of Minnesota School of Music
100 Ferguson Hall 2106 4th Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Step 1: Application Form

Name *
Address *
Phone *
Date of Birth *
Date of Birth

Step 2: Application Fee

Submit application fee after you have completed the above application.

Step 3: Upload Files

Once you've completed the online form and paid your application fee, please upload your files.