Can you compose for marching band?

New concert and marching band composing competition launched

Military marching band
Published: March 19, 2015 at 9:44 am

Educational charity Soldier On! is calling for entries in a brand new competition, which invites both experienced and amateur composers to write a piece for concert and marching band.


By asking composers to write for marching band, the charity is hoping to raise awareness around Soldier On!’s work helping medically discharged soldiers and veterans to find work once they have left the forces. The impetus for a composition competition comes from the charity's partnership with ‘unsung heroes from the armed forces bands’, according to a statement released by the charity.

‘Throughout the ages, military music has inspired individuals to face their tasks with courage and determination as, in a similar way, many of our beneficiaries have also had to face their rehabilitation or continued medical condition,’ Soldier On! has said.

The statement continues: ‘At the same time, members of the various bands have taken on the role of medics or stretcher-bearers at the earliest and crucial steps of the casualty evacuation chain. It is therefore fitting that a charity such as Soldier On! has teamed up with the unsung heroes form the armed forces bands to produce this imaginative and exciting competition.’

Open to military and non-military composers based in the UK or at a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address, the competition is open to entrants until Friday 29 May 2015. It will be judged by composer Philip Sparke, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace RM, (principal director of music, Royal Marines Band Service), Lieutenant Colonel Neil Morgan (principal director of music, Corps of Army Music) and Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs (principal director of music, Royal Air Force).

It is hoped that the compositions will be performed by bands around the country to further raise awareness of the charity’s work.

Entries should be sent to Band Composition Competition 2015, Soldier On!, c/o The Naval and Military Club, 4 St James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4JU. The winner will recieve a prize of £800.

Soldier On! was established to teach members of the armed forces how to begin their careers in civilian life after being dismissed from the military on medical grounds.

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