2023 Chamber Music Composition Competition

2023 Chamber Music Composition Competition

Deadline: June 30th 2023 @ 11:59pm EDT

Apply for the 2023 Competition here!

100 Years of Musical Innovation

In 2022 we celebrated the centennial of "Pershing's Own" and our national heritage of creativity in American chamber music by hosting the first ever Chamber Music Competition: we received 209 entries from Americans around the world, and were thrilled with the winning pieces, runners up, and the excellence of the entries in general. Following the inaugural year of this new competition, we welcome the next century of innovation, diversity, and excellence.

Meet Last Year's Winners!

Congratulations to Susanna Hancock and David Clay Mettens for their winning submissions to the 2022 inaugural, centennial edition of the Pershing's Own Chamber Music Composition Competition!

See Last Year's Competition Details

Hollows, by David Clay Mettens / Winner of the 2022 TUSAB Chamber Composition Competition

limbic resonance, by Susanna Hancock / Winner of the 2022 TUSAB Chamber Composition Competition

2023 Eligibility

Carefully review the requirements below for submission eligibility. Then, please feel free to apply with your best submission or inquire further at the contact information near the bottom.

Apply Here!

Composer Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America.
  • There is no age limit, but composers should be in the earlier stages of their careers (if in doubt: apply).
  • By submitting, composers waive their synchronization rights for US Army Band "Pershing's Own" video performances of the submitted work.
  • If chosen, composer agrees to participate in video interviews to support our production of their work.

Submission Eligibility Requirements:

  • Submitted works must not already be recorded by a major ensemble or available on a commercial record release.
  • Works should be composed within the most recent 15 years (on or after July 1st, 2008)
  • Parts must be ready and deliverable by October 1st, 2023.
  • Maximum of 1 (ONE) submission per composer.
  • Suggested maximum of 15 minutes in length: longer pieces may be considered, but are either unlikely to be fully reviewed, or—if chosen as a winner—to be performed in their entirety.
  • Diverse styles of music are welcome for consideration, to include jazz or traditional music. The external review panel will have at least one jazz/commercial music composer. See section below on review methodology.
  • Works submitted should be primarily acoustic in nature, but electronic components are welcome. It is strongly recommended that composers submitting works with electronic aspects inquire ahead of time to be certain that we have the capability of translating the intended effect well over a videorecording.
  • Between 3-15 players. Standard doublings are acceptable (i.e. clarinet/bass clarinet). Here is a list of the types of instrumentalists available at Pershing's Own:
    • Flute/piccolo/alto flute
    • Oboe/English horn
    • Bassoon
    • Clarinet (alto/bass/Bb/A/Eb)
    • Saxophones (SATB available)
    • Trumpet/cornet/flugelhorn
    • French Horn
    • Trombone & Euphonium
    • Tuba
    • Violin
    • Viola
    • Cello
    • Harp
    • Percussion (inquire for specifics)
    • Drum set
    • Bass (acoustic or electric)
    • Piano / Keyboards
    • Guitar (all types, acoustic, electric, banjo, mandolin, etc.)
    • Voice (all styles and ranges)
    • Electronics (please inquire for specifics before applying)

2023 Submission Instructions

To apply, please submit your compositions (maximum of 1 per composer) to our form using the "Apply Here!" red button on this page.

Apply Here!

2023 Panel Review Methodology

Submissions are reviewed in three stages:

  • A preliminary panel of musicians and composers at Pershing's Own will review applications for eligibility and rules compliance. If the remaining submissions total at more than 50, a cursory quality review will reduce the pool to no more than 50.
  • An external review panel of four esteemed composers—unaffiliated with the military, but representative of American compositional prowess—will review the entries for the highest quality compositions.

    As a diversity of compositional styles are welcome, one of the panelists will be a composer with expertise in jazz and/or commercial music.

    They will adjudicate according to their own personal compositional value systems, adhering to a 1-5 numerical ranking system. Their results will be numerically tallied without discussion; the panel will not discuss works with each other except in the event that their numerical rankings do not yield a consensus. This panel will make a recommendation to Pershing's Own for the best quality compositions of the field.
  • Out of the external review panel's consensus recommendations, a final panel of Pershing's Own musical leadership will determine which works to schedule for video recording. These will be declared the winner(s) and the remaining recommendations will be honored as runners up. Our ensemble's pragmatic ability to learn, execute, and record the work well is a factor in this final review.


Please direct all questions to Sergeant First Class Doug O'Connor, NCOIC of the Chamber Music Series and competition coordinator, at douglas.h.oconnor.mil@army.mil.

Email SFC O'Connor

Hear Pershing's Own Chamber Music

Under the Sun's Gaze: Concerto da Camera III

Chamber Concert: African American Composers' Celebration @ The Millennium Stage

United States Army String Quartet - Millennium Stage (August 30, 2017)

Saxophone Chamber Music @ The Millennium Stage (August 7, 2018)

Swamp Romp - Millennium Stage (September 22, 2018)

Strings & Saxes @ the Millennium Stage

Tuba / Euphonium Quartet @ The Millennium Stage

The U.S. Army Band Brass Ensemble