Judging a Trombone Concerto Composition Competition

Spent the last 2 days judging a composition competition. The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, is sponsoring an international competition with a $20,000 prize and commission for a new trombone concerto. The new work will be premiered by Joseph Alessi with the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011.

The judging process was quite interesting. There were 8 judges to review a pool of literally hundreds of very high-level international entrants. Joe Alessi and I were the two “trombone judges,” the rest of the panel consisting of a conductor and 5 composers. It was intriguing to witness the various viewpoints of the judges and watch the process unfold, particularly on the 2nd day, when the pool was narrowed down to a small number of finalists. It was wonderful to have the unparalleled expertise of Joe Alessi, who will be premiering the work, and to rub shoulders for a short time with such an impressive panel of judges.

The winner has not been announced yet, but I think all of the judges would agree that we will see a truly exciting commission for an excellent new trombone concerto. Good news for our instrument! Stay tuned!