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2025 Barbara Buehlman Prize for Composition Contest Now Open!

This year, the prize will be awarded for a work created for a high school wind band. The purpose of the competition is to encourage and support young composers in crafting works for high school and middle school bands by providing a national venue for performance and recognition. In addition to a $3,000 award, the winning composition will be debuted at the 79th Midwest Clinic in December 2025.


Contest Details
  • Composers should submit a composition appropriate for a high school wind band, no longer than 6 minutes. No compositions exceeding the maximum duration will be considered.
  • Compositions must be completed by one composer. Group compositions will not be accepted.
  • Composers must have been born after 1/1/1991 to be eligible.
  • Compositions must not have been published or publicly performed.
  • Composers from groups under-represented in music publishing are encouraged to enter.
  • Composers must submit scores electronically.
  • Synthesized recordings are permissible if no live recording is available.
  • The deadline to submit a composition for consideration is January 15, 2025.
  • Winning compositions will be announced March 15, 2025.
  • Submissions will be adjudicated by a panel of nationally-recognized composers and conductors.
  • Midwest Premiere will be awarded to an ensemble selected to perform at the 2025 Midwest Clinic.


Congratulations to our 2024 Barbara Buehlman Prize for Composition Winner, Kazuki Shimoda!

Kazuki Shimoda was born on January 14th, 1992, in Hirono, Iwate. Since childhood, he was exposed to various types of music such as fusion and smooth jazz, and played the cornet after joining the school brass band in 4th grade. He joined the wind band and played the trumpet in Hirono Town Taneichi Middle School, and then enrolled in Iwate Prefectural Kuji High School where he played the euphonium and was appointed as student conductor and vice student conductor. He became interested in composing music during middle school. After graduating high school, he moved to Tokyo to learn music composition, and graduated from Shobi Music College of Music, Composition Course of Academy of General Department of Music (4 year course) in March 2014. He has studied composition under Yukio Kikuchi, Shinya Takahashi, and Hayato Hirose. His work Voyage won an honorable mention in the 2013 Student Composition Championship hosted by JuCuStage. Across the City, a piece for saxophone quartet, won an outstanding performance award (2nd) in the Second National Student Composition Championship Tournament hosted by JuCuStage in 2013. Autumn Fantasy, a wind band composition, won best original score (1st) in the 5th Japan Academic Society of Wind Music Composition Award in 2013. The Dawning Shore, also a wind band composition, was nominated for the finals at the 7th Academic Society of Wind Music Composition Award in 2015. His works have been chosen to play at the 3rd and 4th regular concert by Oedo Symphonic Wind Orchestra. Currently, he is mostly working on composition and arrangement for wind music.

2024 Honorable Mention: Alex Tedrow, Flickers

Alex Tedrow is a composer, arranger, and educator who strives to connect performers and audiences of all ages with fresh, fun, and innovative music and technology. Offering a “vivacious and colorful” stylistic voice described as a “topography of beautifully integrated and deliberate sounds” (Eric Smedley), he regularly writes music for a wide variety of media. His works have been played internationally by musicians in both professional and educational settings – including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Wet Ink Ensemble, acclaimed broadway performer, Christopher Jackson, and multiple middle school, high school, and college ensembles from nearly every continent. With his background and training as a music educator, he frequently works as a clinician with student musicians to realize their full potential as young artists. Alex currently resides in Washington D.C. as full-time Staff Arranger for The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own," writing music performed for officials at the highest levels of government. In addition to his professional and academic activities, Alex is committed to community engagement. In 2016, he co-founded Composing for a Cause – a not-for-profit program in which professional musicians travel to hospitals for children across the United States to host songwriting and creativity workshops. Alex has been recognized with such honors as the ASCAP Morton Gould Award, the SEAMUS Allen Strange Memorial Award, and was selected as an "Emerging Artist" in the Tribeca New Music Young Composer Competition. He was also nominated for a regional Emmy Award for his original score for the PBS-featured documentary, Over There: Hoosier Heroes of the Great War. Alex holds B.M., M.M., and M.S. degrees in composition and music education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. At IU, he previously held positions as Associate Instructor of Music Education, Composition Department Coordinator, and as a faculty member with the pre-college IU Jacobs Academy. During summers, he has worked as a Music Theory Instructor at the Brevard Music Center. He is an avid traveler, hiker, foodie, podcast listener, and animal lover — all themes that inspire his work.

This year's contest saw 50+ entries of new compositions for middle school wind bands. Thank you to our adjudicators for their incredible work in selecting this year's winner and honorable mention:

Kim Bain
Instructor, Saxophone and Music Ed. Samford University
Louis Pizitz Middle School, retired

JaRod Hall
Winner of the 2021 Buehlman Composition Prize for Middle School Band

Matt Koperniac
Performing Arts Coordinator, Fulton County Schools

Thank you to our 2024 Prize Sponsor

Learn about Barbara Buehlman