2019 ISJAC/USF “Owen Prize” in Jazz Composition

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with the University of South Florida and Distinguished Professor, Chuck Owen, are delighted to announce the debut of an annual prize offered to young, up-and-coming, jazz composers.  The composer of the winning work for jazz big band will receive a $1,500 cash award along with a travel allowance of $500 towards attendance at ISJAC’s “Jazz Composers’ Symposium” where the work will be performed (should the composer be able to attend) by the Colorado Jazz Orchestra in front of an audience of jazz composers from throughout the world.

Eligibility:  Any student, currently enrolled full-time in an accredited, degree-granting institution, regardless of major, may apply.  The competition is restricted to those age 26 or younger at the time of submission of materials. 

Submission Guidelines:  Those wishing to apply for this prize must submit the following materials via the portal on the ISJAC website (registration as an ISJAC member is required, but free):

  • Application Form and $35 fee
  • Full score in PDF format
  • Mp3 of best recording of the work

This year’s competition is for jazz big band works only (5/4/4/PBGD).  Standard woodwind doubles are permissible.  Works featuring or including additional instrumentation (including vocals, percussion, electronics, etc.) are allowed and will be adjudicated. However, they may not be performed at the Symposium unless the composer is able provide the additional musicians at his/her own cost.  Applicants may submit one work only (either an original composition or arrangement) which should have been written within the last two years. 

Dates:  All applications must be received by Oct. 10th, 2018.  Late submissions will not be considered.  Notification of the winning work will be made in early December.

Adjudication:  ISJAC will select a panel of highly-regarded, professional jazz composers tasked with reviewing all applications and selecting a single work they believe displays exceptional creativity, technical mastery, and musicality. 

IMPORTANT:  Works submitted for consideration for the Owen Prize are NOT automatically considered for presentation at the Jazz Composers’ Symposium (or vice versa).  These are separate applications and adjudications!!   Students MAY submit the same piece for consideration in both formats; but should be sure to submit a separate application directly for Symposium consideration:  https://isjac.org/symposium/call-for-scores-and-papers-2019.   There is no application fee to have the work presented at the Symposium.

Thank you for your submissions. The application deadline has passed.