SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

And the Winners Are…

Adrian B. Sims (Force Field) & Louis A Josephson (Galliard Overture)
Honorable Mention: Quinn Ouyang (Something Sun)

A Note from Brian Balmages

“On behalf of fellow judges/composers Jodie Blackshaw, Omar Thomas, and Michael Markowski, I would like to share how impressed we were with the quality of submissions this year. We saw a variety of strengths including some wonderful orchestration, harmonic language, use of texture, and more. More than anything, it is so fulfilling to see a new generation of composers emerging and learning to find their own voice through music. While every composition we received may not have won the “grand prize,” make no mistake that we view every single entrant as a success and we celebrate with each student composer. As every composer knows, the mere act of finishing a piece is a huge personal victory and allows us each to explore the creativity so vital to our growth. Congratulations to all the young composers who entered. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future!”

Congratulations to the Finalists!

Jacob Averett James Dohm Louis A. Josephson Sarah Kitten
Joseph Kosik Ethan Oldham Meredith Ollerich Quinn Ouyang
Dawson Packer Dakota Pederson Adrian B. Sims Jake Wohleb


Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and performer. His music for winds, brass, and orchestra has been performed in countries throughout the world. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University and his master’s degree from the University of Miami in Florida. Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Jodie Blackshaw

Jodie Blackshaw is known for a compositional approach to band that offers Directors a product that centres on musical elements other than melody and harmony. Jodie won the inaugural Frank Ticheli Composition Contest with her work ‘Whirlwind’ and has traveled throughout Australia, the United States, Canada and the UAE as a guest composer and creative music teaching clinician. Jodie is currently studying a PhD in Composition at the Australian National University focusing on composing music for children influenced by brain-based educational principles.

Michael Markowski

Michael Markowski never studied music in college, but today, his compositions are actively performed around the world. Over the years, he has participated in the National Band Association’s ‘Young Composer and Conductor Mentorship Project’ and has been the composer-in-residence for the Music for All Summer Symposium and the Mid Europe wind band festival in Schladming, Austria. He currently writes music out of his tiny apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

Omar Thomas

Currently an Associate Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music, Omar was nominated for the Distinguished Faculty Award after three years at the college. He has twice been awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University, where he served as a Teaching Fellow for four years. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2008, and the Boston Music Award’s “Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2012. Omar currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Jazz Composers and Arrangers (ISJAC).

Additional Sponsors of the MakeMusic Young Composers Contest

American Composers Forum
The American Composers Forum enriches lives by nurturing the creative spirit of composers and communities. We provide new opportunities for composers and their music to flourish, and engage communities in the creation, performance and enjoyment of new music. Our goal is to make composers, and the music they create, a vibrant and integral part of our culture. By linking communities with composers and performers, ACF fosters a demand for new music, enriches communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons.

Make Music Alliance
Held annually on June 21, Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in 50 US cities and another 700 cities around the world. The daylong, musical free-for-all celebrates music in all its forms, encouraging people to band together and play in thousands of free public concerts.

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