“On Corps!” Competition Returns in 2017

I’m pleased to once again chair the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps’ annual “On Corps!” competition for aspiring arrangers and composers! We invite individuals with an interest in arranging and composing music to submit their works to be considered for performance by the 2017 Blue Stars. The winning arrangement/composition will be performed as part of the corps` encore repertoire for the season.

All participants will receive detailed feedback on their submission from members of the Blue Stars design and instructional team. Johnathan Segovia, the winner of the 2016 “On Corps” contest, states:

“The On Corps competition is extremely valuable to young or emerging composers. The critique alone makes it worth entering. It is a surreal experience to see something I wrote down on paper to be played by DCI’s best groups. It is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Works submitted should meet the following criteria:

  1. May not be shorter than 1 minute 30 seconds or longer than two minutes in length
  2. Must be arranged with the following part distribution:
    • 3 trumpets
    • 2 mellophones
    • 3 baritones/euphoniums
    • 1 tuba (sparing use of divisi writing is permissible) percussion (Our staff will augment percussion parts as needed)
  3. Music must be able to be performed publicly under current copyright laws. The Blue Stars will pay copyright fees for the winning work if needed.
  4. The work must be an original arrangement or composition, unpublished in any other venue.
  5. Pay the Submission Fee

Submission Process
$75 fee must accompany each submission. Individuals may submit as many entries as they so choose, but each submitted work requires the $75 fee. A PDF score and digital recording (both computer-synthesized and live ensemble recordings are acceptable) must be submitted to ward.miller@bluestars.org by 8 AM on Monday, May 1st, 2017. The score must include the author’s full name, e-mail address, and telephone number. The winner will be announced by Monday, May 8th, and the winning work will be performed as an encore by the Blue Stars Drum and bugle Corps during their 2017 tour. All submissions will receive feedback on their submissions no later than May 18th, 2017.

Author: Dr. Ward Miller

Ward Miller hails from Loachapoka, a small farming community near the city of Auburn, Alabama. He earned his bachelors of music education from Auburn University in 2001, where he served as webmaster, arranger, and an undergraduate teaching assistant with the Auburn University Marching Band. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003 with a masters in Trombone Performance. While in the Phoenix area, he served as a part time assistant and clinician with the Paradise Valley High School bands, the Mesa Community College Wind Ensemble, and the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra. He taught public school in Alabama for three years, serving as Director of Bands at Andalusia High School and at Pleasant Grove High School. In 2006 he accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at The University of Iowa, where he studied with Dr. Myron Welch in Band Conducting. While at Iowa, he also worked as a teaching assistant with the Hawkeye Marching Band, where he wrote, taught, and conducted multiple arrangements and halftime drills. He also conducted the Iowa University Concert Band, and earned the 2008 outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Miller graduated in 2011 from the University of Iowa with his D.M.A. in Band Conducting. Since 2014, Dr. Miller has been the Brass Caption Head for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of La Crosse, WI. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN where he spends his time arranging and composing, and working as a music education consultant.