Winners Announced: Bill Conti Big Band Arranging & Composing Competition and Irwin Kostal Scholarship for Orchestration

October 10, 2020

ASMAC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Bill Conti Big Band Arranging & Composing Competition and Irwin Kostal Scholarship for Orchestration.

The Bill Conti Competition is open to ASMAC Student or Associate Members age 35, or under. The prize is given for an outstanding original composition or an arrangement of a pre-existing piece that has never been published nor publicly performed.  Arrangements submitted for consideration must show a creative compositional reworking of the original tune.

The winners are: First prize, Zachary Rich of Greeley, CO for his chart, Aremoia;  second prize, Cody McVey, of Chickamauga, GA,  for his chart for Unforgettable (words and music by Irving Gordon); and third prize, Jameson Sciver, of Chicago, IL, for his chart for Tea for Two (composed by Vincent Youmans with a lyric by Irving Caesar). The Bill Conti prizes were announced by Bill Conti during an ASMAC September 30 zoom session, the Big Band Hanginar.

To qualify for the Irwin Kostal Scholarship, one must be a current student, studying arranging and music composition in a music school, college, conservatory, university or privately. Student membership in ASMAC is not required and the required submission was of a short arrangement of an original or standard for any instrumentation.

The winners for the Irwin Kostal Scholarship are: first place, Gary Wang of Rochester, NY, for Lullaby and Dreams; tied for second place: Leo Steinriede, of Bala Cynwyd, PA, for Rhetorical Situation, and Ethan Chilton, of Merced, CA, for String Quartet No. 1.

 ASMAC is grateful to our judges: for the Bill Conti prize: Scott Healey, Ira Hearshen, Milton Nelson, Thom Sharp, Kim Richmond, Lucas Richmond, Ed Wolfe (round one) and Doug Besterman, Gordon Goodwin, and Hummie Mann (Final Panel). Judges of the Irwin Kostal award included Liz Finch, Bruce Healey, Glenn Jordan, and Dan Redfield (round one); Bill Ross, Nan Schwartz, and Raymond Torres-Santos (final panel).  Charles Fernandez is the chair of the Scholarship Committee.