2023 PAS Composition Contest

Funded by the Thomas V. Siwe Endowment

To encourage and reward composers who write music for percussion instruments and to increase the number of quality compositions written for percussion.

2023 Competition:
“Footprint” composition written for six percussionists.
A “footprint” composition is defined as a composition that utilizes the instrumentation and setup of a previously recognized composition. The setup and choice of instruments will follow a “footprint” from the time-honored work: “Toccata” by Carlos Chávez (1942). Choosing subject and instrumentation from this piece offers composers a suggested model for their consideration and encourages smooth flow of concerts by minimizing instrument movement. The composition should be for a total of six percussionists using specified diverse groups of pitched and nonpitched percussion instruments. Limited additions or deletions of instrumental timbres are acceptable as long as the basic “footprint” of instruments is maintained. This new composition does not have to compliment or build upon the original “Toccata.” Composers are encouraged to explore the melodic and unique timbral aspects and to search out innovative approaches to utilizing these instruments.


  • $3,000 grand prize (up to two honorable mentions – $250.00 each). Additional pieces may be acknowledged by the judges due to their quality. These pieces will not receive financial awards.
  • Winning composition, Honorable mention(s), and additional pieces selected by the judges  will be listed on the PAS website with composer’s picture and bio.
  • Winning composition and Honorable mention(s) will be listed along with review of work(s) in Percussive Notes during early 2023.


  • Works cannot have been premiered and must have been completed after January 1, 2022. A premiere is considered to be when a piece has been performed live for an audience, has been video or audio recorded where others can view or listen to the piece, or anything similar where the public can access the piece. 
  • Duration and level of composition will be left to the composer.
  • Works using new or extended techniques are encouraged.
  • No arrangements of works will be accepted.


  • I: *Indian Drum, Glockenspiel, Small Indian Drum
  • II: Side Drum, Xylophone, *Indian Drum, Tenor Drum
  • III: Side Drum, Suspended Cymbal
  • IV: Tenor Drum, Chimes, Claves, One Maraca, Suspended Cymbal
  • V: Timpani, Small Gong
  • VI: Bass Drum, Large Gong

*Note: Interpretation of the instrument “Indian Drum” is left up to the discretion of the composer.


Submit the following items through the online application:

  • A PDF file of the composition absent of any composer information. Label file with title of work.
  • An audio file of a computer realization or other recording (non performance) of the composition absent of any composer or performer information. Label file with title of work.


  • All complete applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Contest results will be announced in December 2023.
  • All entry materials become property of PAS. PAS does not claim rights to distribute materials. Materials will be archived for historical purposes only. Composers retain all rights to their composition.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed, but a separate application and $20 entry fee is required for each entry.

The Deadline to Apply is September 1, 2023.

Composition Contest Entry Form

Please provide the email address that is associated with your PAS account if applicable.

Questions? Please email percarts@pas.org