Announcing the 2017 Arranging Contest (Win $1000)

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I am pleased to announce a new contest for this year: an arranging contest with a $1000 prize. Here are the details:

  • The arrangement must be of the song “A Shelter in the Time of Storm.”
  • The deadline for submitting your arrangement is 9/30/2017.
  • For those who are harmony challenged, I have written three lead sheets with harmonic ideas for this piece. You don’t have to use any of them and you can certainly pick through them and take what you want. The links are below.
  • Your arrangement must be submitted in PDF form which is created by any notation program. Finale and Sibelius are the common professional options but you can also use free options such as Finale Notepad and Noteflight.
  • The piece should be in the range of 2.5 to 3 minutes long. Don’t worry too much if yours is longer than that but it should not be too much shorter than that.
  • I am going to be judging based on creativity in form and texture. I am looking for arrangements that are based on a single idea and developed well.
  • The winner will be announced around Thanksgiving and will win $1000.

Sample lead sheets

Here is a video I shot today with more details and a bit of demonstration. If you don’t see it below, click here:


20 thoughts on “Announcing the 2017 Arranging Contest (Win $1000)

  1. Diane Burns says:

    My notation program is 17 years old; Allegro (a Finale product from long ago). I can save it as a PDF. Is this notation software acceptable?

  2. C. Janssen says:

    Is it all right to take the harmony from another location such as a hymn book? I want to take the basics and change some things around.

  3. W. Fung says:


    I would like to confirm something with you regarding this contest. I just need to send you the pdf file? How about midi/mp3 of the arrangement? Also, does performance direction / tempo marking / articulation in the arrangement being judged as well, or you are judging solely on creativity in form & texture like you mentioned in the post?

    Sorry for asking so many questions, cheers and have a great day!

    • Greg Howlett says:

      This is an arranging contest, not a performance contest so performance will not be judged though I will not turn down mp3s and they can help us. Articulations and other markings should be in line with how arrangements are published normally: not too much, not too little. PDFs preferred.

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