2015 ASMAC BIG BAND Competition

2015_Pete_Rugolo_Big_Band_Competition_PosterThe American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 ASMAC Pete Rugolo BIG BAND Arranging and Composing Competition.

The ASMAC Peter Rugolo Big Band Arranging Competition has closed, with a record number of entries. Winners have been notified soon and will be officially announced at the December 6th Holiday Luncheon by Elliot Deutsch, 2015 Competition Chair.


1. Michael Conrad, arranger of “In a Sentimental Mood”
2. Chris Foe, composer/arranger of “The Western Shore”
3. Mina Choi, arranger of “Bolivia”

Honorable Mention:

1. David Shorr, arranger of “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”
2. Rafael Piccolatto de Lima, composer/arranger of “Abertura SubUrbana”

There will be a reading (and recording) of the winning pieces on Tuesday, January 5, in rehearsal room 6 at the Musicians Union, 817 N. Vine St., Hollywood, CA, at 1:00pm, with the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, with Edye Rugolo (Pete’s widow) in attendance. All competition participants and anyone interested are invited to attend and listen.

Pete Rugolo (1915-2011) was the well-loved Italian-born American jazz composer and arranger. He arranged for such talents as Stan Kenton, Ernestine Anderson, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, The Diamonds, Billy Eckstine, the four Freshmen, Petty Lee, Patti Page, Mel Tormé, and Kitty White among others.  He also worked on film musicals at MGM, served as A & R director for Mercury Records in the 1950s. In the 1960s and 70s, he wrote music for a number of television shows including Leave It To Beaver, Thriller, The Fugitive, Run for Your Life, Felony Squad, The Challengers, The Bold Ones, and Family.  Pete Rugolo was a member of ASMAC for many years and served on the Board of Directors.

The esteemed panel of judges included: Emmy-nominated orchestrator Brad Dechter, Grammy-winning arranger Nan Schwartz, legendary arranger and band leader Bill Holman, big band leader and Grammy-winning composer Gordon Goodwin, big band leader, composer, orchestra leader and twice-Grammy-nominated Kim Richmond, and Emmy-nominated orchestrator Chris Guardino. Bandleader and arranger Elliot Deutsch is the Chairman of the Competition.  The committee looked for the world’s most promising young arrangers and composers of jazz orchestra music.  Submissions were due November 1, 2015 and were required to be written for a standard big band instrumentation and under 10 minutes in length.  The competition was free to enter, but entrants were required to be under 30 on November 1, 2015 and be current student member of ASMAC.  The prizes are: $1,000 first place; $300 second place; and $200 third place.

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