Composers Competition

Composers were asked to compose an original work for symphonic wind band to celebrate the association’s twentieth year.  The awards for the three outstanding works were sponsored by the Wind Band Association, Bandleader Publications Ltd and The Wind Section.  Seventeen entries were received.

The compositions were judged by Kevin Lamb, Colin Touchin and Ian Peaple.


1st Prize  (£1,000)

Karl A. D. Whelan
Vicennial Celebration

 Karl began playing piano at the age of four and started playing various brass instruments when he was ten, eventually settling on Euphonium.

Between 2003-2006 he studied music at The University of Salford, pursuing his interests in composing and arranging for Brass Band and Wind Band under the mentorship of Peter Graham.

In 2013, he attended Liverpool Hope University and gained his PGCE in secondary music. He teaches music and works as a Teaching Assistant at Hindley High School, In Wigan.

He has played in many brass bands throughout the North-West and in 2018, he accepted the position of Principal Euphonium at The Besses o’th’ Barn Band and spends his time composing and arranging for Brass Band and Wind Band and occasionally giving brass lessons – even to his headteacher!

2nd Prize  (£500)

Robert Ely
The Innocence of Youth

Born in SE London, Robert moved to Leicester in the 1950’s where he did his schooling. In 1967 he joined the Army as a musician with the Royal Corps of Signals, then four further years with the Lifeguards. All the time developing his arranging/composition skills. In 1976 he was chosen to attend the Royal Military School of Music to train as a Bandmaster.

Having passed the course, winning a number of awards, Robert was appointed Bandmaster of the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment in 1979 until 1986 when he left the army.

His music portfolio includes a significant number of classic works for orchestra, wind band, vocal and various chamber ensembles. 

In 2015, Robert reached the finals of "Coup de Vents" where his work "Les Sirènes" won third place and in 2018 he was runner up in a similar competition in Galicia (Spain) with “Noite de San Xoán” 

3rd Prize  (£250)

Stuart Rynn
Kendal Castle

Stuart Rynn is a percussionist and composer from Sydney, Australia and now a British citizen. 

After completing his bachelor's in performance at the University of New South Wales, he came to Glasgow to study a master's degree in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which he completed earlier this year under the tutelage of Stuart MacRae.