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James E. Croft Grant for Young and Emerging Wind Band Composers

Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association

The James E. Croft Grant for Young and Emerging Wind Band Composers was established in 2005 by the band directors of the Atlantic Coast Conference to provide financial assistance to rising young composition students interested in composing for ensembles of wind and percussion instruments.

The grant is unique in that it (a) seeks to recognize new and emerging talent, (b) does not require a finished product for consideration, and (c) offers up to 12 performances of the work once completed. By offering this grant only to young and emerging composers, the members of the ACCBDA hope to stimulate interest in composition for the wind band among a rising body of talent.

Multiple grants have been awarded since 2005 to deserving young composers, many of whom have completed their compositions for performance by the Atlantic Coast Conference bands.

AWARDS Grants are variable in size and range from $2000 to $5000. There is no preset limit on the amount of the awards, nor the number of awards in a given year.

ELIGIBILITY Applicants must be either 35 years of age or younger at the time of the application deadline (11:55PM, November 1, 2023) or enrolled in a graduate composition degree program at an accredited college or university.

Application Deadline is 11:55PM, November 1, 2023

Submission Requirements

Applicants should prepare the following components for online submission:

  1. MUSIC DOCUMENTS for the proposed wind band piece
  2. LIST OF WORKS previously completed by the composer
  3. AUDIO FILES of the proposed project and other additional completed works


  • The proposal must include music in PDF form of the proposed wind band composition. The music must be original, unpublished, and unperformed. Arrangements and transcriptions of existing material will not be considered.
  • The instrumentation of the proposed project may be any recognized variation of the standard wind band. Your project may be considered a “wind ensemble” piece, a larger “symphonic band” piece, or a piece that will work well for either instrumentation. For guidance, see Appendix A: INSTRUMENTATION elsewhere on this page.
  • There are no restrictions on the style or form of the proposed project. You may submit a proposal for a march, an overture, theme and variations, or any other type of composition. Whatever style or form you choose, please include information detailing your vision of the finished project.
  • There are no restrictions on the length of the proposed project. You should, however, include an estimate of how long you envision the final project to be when performed.
  • As the purpose of the grant is to support and encourage the creation of new music, a complete, finished score is NOT required for grant consideration. The music document may take one of the following forms:
    1. Piano Reduction: traditional grand staff (treble and bass clef)
    2. Sketch Score: three or more staves, but fewer than required for the complete work
    3. Incomplete Full Score: all staves representing the complete work
    4. Full Score: a near-finished version of the complete work
  • The submitted music document should be either (a) a minimum of 64 measures, or (b) between one and two minutes in length at performance tempo. This representative sample may be consecutive in nature (e.g., the first 64 measures or the last 64 measures), or may represent various segments of the finished piece (e.g., 30 seconds of the first theme, 30 seconds of the second theme, one minute of various developmental ideas). Of course, you may submit more than the minimum, if desired (that is, more than 64 measures, or longer than two minutes at performance tempo).
  • You must include as much information about the proposed project as possible. This may take the form of notes applied directly to the music document or may be an additional sheet of text with a detailed explanation. Include as much information as possible to better assist the committee in a thorough evaluation of your proposal.
  • Hand-written music documents may be submitted, but we strongly encourage the use of notation software. You are required to submit a sound recording of the proposed music (see the section on AUDIO FILES). Music notation software will reduce the difficulty of creating this element.


In addition to basic contact information, your submission must include a complete list of compositions you have written (regardless of genre) clearly indicating those that have been performed and those that have not.


  • A sound file of the proposed music project. Typically, this would be a recording of the music document. If using notation software, a MIDI performance of the music document should be submitted. If submitting hand-written music, then this sound file should be a recording of the music performed by you or someone else.
  • No less than one, and no more than three additional sound files of pieces you have written, regardless of genre. It would be preferable if these were actual performances. Do not submit more than three additional sound files.

Questions? E-mail the project chair.

The Florida State University is proud to support this web page on behalf of our ACC colleagues.

ACC MEMBER SCHOOLS: Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Louisville, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame, University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechic Institute and State University, and Wake Forest University