Big Band Composition Competition and Gerald Wilson Award


Each year since 2005 at the Next Generation Jazz Festival, the Big Band Composition Competition is open to student composers currently enrolled in high school.

Compositions are judged by college-level music faculty, and the winning composer receives the Gerald Wilson Award, named in honor of the late legendary composer, arranger and trumpeter who was a friend of Monterey Jazz Festival for many years.

The winning composition is performed on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival by the Festival's all-star student band, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and the student composer is given the Gerald Wilson Award.

2019 Big Band Composition Competition / Gerald Wilson Award Winner: Bryce Hayashi

The Place I Call Home

Trumpeter Bryce Hayashi is a 16-year-old student at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, California. He is a member of the award-winning Northgate Jazz Band and the highly-acclaimed SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band. In 2018, Bryce played lead trumpet with the California All-State High School Honor Jazz Band, and in 2017 he held the lead trumpet chair in the California All-State Middle School Honor Jazz Band. He is looking forward to attending a music school where he can focus on the use of music in the visual arts.  

Gerald Wilson Award Winners:

2019: Bryce Hayashi, The Place I Call Home
Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, Calif.

2018: Ethan Moffitt, Window Wonders
Verdugo Academy, Glendale, Calif.

2017: Luca Mendoza, Chicken Bones
Crossroads School, Santa Monica, Calif.

2016: Luca Mendoza, Omnibus
Crossroads School, Santa Monica, Calif.

2015: Matt Wong, Against the Current
Independence High School / San Francisco, Calif.

2014: Matt Wong, Prima Luce
Independence High School / San Francisco, Calif.

2013: Nathaniel Schwartz, Ninjas Can’t Catch You If You’re On Fire
Northgate High School / Walnut Creek, Calif.

2012: Christopher McCarthy, Something Small
Roosevelt High School / Seattle, Wash.

2011: Chase Morrin, Mumphis
Canyon Crest Academy / San Diego, Calif.

2010: John Sturm, Sounds of Dusk
Princeton High School / Princeton, N.J.
See the written composition.

2009: Andy Clausen, Fly
Roosevelt High School / Seattle, Wash.

2008: Sean Richey, 40 Days and 40 Nights
Buchanan High School / Clovis, Calif.

2007: Levi Saelua, Spectrum
Rio Americano High School / Sacramento, Calif.

2006: Kyle Athayde, By Candlelight
Acalanes High School / Lafayette, Calif.

2005: Adam Bravo, Perpendicular to Reality
Mission Viejo High School / Mission Viejo, Calif.