The U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

The U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

Application Deadline: Feb 9, 2023


As the premier jazz ensemble of The United States Army, The U.S. Army Blues is a group of historical importance whose repertoire honors and remembers some of the most important eras in American history. Comprised of exceptional jazz musicians from across the nation, the Army Blues strives to fulfill its mission through public concerts and education outreach; representing the professional excellence of the Army while preserving the tradition of America’s unique art form: jazz.

In an effort to further this mission and highlight the excellence of the next generation of jazz musicians, the Army Blues hosts an annual solo competition to recognize and celebrate talented young musicians.

The winning soloists will be featured with The Army Blues in April 2023 in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month

Download the 2023 Flyer (Tabloid, Letter)

Submission Instructions

All application materials are due on February 09, 2023. Winners will be notified no later than February 22, 2023.

Questions? E-mail MSG Regan Brough.

Competition Eligibility

  • Eligible instruments: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, and vibraphone.
  • Click the “Apply Here!” button to submit a link (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.) to a video recording of the applicant performing the required musical selections in their entirety, with live rhythm section, play-along recording or metronome. Please ensure the video is viewable without a login. For the most privacy, we recommend YouTube “unlisted” privacy settings. Do not e-mail video files.

High School Division

  • Open to U.S. citizens currently enrolled in DC-area high schools (grades 9 - 12), to include the District of Columbia, Prince Georges Co., Montgomery Co., Howard Co., Anne Arundel Co., Baltimore Co., Fairfax Co., Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, Prince William Co., Loudoun Co., Arlington Co., Alexandria City. Applications may be accepted from students who do not live in these jurisdictions, but have a connection to them through either a musical organization or a private teacher.

Collegiate Division

  • Open to U.S. citizens age 26 and younger as of May 1, 2023, currently enrolled in a college, university, or conservatory in the United States, or who graduated from a degree program in December 2022.

Repertoire

  • Au Privave (Charlie Parker) Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 170-180 BPM
  • What's New (Bob Haggard) Head and improvised chorus; ballad tempo
  • The total recorded submission should not exceed 8 minutes in length (no out heads necessary)
  • Lover (Richard Rodgers) - Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 230+ BPM
  • Central Park West (John Coltrane) - Head and improvised choruses; ballad tempo
  • On The Sunny Side of the Street (Jimmy McHugh) - Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 116 BPM
  • The total recorded submission should not exceed 12 minutes in length (no out heads necessary)

Past Winners

Collegiate Division

Year Winner School
2019 Brendan Malloy (Guitar) The University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
2020 Liam Sutcliffe (Trumpet) Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
2021 Austin Ford (Trumpet) The University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
2022 Ben Turner (Guitar) Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)

High School Division

Year Winner School
2019 Nate Stanley (Guitar) Broadneck High School (Arnold, MD)
2020 Ronan Zwa (Saxophone) The Bullis School (Potomac, MD)
2021 Jonathan Orellana-Sanchez (Trumpet) Westfield High School (Chantilly, VA)
2022 Aiden Interrante (Trumpet) Mt. Hebron High School (Ellicott City, MD)

2019 U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition Winner Brendan Malloy


2019 U.S. Blues Solo Competition Winner Nate Stanley


The 2020 US Army Blues Solo Competition


The 2021 US Army Blues Solo Competition


The 2022 US Army Blues Solo Competition



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