In 2007, the Gower Community Band established a program in conjunction with Memorial University's School of Music for the encouragement, development, and performance of new concert band compositions in Newfoundland and Labrador. The initiative includes the awarding of annual Composition Prizes, and provides the opportunity for the performance to audiences in the Province and beyond.
The TNP provides a total of $2,000 annually, available as follows:
$1,500 for the category of original works, and $500 for the category of arrangements, with specific amount awarded at the discretion of the judges. Works chosen are performed in special GCB Gala Concerts known as the GCB Terra Nova Concerts. This designation carries the connotation of new lands for exploration of musical style, form, and creative talent.
SPECIAL NOTE, MARCH 2023: Congratulations to Bekah Simms for her 2023 Juno Award win for Classical Composition of the Year! You can see Bekah's Terra Nova wins below, in 2011 and 2013. Congrats from everyone in the GCB!
There were no entries submitted for the 2022 TNP.
In the fall of 2020 we were unable to hold a public concert to perform the winning compositions of the 2020 TNP. Furthermore, the 2021 TNP was cancelled, both due to COVID-19 restrictions. We performed the winners of our 2020 competition in the fall of 2021.
The deadline for submissions was April 3, 2023. An announcement about our winning entry will be made at a later date. The 2023 guidelines will remain linked below until the updated 2024 guidelines are ready.
Austin Meisel is a young bassoonist and composer that has studied music theory and performance for the past 10 years at various institutions and under the guidance of many strong willed and insightful teachers. Throughout his time as a student, he sought out to learn many performance techniques and compositional practices. Relatively new to the music scene, he brings a fresh interpretation and sound to the community. He strives to improve and learn more as he pushes forward, learning many new styles and developing his own independent way of writing music. Austin is currently branching out and experimenting with writing for other types of ensembles, exploring the sounds and colours of wind quintets and orchestras. He is working towards writing his first symphony within the next year.
Andrew Luther is a composer and classical pianist from Corner Brook, Newfoundland, now living in St. John’s. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in 2021 from Memorial University, where he studied piano under Dr. Kristina Szutor and music composition under Dr. Andrew Staniland and Dr. Clark Ross. He also performed with the Memorial University Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Florian Hoefner and Dr. Bill Brennan, respectively. He received the Dr. Maureen Volk Award for being named to the School of Music’s Dean’s List for each year of his undergraduate program and the prestigious Memorial University Medal for Academic Excellence (Music). Andrew taught piano and saxophone for two years at Gary Bennett Music, and he worked for four summers at Gros Morne Summer Music, most notably as Associate Producer in 2019. In addition to “Voyage into the Atlantic” written for the Gower Community Band, Andrew has written two electronic pieces titled “Every Second a Soul Passes On” and “Blitzkrieg Boogie”, a piece for a subset of the PheoNX Ensemble called “Variations on Circular Motion”, a string quartet for members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra called “Arachnophobia”, a piece for percussion ensemble called “Funky Monkey”, and various pieces for chamber ensemble including “Vertigo March”, “Three Etudes of Frost”, “Life Cycle of a Flame”, and “Invasive Thoughts”. Andrew is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science and majoring in computer science to complement his music knowledge and composition skills.
1st: Fables of Faeries by Austin Meisel
2nd: Voyage Into The Atlantic by Andrew Luther
Kurtis Rodgers is from St. John’s and is a fourth-year composition major at Memorial University’s School of Music. He studies trombone there under Dr. Karen Bulmer and composition under Dr. Clark Ross and Dr. Andrew Staniland. Kurtis originally became interested in composing music through songwriting and has since expanded into the realm of contemporary classical music. Some of his favorite genres include classical, jazz, and classic rock, and he particularly enjoys composers and songwriters such as Chopin, Arvo Pärt, James MacMillan, and Billy Joel. Kurtis plays trombone, piano, drums, and guitar and performs in the MUN Wind Ensemble under the direction of Bill Brennan, the MUN Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Florian Hoefner, and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band under the direction of Lieutenant Christopher Miller. During the summers he works in Ottawa, parading on Parliament Hill with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard. He also serves regularly in the Calvary Baptist Church music team. Kurtis would like to thank Dr. Ross and Dr. Staniland for their guidance in his compositional studies thus far.
Patrick d'Eon, born January 30th, 1998, is a composer originally from Corner Brook and is now living in St John’s. Patrick was introduced to music when he started playing the piano at the age of 4, and quickly fell in love with music. At age 12, he began to play percussion with his junior high wind ensemble, which quickly became his passion. Once he attended Corner Brook Regional High and was under the direction of Darren White in their wind ensemble, Patrick decided to focus more on his percussion playing. From there, he entered the Rotary Music Festival where he earned himself two trips to compete for the top prize, the Rose Bowl. His accomplishments in the music festival gave him some playing opportunities around town, including two summer performances with Gros Morne Summer Music.
Patrick is currently in his fourth and final year of music school at Memorial University studying percussion under Rob Power and Bill Brennan. Along with his percussion studies, he is also majoring in musical composition, studying with Dr. Andrew Staniland and Dr. Clark Ross. He first realized he wanted to be a composer when he heard his original piece “Underdog” performed by the MUN percussion ensemble (The Scruncheons) for the first time. The response he received from professors and colleagues was very positive, giving him that boost to become a composer.
Austin Meisel is a young bassoonists and composer that has studied theory and performance for the past 9 years at various institutions and under the guidance of many strong willed teachers. He is currently studying bassoon performance with Grant Etchegary at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Relatively new to the music scene, he brings a fresh interpretation and sound to the community through both his performances and compositions. Through different ensembles and experiences, Austin pushed to learn and understand more about the music he performed and took an interest in composing. He began composing for small chamber groups, eventually gravitating to larger ensembles, before finding a niche in concert band and orchestra writing. Austin continues to throw himself into new places and experiences to soak up as much information as he can for his writing, and looks forward to writing a piece for wind quintet by the end of this year.
1st: Along the Monchy Fields by Kurtis Rodgers
2nd: The Newfie Bullet by Patrick d'Eon
3rd: A Hesitant Venture by Austin Meisel
Composer biographies unavailable at this time.
1st: Little Nightmares by Austin Meisel
2nd: Overcast by Liam Robbins (tie)
2nd: Swashbuckling George Pearcival by Zachary Greer (tie)
1st: Variaciones sobre "La Llorona" by Pallas Loredo
Benjamin Taylor was born and raised in Nova Scotia. He started practicing composition in 2011 when he apprenticed under American-Canadian composer, Michael Colgrass. in 2015, he was accepted into the Composition program at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he studied with Dr. Andrew Staniland and Dr. Clark Ross. Benjamin was awarded First Place in the 2016 and 2017 Gower Community Band’s Terra Nova Program for his works The Handful That Survived and King’s Procession, with another piece winning an Honourable Mention, Echoes Through the Valley, in 2016. Benjamin completed his Bachelor of Music in Composition in 2017 and hopes to pursue his Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
1st: King's Procession by Benjamin Taylor
Benjamin Taylor was born and raised in Nova Scotia, playing trombone in major bands in the Halifax region. He studied basic skills of composition with Michael Colgrass, composing for wind ensemble, solo instruments, and chamber group. He was accepted into his undergraduate program for Bass Trombone at Memorial University’s School of Music under Dr. Karen Bulmer, and in 2015 was accepted into the Composition Program at MUN, studying with Dr. Andrew Staniland and Dr. Clark Ross. The Handful That Survived is a gripping portrayal in instrumental sound of the battle of Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916, where the Newfoundland Regiment was all but wiped out in what was recorded historically as “a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour, and its assault only failed because dead men can advance no further”. Echoes Through the Valley, also by Benjamin Taylor, represents the musical sound which echoes would make throughout valley walls; echoes which are never the same twice, and their sound is always dissipating the further it goes. Triumphant fanfares are heard on the mountain tops, while the valley holds something mysterious and eerie below.
Kate Thomas is a composer, flutist and pianist from British Columbia studying Composition at Memorial University’s School of Music with Dr. Andrew Staniland and Dr. Clark Ross, along with flute and piano with Michelle Cheramy and Timothy Steeves, respectively. Life is a Journey is a musical memory of a t-shirt which bore that enigmatic message which was made for her during her high school years. Kate says that “writing this music connected me to the days of playing in high school band, of my first attempt at writing a piece for band, and of my growth as a musician.” It is her first work for large ensemble.
1st: The Handful That Survived by Benjamin Taylor (tie)
1st: Life Is A Journey by Kate Thomas (tie)
Special Award: Echoes Through The Valley by Benjamin Taylor
Duane Andrews’ music is the product of a great ear, an adventurous spirit, and a love of music regardless of genre or category. Uniting what would seem to be impossible – traditional Newfoundland music with the swing jazz of the legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt – Andrews makes it not just work…. he makes it soar! Duane holds an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies from St. Francis Xavier University, and has studied composition at the Conservatoire International de Paris and the CNR de Region in Marseilles, France. While composing The Traveller he was working on a Master’s Degree in Instrumental Conducting at Memorial University’s School of Music. The Traveller is based on a traditional tune from Newfoundland and Labrador called TheTraveller’s Reel, which comes from the legendary fiddler Rufus Guinchard. The reel is set to a more modern groove and used as a theme which is passed around through the different families of instruments in the concert band. Duane also explores the composition technique of the sound mass which focuses on texture, colour, and dynamics more so than traditional composition concepts of melody and harmony. In Duane’s words: “You can listen to the piece like a musical traveller starting a voyage at home with the main theme which visits the different families of instruments and meets some mysterious sound masses along the way. About halfway through the journey, we meet a relative of the main theme which takes the form of a chorale; then we head back home at the end of the piece where we meet our main theme again.”
1st: The Traveller by Duane Andrews
Timothy Brennan, a piano performance major at Memorial University’s School of Music with a minor in Composition, holds an Associate Performance Diploma (A.R.C.T.) in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is a past winner of the Senior Instrumental Rose Bowl at the St. John’s Kiwanis Music Festival and the piano division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Music Festival. In 2013 he received the Dorothy Buckley Prize for the Best Performance of a Canadian Composition at the CFMTA National Piano Competition in Halifax, N.S. In April 2014 his orchestral tone poem The Banshee was premiered by Memorial University’s Chamber Orchestra and was later awarded first place in the CFMTA National Composer’s Competition. December 26, 2004 is sub-titled In Memory of the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami, and tells the story of that fateful event in a gripping tone poem.
Jenny Griffioen came to Newfoundland from Guelph, Ontario. She graduated from Memorial University’s School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a minor in composition. She is active in solo performance, collaborative piano and church music. In composition she enjoys discovering patterns in music and explores playing with lines, harmonies and textures. Night: Walking in the Shadow of the Earth is based on the final lines of a poem which she wrote: Moon shines through a thin veil of colour, as Earth hides in its own shadow, watching and waiting, quiet and still. It is her first work for a large ensemble.
1st: December 26, 2004 by Timothy Brennan
2nd: Night: Walking in the Shadow of the Earth by Jenny Griffioen
Colin Taylor, a composer and trumpet player from St. John’s, was a Second Award winner in the 2012 TNP competition for his multi-movement work for Concert Band, The Lost Voyager. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Theory and Composition) from Memorial University. Colin participated in the Tuckamore Festival Young Composer Program in 2012, where his piano trio Metamorphosis was premiered. His work for Brass Ensemble and Percussion, Boreas, was premiered in March 2013 by the MUN Brass Ensemble and was a winner in the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition. Zephyrus, a work for Concert Band, was inspired by the Greek god of the west wind sharing the same name.
Bekah Simms is a composer and flutist from St. John’s. She was a Second Award winner for her Overture for a Ka-Tet in the 2011 TNP competition. Her music has also been performed by ensembles such as the Euridice Quartet, Keene State Contemporary Ensemble, Elastic Momentum Choir, Spectrum, and MUN Chamber Choir. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Theory and Composition) from Memorial University, and is pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Toronto. Wind and Watercolour maintains a lush colour palette and unique set of textures. The motif, accompanied by the airy and ethereal sound of whirly tubes, is gradually pieced together in various instrument combinations, harmonies, and colours. In the end, the colours fade out one by one, leaving just the wind.
1st: Zaphyrus by Colin Taylor
2nd: Wind and Watercolour by Bekah Simms
Chris McGee of St. John's is a fourth-year Music Major at MUN Music, studying saxophone with Paul Bendzsa. He has been involved with music from an early age, beginning with the Music for Young Children program at age 5, and has been involved with studying and performing ever since. In 2010 he was a Second Award winner in the 2010 Terra Nova Composition Competition, and in 2011 was the recipient of the Senior Rose Bowl in the St. John's Kiwanis Music Festival. He describes this years winning piece as "a non-programmatic work with several contrasting sections, structured around the motive C-G-F#."
Colin Taylor is a composer and trumpet player from St. John's. He is a fourth-year Theory and Composition Student at Memorial's School of Music, where he has studied trumpet with Dr. Aaron Hodgson and Alan Klaus, and Theory and Composition with Dr. Andrew Stanliland and Dr. Clark Ross. The three movements of his award winning piece depict the story of a poor and inexperienced voyager lost at sea, and his struggles returning home, ending with an aptly titled third movement, Celebrations, in which the mariner finally succeeds in finding his home port.
Aiden Hartery is a composer and trombonist from Labrador City. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Hon.) in Theory and Composition and a Bachelor of Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Aiden has been active as a composer, winning awards such as The Festival Wind Orchestra's 25th Anniversary Composition Competition in Toronto, The Gower Community Band's Terra Nova Composition Competition (First Awards in 2010 and 2011, and a Second Award in 2012), and a Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award in Senior Music Composition in 2011 and 2012. Aiden is currently working towards a Master's degree in Music Competition at the University of Toronto. Aiden's piece is a lullaby arrangement of the popular Newfoundland Folk Song "Lukey's Boat" and was a present for Dr. Karen Bulmer following the birth of her first child, Luke.
1st: Unsubstantiation by Chris McGee
2nd: Lukey's Lullaby by Aiden Hartery (tie)
2nd: The Lost Voyager by Colin Taylor (tie)
Aiden Hartery completed his Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Theory and Composition from MUN Music in May 2011, having studied trombone with Karen Bulmer, Theory and Composition with Dr. Clark Ross, and Composition, Orchestration and Arranging with Dr. Andrew Staniland. In addition to winning a GCB Terra Nova Award in 2010, he won the Festival Wind Ensemble’s 15th Anniversary Commission Competition, a NL Arts and Letters Award in Senior Music Composition, a commission for the MUN Brass Ensemble, and a commission for a new wind band work for Toronto’s Festival Wind Orchestra.
Bekah Simms of St. John’s was a fourth-year Bachelor of Music Student at MUN Music in 2011, studying flute with Dr. Michelle Cheramy and Theory and Composition with Dr. Andrew Staniland. Overture for a Ka-Tet is based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, a sprawling epic that takes place in a fantasy world parallel to ours, with mysterious doors that lead to our own universe.
1st: The Knight and His Knemesis by Aiden Hartery
2nd: Overture for a Ka-Tet by Bekah Simms
Aiden Hartery was born and raised in Labrador City. A trombone major at MUN Music, he entered the Theory and Composition program in the fall of 2009. Through the Haze was one of his early compositions, and his first work for concert band.
Jessica Blenis graduated from MUN in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition, and returned to study Music Education as a second degree. In addition to winning a GCB Terra Nova Award in 2009, she also won a NL Arts and Letters Award for her piano work Egoism. The award-winning Rah Rah Rah is an energetic piece mixing the styles of Klezmer music and Indie folk.
Chris McGee of St. John’s wrote You Can’t See It ‘Til It’s Finished while in his second year of studying saxophone with Dr. Paul Bendzsa at MUN Music. The high-energy work incorporates elements of jazz, rock, classical, and renaissance music.
1st: Through the Haze by Aiden Hartery
2nd: Rah Rah Rah by Jessica C. Blenis
3rd: You Can't See It 'Til It's Finished by Chris McGee
Jessica Blenis, a native of Upham, New Brunswick, was a fourth-year violin student at MUN Music with a passion for composition when she wrote Astéroïde-B-612, a four-movement work based on the novel Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was her first work for concert band, and an experiment in employing both tonality and atonality as a means of colourful expression.
Michael Bramble, from Maugerville, New Brunswick, was an organ major at MUN Music in 2009, and an avid trumpet player who served as a member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band. His work is based on the 16th-century chorale Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ written by Johannes Agricola.
Kimberly Codner of Torbay wrote Wreckhouse Winds in her final year of composition and piano at MUN Music. The work describes musically a type of intense wind that occurs in the Wreckhouse area of western Newfoundland, strong enough to occasionally blow trains off the railroad track!
1st: Asteroide B-612 by Jessica C. Blenis
2nd: Chorale Prelude: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ by Michael Bramble
3rd: Wreckhouse Winds by Kimberly Codner
Mark Edwards was born in Burin Bay Arm, NL. As a percussionist interested in new and unconventional ways to make music, he studied in the Bachelor of Music program at MUN Music with Dr. Kati Agócs, Dr. Clark Ross and Scott Edward Godin, as well as with percussionists John Wrye, Bill Brennan, and Rob Power.
Neal Read was born in East York, Ontario, and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He studied Composition at MUN Music with Dr. Clark Ross, and Saxophone with Dr. Paul Bendsza. He drew on his experiences as a competitive rower for the tension between calm and chaos conveyed musically in Go.
Denis John Callaghan was born in Elliot Lake, Ontario. He studied Composition at MUN Music with Dr. Kati Agócs. His music combines pop music idioms such as rock, jazz, and heavy metal with chromatic harmony and atonality to create a unique sound experience.
1st: Liminal Fair by Mark Edwards
2nd: GO by Neal Read
3rd: Shanshu by Denis John Callaghan
Dr. Gillingham is Professor of Composition at Central Michigan University, and has an international reputation for the works he has written for band and percussion, many of which are considered standards in the repertoire. This commissioned work is his first concerto for horn, and has since been published, performed and recorded in the United States with critical acclaim.
Soloist Dr. Bruce Bonnell is Professor of Horn at Central Michigan University. Born in St. John’s, he began his instrumental training with the Gower Youth Band, where he served as Principal Horn and Associate Director. He earned his Bachelor of Music Degree at Memorial University, Master of Music from Northwestern University, and Doctor of Music at Indiana University.
Concerto for Horn and Symphonic Band by David Gillingham