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.


Gerald Wilson Award Winners:

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.