2024 class got brass

Class Got Brass presented by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation

Competition: Saturday, March 23, 2024

Deadline to apply: Friday, February 23, 2024

Class Got Brass is the New Orleans Jazz &  Heritage Foundation’s program to support music education in the schools while promoting the traditional music of New Orleans. 


Class Got Brass presented by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2024 in conjunction with the Congo Square Rhythms Festival.  We invite middle schools and high schools in Louisiana to create a New Orleans-style brass band of up to 12 members – and then to enter a competition in the form of a “second-line” parade with a who’s who of celebrity judges.  At stake are more than $50,000 worth of instruments and other supplies for the winning schools’ music programs. We have two categories of competition: Beginners and Advanced. 

Check-in begins at 11:00am

Competition begins at 2:00pm

Competition ends approximately at 4:15pm

Advanced Category:

  • First place prize is $10,000 
  • Second place prize is $7,000
  • Third place prize is $5,000

the Beginner Category: 

  • First place prize is $5,000
  • Second place is $4,000
  • Third place is $3,000

Competitors that don’t place in either category will receive a stipend of up to $1,000.

Prizes can be used for clinicians, instruments, instrument repair or other supplies for the winning schools’ music programs.


Class Got Brass Guidelines

It is a competition open to public and private middle schools and high schools in Louisiana.

  • This competition is open to public and non-public accredited middle schools (grades 6-8) and high schools (grades 9-12) in the state of Louisiana.
  • All competitors must perform one dirge and one up-tempo song from a list of recommended songs.
  • Competitors will have four (4) minutes in which to complete their performance. Time is subjects to change based on the number of participants.
  • Band Size: Band may have no fewer than five instruments and no more than 12. All members must adhere to the guidelines that emphasize brass band tradition.
  • All performers – whether band members or accompanying dancers or grand marshal – must be students currently enrolled in the school.


Our partners at the Preservation Hall Foundation are providing additional resources to help band directors prepare their students for the competition. There is a resource-rich web site with instructional materials covering songs in the traditional brass band repertoire. 

For each song, there is sheet music to download, with arrangements for all brass band instruments: trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, tuba, bass drum and snare drum. There are also classic recordings demonstrating the proper tone and style. 

Preservation Hall also has song lessons that pair well with our recommended song list. The lessons have incredible media and resources, all written by Preservation Hall musicians.

In years past, Preservation Hall has graciously offered to band directors who want personal instruction for their students, to send the members of its world-famous band to conduct clinics at schools that have entered the Class Got Brass competition – at no charge to the school.

Questions? Contact the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation by calling (504) 558-6103, or sending an email to programs@jazzandheritage.org.

Sponored by

Class Got Brass is generously sponsored by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation. The Prima Foundation’s purposes include, but are not limited to, making donations to other tax-exempt organizations that support and encourage an appreciation for American jazz, American popular music and jazz performance, as well as the fine arts.

Visit them online at www.giamaioneprimafoundation.com


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