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2018 Class Got Brass Contest

2018 Class Got Brass Contest


Class Got Brass - the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's seventh annual contest to support music education in the schools while promoting the brass band tradition - is back.

It’s a contest for Louisiana middle and high schools to create traditional New Orleans-style brass bands (as opposed to marching bands). At stake are more than $30,000 worth of instruments for the participating schools’ music programs.

The first place prize is a gift certificate worth $10,000 in instruments, instrument repair and other supplies for the winning school's band programs. Second place is $7,000; third place is $5,000. For the fifth year, we'll also have a category for "beginnner" brass bands, with prizes of $5,000, $4,000 and $3,000 for the top groups. There are additional prizes for schools that don't place in the top three in either category.

For a video about Class Got Brass, please see here.

The deadline to enter Class Got Brass is 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16. See here for the online application form. For the complete contest guidelines, see here.

The Class Got Brass contest will be on Sunday, March 4, in conjunction with our Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival.

Our partners at the Preservation Hall Foundation are providing additional resources to help band directors prepare their students for the Class Got Brass competition.

There is a resource-rich web site with instructional materials covering six 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.

Check out the web site here.

Better yet, for band directors who want personal instruction for their students, Preservation Hall will send 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. To request a clinic for your school band, click here.

Class Got Brass is open to all middle schools and high schools in Louisiana. Schools may enter a New Orleans-style brass band of up to 12 members. They must follow guidelines designed to emphasize the historic, world-famous brass band tradition. Read the complete guidelines here.

"We want to support music education in Louisiana - and to encourage our schools to embrace our traditional music and culture," said Don Marshall, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's executive director. "We all know how hard it is for schools to pay for music programs. By providing a financial incentive, we're giving schools and band directors even more reason to join the competition - and to move our heritage forward."

For more details on how to participate in Class Got Brass - including the application form and guidelines - please visit


Class Got Brass takes place during the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival, March 3-4,in Armstrong Park.

Class Got Brass is a program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. The Foundation is the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest (and other raised funds) for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more, visit us online at

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.