The folks with the DC Bluegrass Union have opened up entries in their 4th annual tune writing competition, named in honor of one of the greatest bluegrass instrumentalists in the history of Washington, DC.
Submissions can be made now for the 2020 Mike Auldridge Instrumental Contest online. There are a number of highly prestigious songwriting competitions in the bluegrass world, and DCBU sponsors one of them as well, but very few which recognize the important art of tune writing, so important in bluegrass music. Right from the start, Bill Monroe was adding new instrumentals to the developing genre, as were Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, and Jim & Jesse right behind him.
So hats off to DCBU for recognizing the vital role of composing new tunes, and supporting it through the Mike Auldridge Contest, and its prize money.
First place winners each year receive a $500 award, with $250 going for second and $100 for third. Submissions consist of an audio recording of your tune, either solo or with supporting musicians. Though Auldridge was known as a master of the reso-guitar, the competition is open to any instruments played in the bluegrass, old time, or other related roots music style.
Entries will be accepted through midnight on October 4, 2020. There is no limit on the number of submissions one entrant may send, with an entry fee of $30 for each.
Submitted tunes will be judged by a 3 judge panel of industry professionals, not on playing ability or recording quality, but on the melody, chord structure, originality, and memorability of your tune.
The complete contest rules can be found on the DCBU web site, where there is also both a downloadable and an immediately submittable online entry form.