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March Composition Competition 

To celebrate the Governor General’s Foot Guards 150th anniversary and highlight the unit’s past, present and future, we are hosting a quick march composition competition with submissions due by February 15th 2023. The selection process will take place over three phases, with a panel of judges first selecting the top ten marches from all the initial submissions. These ten marches will then be posted for online public voting in order to determine a top three. Those top three marches will then receive a Canadian premier during GGFG’s final concert event before a winner is officially chosen by a select panel.



The contest is open to all currently serving and retired Canadian Armed Forces members of any trade from both the reserves and Regular Forces and Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS) members 18+ years of age as of 1 February 2023. 


If you intend to participate in this competition, please send an introductory email to before your final submissions stating your name, trade, location and preferred means of contact so that we can reach out to you if need be.

Final submissions must be made electronically and must contain: 

  1. a completed application form;

    1. consent to release musical rights (make a copy, fill it out, and save as PDF) / consentement à la libération des droits d'auteur (copier le document, remplir l'information, et sauvegarder en PDF); and

    2. a full musical score, an audio file of the composition and individual musical parts (one PDF) in accordance with the composition and technical requirements listed below.

*Rights to the composition will only be forfeited if the march is selected as the winner.


Submissions that do not contain all the information described above in proper form shall not be accepted for the contest. Only one submission is allowed per contestant. 


Submissions must be received no later than February 15th, 2023 and should be sent to, which will be the designated inbox for contest submissions and questions.


Form: Quick March  (Ex:

Length: 2-5 minutes

Tempo: 112-120bpm

Time Signature: 2/4, 2/2 (cut time), 6/8

Instrumentation (one part each unless indicated otherwise):



          Bb Clarinet (2-3 parts)

          Alto Saxophone (1-2 parts)

          Tenor Saxophone

          Baritone Saxophone*

          Horn (2-4 parts)

          Trumpet (2-3 parts)

          Tenor Trombone (2 parts)

          Bass Trombone

          Euphonium (Bass Clef required, Tenor Clef optional)

          Tuba (1-2 parts) 

          Snare Drum

          Bass Drum



*optional instruments


Other Composition Requirements: 

  • Composition must be titled

  • Composition must include brief program notes (250 word max.) on how the march relates to the GGFG and/or its history. These notes may be used to introduce the piece during the voting/selection process


    • Any pertinent performance/conducting notes

  1. Recording Submission

    • Acceptable formats for recording submissions include: 

      1. .wav;

      2. .mp3; or 

      3. unlisted YouTube link of midi or live recording of composition 

    • Recordings will be uploaded or have a link provided with the application form to using file/YouTube video name as follows: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_COMPOSITION TITLE_RECORDING”

  2. Score Submission

    • A PDF of the full score will be submitted with the application form to, using file name as follows: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_COMPOSITION TITLE_SCORE”

  3. Individual Part Submission

    • A PDF of individual parts (in a single document) will be uploaded with the application form to, using file name as follows: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_COMPOSITION TITLE_PARTS”


*Note: As an alternate to (b) and (c), a single PDF containing both score and parts uploaded with the application form to, using file name “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_COMPOSITION TITLE_SCORE&PARTS”


The musical composition must have been written by the contestant specifically for this competition, and must not have been previously published or performed in public. For contest purposes, an unpublished musical composition is defined as not being recorded and self-released by the contestant and/or not co-published by a commercially active music publisher. The musical composition must be entirely the original composition of the contestant in which they own the copyright and have the authority to submit the composition in the contest. The musical composition cannot be an arrangement of an existing work.




The contest will consist of three phases: 


  • Phase 1: All submissions will be judged anonymously by a selected diverse panel made up of musical, military and civilian representatives from within GGFG, the CAF and the broader NCR community in general to narrow down and select the top ten (10) compositions.


  • Phase 2: Recordings of the selected top ten (10) compositions will then be uploaded to ( for online public voting. The composers will still remain anonymous throughout phase 2. 


  • Phase 3:  The GGFG Band will perform the top three (3) musical compositions based on those selected through popular vote from online public event in phase 2. A new panel (varied from the one used in phase 1) will be convened to select the winner during the final concert event where the top three (3) musical compositions will be performed live and a winner chosen by the concert’s end.  


*Note: The panels of judges for Phases 1 and 3 will most likely be comprised of senior members of the Unit and Band of the GGFG and the Supervisor of Music’s office in the Directorate of History and Heritage. As stated, notable members of the musical community with the NCR will also be invited to participate, with an understanding that their involvement will be dependent on availability. The decision of the panel is final. No correspondence will be entered into with contestants regarding a panel decision. 


The top three finalists will be given a feature on the GGFG Facebook page and will no longer remain anonymous for the final phase of the competition. 




The timeline over which the three phases will be completed is as follows:


Phase One: applications received by 15 February 2023 and the top ten selected by 28 February 2023


Phase Two: online voting 1March 2023 to 15 March 2023


Phase Three: final concert and winner selection Spring 2023


There will be two stages of prizes for those who participate in the competition:

Composers of top ten (10) musical compositions will receive a GGFG 150th Prize Package. 

Prizes for first, second and third place are as follows:

          1st place - $1000

          2nd place - $500

          3rd place - $250


The Contestant retains the copyright in their musical composition, subject to the license defined in the section below.

License to the Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF)

All contestants are subject to the license attached as Annex A which must be executed and returned with the Contestant’s submission. The failure to execute the license or the submission of false or inaccurate information will result in immediate disqualification from the contest. If a Contestant is under 18 years of age at the time of submission the license must be signed by their parent or legal guardian. 

Participation in this contest will be considered acceptance of these rules.

A Brief History of the Governor General's Foot Guards and a Look at the Relevance of Military Music

The Governor General’s Foot Guards, formed in 1872, is the senior reserve infantry regiment in Canada. Since 1879, Cartier Square Drill Hall in Ottawa, Ontario has been the home of the Foot Guards. Here, our soldiers train part-time and full-time in order to serve Canada both domestically and abroad.


GGFG has deployed members to aid in various global conflicts throughout history, such as the First World War and the Second World War. In more recent years, its members have supported the Regular Force in international operations in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Latvia, and Ukraine. 


Meanwhile in Canada, the Regiment has consistently mobilized members to aid citizens during natural disasters and public emergencies, like the 1998 Ice Storm, the Gatineau flooding in 2017 and 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic.


One of GGFG’s primary and most visible functions is the ceremonial duties many of its members perform during the Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill. Members are joined in this task by other Regiments throughout Canada, who bolster our ranks. The Band of the Governor General’s Foot Guards, and the military music they perform, play an integral role in these Public Duties. Not only does the music provide a steady pulse for marching soldiers but it also fosters morale and helps to promote Canadian aesthetics and values both nationally and abroad.

Recordings of our Regimental Marches

Here are recordings of GGFG’s two Regimental marches. These compositions reflect our unit’s heritage: 

  1. Milanollo (Quick March of the Governor General’s Foot Guards) 


  2. Figaro (Slow March of the Governor General’s Foot Guards) 


More Information on the Governor General's Foot Guards

For further information about the GGFG and the role of the Canadian Forces Music Branch, visit the following links:

Government of Canada: 

Regimental Museum : 

GGFG 150 - Brief History: 

Canadian Forces Music Branch:

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