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University of Silicon Valley announces a competition open to all current students to compose a processional march for this spring’s commencement ceremony. USV seeks a composition that embodies both the elegance and seriousness of such a major milestone event, yet with a USVian flair. The winning student will work with USV AMT faculty to create a professionally produced recording of their composition, and have it played during the processional march at the University of Silicon Valley 2022 commencement ceremony. The winner will also receive an award and public recognition on stage at commencement.
Suggestions for a Successful Entry
Listen to the examples below of famous processional marches. We are not suggesting your piece sound like these, and welcome submissions in any style of music. We, instead, list these pieces because they have a number of elements in common that make them effective as a processional march.
They usually begin with some sort of declamatory statement or fanfare that announces the entry of the procession
The actual march is usually a moderately slow walking pace
The meter is typically 4/4 with equal emphasis on all four beats
The march usually has contrasting sections of loud/forceful and quiet/gentle, although they remain at the same tempo
Examples of Processional Marches
Pomp and Circumstance March #1 by Edward Elgar (the part everyone knows is the quiet/gentle section that begins around 1:57)
Procession of the Nobles from “Mlada” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (this one is actually in a 3/4 meter)
Solemn March for Tsar Alexander III's Coronation by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Triumphal March from “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi
Opening March from Music for the Royal Fireworks (first 2:58) by Georg Friedrich Handel
Grand March from “Tannhauser” by Richard Wagner
Throne Room/End Credits from “Star Wars IV” by John Williams
Procession from “The City” by Vangelis
SIGGRAPH Official Theme by Julius Dobos
(this example is a little fast for a processional, but the style is completely apropos)
See guidelines and requirements before uploading your submission.
Questions? Email Xo Xinh Nguyen for more information.
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