Rules 2024

Rules for the European Championship for Wind Orchestras in Oslo (2024).

The European Championship for Wind Orchestras (ECWO) is run and owned by the European Championship for Wind Orchestras Association.

1. General

These rules govern the championship and the English language version is definitive. The General Meeting of the ECWO association shall have the right to decide the following matters in connection with the championship:

  • Appointing the organiser and the location of each event governing the rules.

The board of the ECWO association shall have the right to decide the following matters in connection with the championship:

  • Appointing the adjudicators and the contest controller.
  • Defining the duties of the contest controller and the jury.
  • Defining the participation fee to be paid by the orchestras.
  • Defining the amount of prize money to be awarded.
  • Approving the test piece.

In these rules, whenever the context so requires, the masculine shall include the feminine and the singular shall include the plural.

A local organisation committee (LOC) will be responsible for the organisation of the contest and all related activities.

2. Participants

Participation in the European Championship for Wind Orchestras is by invitation only. The invitation comes from a National Band Federation, or similar, affiliated to the ECWO association. In addition the ECWO association retains the right to invite orchestras from non-member countries.

Only one orchestra from any country shall take part in the championship. In addition, the winning orchestra from the previous event can be invited. This will be decided by the ECWO board.

lf an orchestra has members with other nationalities or residences, their memberships should be approved by the national organisation. Musicians shall identify themselves by ID card or passport and will be named in the submitted musicians list. A musician may play with one orchestra only at the championship.

Given the limits of performance space and time for instrument exchange and replacement, all orchestras are required to use the percussion instruments provided by the organizer. Personal snare drums (exchanged within the provided kit set-up) mallets, sticks and any additional hand held exotica (i.e. flexatones, cow bells, guiros vibraslaps etc.) will be allowed.

The deadline for the registration of orchestras is 4 months before the event takes place.

Instrumentation of the participating bands should be made up of the following:

  • Wood wind instruments
  • Brass instruments
  • Percussion instruments
  • Additional instruments are allowed when they appear in the score.
  • Doubling of parts is allowed.
  • As a general rule, all compositions must be performed according to the instrumentation of the score concerned. Except:

The test piece must be performed according to the instrumentation of the score with the following remarks:

  • Doubling of parts is allowed.
  • If an orchestra wants to use additional instruments this should be requested from ECWO. The use of additional instruments will be allowed unless the composer objects.
  • All orchestras sall have the possibility to use the same scores and parts.

The own choice program must be performed according to the instrumentation of the score with the following remarks:

  • Doubling of parts is allowed.
  • Additional instruments are allowed

3. Sequence of Competition

The European Championship for Wind Orchestras will normally take place in the 3rd weekend of May of every even year.
In 2024 this will be on Friday and Saturday May 24/25.

4. Artistic frames

The participating orchestras will be expected to perform a concert program with a minimum length of 25 minutes and a maximum length of 35 minutes excluding the length of the test piece. The time between the first and last notes of each piece of the chosen program, added together, should not exceed 35 mins. Applause is not included in the 35 mins. time slot. However, conductors are urged to make the time between pieces as short as possible but within the bounds of practicality i.e. exchange of instruments, playing positions and mental preparation. Exceeding these time limits will result in the deduction of points.

It is the responsibility of the performing orchestra to verify that all instruments, whether belonging to the orchestra or hired for the occasion are present on stage in the required positions before the performance starts.

There will be a set test piece that all orchestras must play, this must be included as part of the program. The program should, besides the test piece, contain at least one piece specifically written for wind band instrumentation that is an original composition for the medium, not an arrangement of an already existing piece.

If an orchestra wants to use other artistic expression possibilities (e.g. projection), they have to arrange this upfront with the organisation of the contest.

5. Duties of the participants before the championship

Orchestras must send the following documents to the ECWO association, no later than two months before the championship:

  • A complete program in playing order.
  • A CV of the orchestra and conductor up to a maximum of 200 words.
  • A Photo of the orchestra and the conductor.
  • A pdf copy of the conductors scores of all compositions with the exception of the test piece.

A definitive list of performing musicians must be received 1 week prior to the championship start date. The same applies for four paper copies of the conductors scores of all compositions with the exception of the test piece.

6. Order of play

Performance order of the championship’s participating orchestras will be decided by means of a draw on t.b.d. and is published on the website of ECWO ( If an orchestra is not in the possibility to perform in 2024, its slot can be filled by another orchestra from the same country. Any additional orchestras should join at the front or back of the schedule.

7. The adjudicators

The championship will be adjudicated by an international jury of 4 members included a non­judging chairman. All member countries have the right to recommend jury members. The jury shall be selected and appointed by the ECWO board.

The Jury will award points up to a maximum of 100. The winner will be awarded the title of "European Wind Orchestra Champion".

All participating orchestras will receive a written report from each adjudicator.

The adjudicators will take into consideration the performance and the presentation of the program.

8. Financial matters

The entry fee shall be paid to the current Local Organising Committee. The current fee for participation is € 500. The participating orchestras are responsible for their own expenses.

9. Recording, filming and broadcasting rights

All rights pertaining to the performances of participating orchestras at ECWO and associated events, shall be the property of the ECWO association. By signing the musicians list the musicians give their permission for audio and visual recordings to be made. They also accept that these recordings may be used for non-commercial purposes.

Participating orchestras are solely responsible for obtaining performance and broadcast rights, scores, parts and permissions for rehearsal and performance of compositions and/or arrangements as used in the contest other than, as previously stated, the test piece.

10. Discipline & Appeals

Disciplinary action may be taken by the ECWO association in any of the following circumstances:

  • Any breach of these rules.
  • Any action, which the ECWO association deems detrimental to the reputation of the championship.

In the event of any player, official or orchestra being found guilty of any of the above offences, the individual or the orchestra may be subject to one or more of the following penalties:

  • Disqualification from the championship.
  • Forfeiture of trophies and/or prize money.
  • Other penalties as decided by the ECWO association.

Any player, official or orchestra who has a complaint against the organisers or who has been the subject of disciplinary action on the part of the ECWO association shall have the right of appeal.

Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the President of the ECWO association.

A General Meeting will be convened to consider such an appeal and the board's decision thereupon will be communicated in writing to the appellant within seven days of the meeting.

Any such decision shall be final and binding and shall not be subject to further discussion or legal proceedings.

Approved by the board of the ECWO association on May 29th, 2023


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