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Elsie M. Bennett2023 Competition Information, Awards, Regulations and Entry Form at: 2023Bennett.pdf

The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) cordially invites your participation in the 2023 Elsie M. Bennett Accordion Composition Competition and to contribute to the growth of contemporary concert works for solo accordion or for the accordion being featured with other instruments. Entry payment can be made by credit card at the AAA Store

Entry closing date is June 01, 2023.
Winners will be notified by email on or about July 01, 2023.

Elsie M. Bennett Memorial (1918 - 2005)

Cover, Composers GuideDownload Composer's Guide to the Piano Accordion prepared by Dr. Robert Young McMahan.

2022 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition Winner Announced

Neil ThornockNeil Thornock, of Provo, Utah, won first place in the Elsie Bennett Composition Competition this year with his lovely, haunting accordion solo, Moon-k'ssed Conifers.

Neil Thornock has composed for a variety of forces including orchestral, electronic, chamber, and solo work. Much of his music is written for his own idiosyncratic keyboard technique on organ, piano, carillon, accordion, and other instruments. In 2019 he premiered his three-hour work Planetarium for organ and electronics.

Recently his work has explored alternative tuning systems, especially just intonation. In 2022, he premiered his work Primordial Bell for a piano tuned in high-limit rational intonation. Further projects in various tunings are underway.

Currently, Thornock is professor of composition and theory at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He and his wife Tammy are the parents of seven children.

Neil Thornock writes: "I composed Moon-kiss'd Conifers to showcase the stunning and very reverberant acoustic of the central atrium in the Harris Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University, a building which will be demolished in the beginning of 2023. The slowly shifting harmonies and supple melodies give space for the resonance to shine through. The result is nocturnal and perhaps a bit liturgical.

It's also a farewell tribute to a building I have worked in and loved for more than half my life. As a late-life beginner of the accordion who has an extensive music background otherwise, I have been on the lookout for music that is easy enough for my budding technique but musically challenging enough to sustain my interest.

I wrote this piece to suit my own accordion technique, which mostly consists of carrying over my organ technique to the accordion keyboard and a little bit of left-hand experience."

Sample page of the music. Email Neil Thornock to purchase the music:

2021 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition Winners

From 2021, we have a sample page and sample sound file of the winning music. Also, the contact email of the composer.


1st Open Division Kinga Broslawska, 24 years old, Poland. Composition pdf file free from the composer: XYZ Email: a

Video of XYZ composed and performed by Kinga Broslawska.

2020 - Cancelled due to Covid pandemic

2019 – Open Division

1st – Daniel A. Mastrioanni – Awkward Moments, 2nd movement from Sonata #5
Sample Page, Sample sound file Email:
2nd – Will Comer
3rd – Nathan Chapeton
3rd – Rachel Shutt

2018 – Junior Division

1st – Nathan Chapeton - Tango Pour Janet
Sample Page, Sample sound file Email:

2018 – Open Division

1st – Massimo DeLillo - Visum et Impetus
Sample Page, Sample sound file, Performance by: Fabio Zurlo
2nd – Will Comer
3rd – Emmanuel Gasser
3rd – Joseph Ciccone

2017 – Junior Division

1st – Nathan Chapeton - Sonata No. 1
Sample Page, Sample sound file Email:
2nd – Joseph Klettner
3rd – Anton Klettner

2017 – Open Division

1st – Emmanuel Gasser – Tango Frio
Sample Page, Sample sound file Email:
2nd – Massimo DeLillo
3rd – Joseph Ciccone
3rd – Will Comer

2016 – Junior Division

1st – Will Comer
2nd – Joseph Klettner
3rd – Daniel Benedetti

2016 – Open Division

1st – Emmanuel Gasser
2nd – Joseph Cerrito
3rd – Joseph Ciccone


1st – Daniel Benedetti
Honorable Mention – Will Comer
Honorable Mention – Joseph Ciccone


1st – Joseph Ciccone
Honorable Mention – Pamara S. Ritter


1st – Andre Fry
2nd – Joseph Ciccone


1st – Tor Stumo
2nd – Kathryn Marie Archuleta
3rd – Joseph Ciccone


1st – Andre Fry
2nd – Peter DiGiovanni
3rd – Emmanuel Gasser

2010 – Junior Division

1st Andre Fry

2010 – Open Division

1st – Michael Bridge
2nd – Peter DiGiovanni
3rd – Joseph Ciccone


1st – Martynas Levickis
2nd – Linda Ann Warren
3rd – Kathryn Marie Archuleta