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The 2022 Inaugural
Dove Marimba Competition

Thursday, June 30, 2022

at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, DC - hosted by the DMV Percussion Academy.  

The winner will receive a free 4.3-octave Concert Grand Marimba and Vic Firth mallets AND will be invited to perform 1 movement of a Marimba concerto with Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra in March of 2023.

Eligibility requires that you are:

  • a High School Student who hasn't graduated before 2022.

  • 18 years of age or younger.  

  • a resident of MD, DE, VA, or PA.


Candidates will be required to perform their choice

of either Jonathan Leshnoff's "Marimba Steps" or

Zev Malina's "A Lone Star Postcard." 

Candidates, Please note: SHEET MUSIC for your chosen composition will be MAILED TO YOU AT NO CHARGE upon receipt of your registration.


Two world premier works for solo Marimba,
Commissioned for the Dove Marimba Competition:

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Marimba Steps (2021)

Jonathan Leshnoff

(b. 1973)


6 minutes


Grammy-nominated composer Jonathan Leshnoff is renowned for his music's striking harmonies, structural complexity, and powerful themes. Ranked among the most performed living composers by American orchestras in recent seasons, the Baltimore-based composer’s works have been performed by over a hundred orchestras worldwide. He has received recent commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. His works have been premiered by classical music’s most celebrated artists, including Gil Shaham, Johannes Moser, Manuel Barrueco, Noah Bendix- Bagely, Ricardo Morales, and Joyce Yang. Seven all-Leshnoff albums are commercially recorded. Leshnoff is a Professor of Music at Towson University.


Jonathan Leshnoff and Barry Dove have been colleagues and friends for many years. When Dove started making his own brand of marimbas in 2020, he commissioned Leshnoff for a solo marimba work specifically written for younger players. The result was Marimba Steps, written for the inaugural Dove Marimba Competition. It is a six-minute work that is both spunky and pedagogical. The 4.3-octave marimba version was vetted by several marimba pedagogues to facilitate its practicality for younger players. A 5-octave version is also available.


Marimba Steps is in three movements. The first movement grooves to a syncopated beat in a single line. The second movement is a slow ascent of lush and harmonically rich rolls. “Loure,” the final movement, references Bach both in style and quotation.

A Lone Star Postcard - sheetmusic.png

A Lone Star Postcard (2022)
Zev Malina

(b. 2002)

A Lone Star Postcard: Three Texan Sketches for Marimba

6 minutes


Program note:


At age 19, Zev Malina has already established himself as an up-and-coming American composer. He has received several prestigious awards, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award in 2020, the National Young Composers’ Challenge in 2017 and 2018 (orchestral division) and first prize in the 12th Fidelio Piano Composition Competition. Zev’s music has been performed by the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, The Florida Orchestra, Market Square Concerts, as well as at readings by the performing ensembles at the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is currently a freshman in the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studies composition with Arthur Gottschalk.


A Lone Star Postcard is a set of miniatures that each reflect a peculiarity of life at Rice and in Houston. The first movement, “Do Not Feed the Squirrels,” refers to the fauna that populates the campus; while inherently chipper and docile, the squirrels will bite you if you try to feed them. The second movement, “Flash Flood,” depicts an imminent storm, which wreaks havoc for a short bit, then promptly disappears without a trace. The final movement, “Texas Lane Change,” portrays the chaos of Texas roads, and the bold impulsivity of the drivers that roam them.

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