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Established by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra percussionist Robert Cossom in 2004, the MSO Snare Drum Award is designed to encourage the pursuit of excellence in snare drum performance in Australia and New Zealand.

Open to undergraduate tertiary students from Australia and New Zealand, this award provides an exclusive opportunity for applicants to further develop audition skills and performance techniques in a professional environment.

The winner receives percussion equipment and the opportunity to undertake a one-year mentorship with the MSO.

2024 Snare Drum Award

The 20th anniversary of the Snare Drum Award will be held in Melbourne on  Monday 26 August 2024 at 6:30pm.

We invite applicants to submit a video audition for round one as per the requirements below.

Four finalists will be chosen and notified by 22 July to perform in the public final on 26 August at Iwaki Auditorium.

In order to be eligible to apply for this program, applicants must be currently studying percussion in Australia or New Zealand at an undergraduate level. 

The set piece, one piece from the list provided and one technical study must be prepared. 

Set Piece
(Available on application)

Technical Study
Any etude from Douze Etudes pour Caisse Claire by Jacques Delecluse 

Own Choice list (choose one from the list below) 

  • ANDERS ASTRAND Swedish Sketches
  • BARRY QUINN Episodes
  • DARYL PRATT Remembering Katrina
  • DAVID GEORGE Choose Your Own Adventure
  • MAY LYON Phosphorus
  • ROBERT COSSOM Lickin' Stick
  • ROBERT COSSOM Pas de dux
  • ROBERT COSSOM The Clock Talked Loud
  • ROBERT OETOMO Snare On, Snares Off
  • STUART GREENBAUM Clockwork Lemon

Video filming requirements – please read this before completing your recording

  • Videos should be recorded on the same day in the same location
  • You may record each piece in separate takes/videos
  • Please name each file according to which piece is featured in the video
  • When setting up your camera, please ensure your whole body is in the shot and that your music stand is not blocking the snare drum/your hands
    • You may film from a front or side view


To apply please complete the application form and send a copy of your CV to

We will email you the test piece Drumrad by Robert Cossom when we have received your application.

Applications and round 1 videos are due EOD Wednesday 3 July and should be submitted to

2023 snare drum winner aidan ritchie 900x900

2023 Winner - Aidan Ritchie

Aidan is an orchestral and contemporary percussionist, currently completing his final year of a Bachelor of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium. After discovering a love for drum kit at six years old, his enthusiasm and attraction to all things music only grew. Picking up orchestral percussion at thirteen, his focus quickly shifted from rock and funk grooves to a more classical percussive style. Aidan shows deep interest and prowess within all aspects of percussion including orchestral repertoire, world music, baroque style, and everything in between. Recently discovering his love for instrument making, he is just as comfortable in the workshop as on stage. Taking part in many larger ensembles, he is at home playing solo and within a group. His personality and love for music shines through in his playing, giving his repertoire an undeniable Aidan Ritchie flair.

Special thanks

Prizes for the MSO Snare Drum Award are donated by Mastro Snare Drums, Zildjian, Evans, & Just Percussion.

The MSO Snare Drum Award is supported by Tim & Lyn Edward, Cecilie Hall, and the late Hon. Michael Watt KC.

Robert Cossom's position is supported by Dr Rhyl Wade & Dr Clem Gruen.

John Arcaro’s position is supported by Tim and Lyn Edward.

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