The North Shore Band Festival commissions an Australian composer each year to write a level 2.5 work for the A grade section test piece. Other works by that composer are nominated for sections B, C, D and E (novice). Bands perform three works including the nominated test piece and receive an on stage adjudication from highly qualified music professionals. 2016 saw the introduction of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. Previous composers have been Ralph Hultgren, Brian Hogg, Barry Gott, Tim Rees and Tim Ferrier. The festival organiser is Gavin Staines OAM - former music teacher and current band director from Chatswood High School.