Young Composers Competition

The competition is now closed. As announced in December 2013, the winner was Samuel Parsons
for his piece Christ on the Cross. The remainder of this page is for information only.

Young Composer Competition

The Whitehall Choir invites composers up to the age of 30 to create a work of 4-7 minutes’ duration
with text suitable for performance between Passiontide and Ascension Day.
The competition is part of the Choir’s 70th anniversary celebrations.


The winner will receive £1,000.
In addition, the piece will be performed by the Choir in its April 2014 London concert.
And it will be included in the CD the Choir plans to record in May 2014.

photograph of Paul Spicer by Emotion Studios
photograph of Robert Saxton by Katie Vandyck
photograph of Judith Weir by Chris Christodoulou


Three British composers will make up the panel of judges:

  • Judith Weir
  • Robert Saxton, and
  • Paul Spicer (conductor of the Whitehall Choir)

Click here for more information about the judges


The closing date for entries is 31 August 2013.
Entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form.

Click here to download entry form and rules

View flyer

For further information, email

Full details and rules

1. The competition is open to young composers aged not more than 30 at the end of August 2013

2. Entries must be accompanied by a signed entry form, and submitted to the Whitehall Choir.
Each composer may submit only one entry.
Entry forms will be retained by the administrators and not passed to the judges
to ensure that they are not aware of the identities of the entrants until judging is completed

3. The work must be original and newly created especially for this competition.
It must be choral (SATB, though these parts could be divided into two);
of between four and seven minutes’ duration;
unaccompanied or with organ accompaniment; if unaccompanied, a rehearsal keyboard reduction should be provided

4. The text of the work is at the discretion of the composer
and must be suitable for performance between Passiontide and Ascension, but not necessarily liturgical.
If not in English, a translation should be provided.
If in an unfamiliar language for the Choir, the composer may be required to train the Choir in correct pronunciation.
The composer is responsible for rights to use the text

5. All entries must be computer printed, or handwritten clearly in black ink,
and may be accompanied by a computer-generated version.
Entry materials are sent at the composer’s risk and may not be returned after the competition,
so copies rather than originals should be submitted

6. A description of the work and its background, suitable for programme notes, should be provided.
The title page must not identify the composer

7. The closing date for entries to be submitted is 31st August 2013

8. The judges are Judith Weir, Robert Saxton and Paul Spicer, who reserve the right to accept or reject entries.
Their decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into

9. Entry materials may be reproduced for the purposes of judging the competition

10. The winner will be announced in December 2013

11. By entering the competition the winner agrees:
a) to take part in publicity, and performance preparation by the Choir,
for which reasonable expenses will be reimbursed, and
b) that the score of the winning entry may be copied by the Choir for performance and recording purposes

12. The winning entry will be included in the programme of the Whitehall Choir’s Spring 2014 concert
provisionally entitled “Passiontide to Ascension”,
to be performed at St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, London, on 4th April 2014

13. The Choir plans to record the programme referred to in 12 above on to a CD in May 2014

14. The Choir will retain exclusive performance rights until the first performance is given
and exclusive recording rights until the recording referred to in 13 above is recorded and released,
after which time the rights to subsequent recording will revert to the composer.
(This rule may be varied by agreement between the Choir and the winner.)

15. The Whitehall Choir reserves the right to amend, adapt or cancel this competition