Image of A group of choir members wearing deep red choir robes, walking across a lawn
Credit: Nick Rutter

Choir launches new competition for young composers

The Choir of Jesus College has launched a new annual competition for young composers, offering a prize of £500 and a premiere performance by the Choir.

Open to anybody born on or after 1st January 1995, entrants should submit unperformed, original pieces which will be judged by the College’s Director of Music, Richard Pinel, and composer and arranger Grayston Ives.

The annual prize has been created thanks to the generosity of former Choral Scholar Max Hadfield. He said: “We hope young musicians will be inspired by our competition to create new special spiritual works for the Jesus College’s Choir, and have the thrill of hearing them performed in our lovely Chapel to our own high standards."

Richard Pinel said: “Jesus College Choir continues a choral tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Our Chapel is beautiful and ancient and much of the repertoire that we enjoy comes from times past. However, this is a living tradition and it is equally important to champion new music. Therefore I am delighted to be able to launch this initiative, and am extremely grateful to Max Hadfield for his support.”


There is a prize of £500, and this year a first performance at an Evensong in Easter Term 2020 by the College Choir.


  1. This year composers are required to set the text (below) by St John Henry Newman.
  2. The work should be scored for an SATB choir (with divisi up to SSAATTBB permitted, bearing in mind the rehearsal time available to a busy collegiate choir), either a capella or with organ accompaniment.
  3. The piece should last for no more than 6 minutes, when taken at the metronome mark at the head of the score.

Set text

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done; then Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.


  1. The score, which must be printed, should contain no identifying marks of the composer. It should be accompanied by a sealed envelope containing the identity, and contact details, of the composer.
  2. The competition is open to anybody born on or after 1st January 1995.
  3. Applications should be sent by post to Ms Alice Kane, Jesus College, Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BL.
  4. The envelope should be marked ‘Composition Competition’.
  5. The deadline for submissions is Monday 2nd March and the winner will be notified by Monday 30th March.

Terms and conditions

  1. Submitted pieces should be as yet unperformed and be the original work of the composer.
  2. The compositions will be judged by a panel including Richard Pinel (Director of Music, Jesus College) and Grayston Ives.
  3. The panel reserve the right to not award any prize and their decision is final in all matters.
  4. Copyright of the music remain with the composer on the following conditions:
    1. Jesus College Choir retain the right of first performance of the winning entry until July 31st 2020
    2. Jesus College Choir retain the right of first recording of the winning entry until July 31st 2025
  5. Composers may only submit one entry.
  6. There is no entry fee.
  7. Entries are sent at the composers’ own risk, and we cannot return any material submitted.