Image of Sarah Cattley standing in front of a door

Composition competition winner announced

Following an international field of entries, we can reveal that Sarah Cattley is the winner of the inaugural Jesus College Composition Competition.

Sarah is an award-winning composer and alumna of Cambridge University, where she studied music at Newnham College. Her work continues to gain recognition and has been performed across the world. Sarah says: "I'm completely thrilled to have won Jesus College's Composition Competition! I really enjoyed setting this beautiful prayer by St John Henry Newman to music, and hearing it sung by the College Choir in their own lovely chapel will be very special."

A runner-up, Isaac Adni, has also been chosen. Both he and Sarah's work will be premiered by The Choirs of Jesus College in Michaelmas Term 2020. Sarah will also receive prize money of £500.

The Choirs of Jesus College launched the competition in November 2019 with the support of alumnus Max Hadfield, encouraging composers aged 25 and younger to submit an original composition of this prayer by St John Henry Newman:

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.

An exceptionally strong field of entries was received from around the UK, USA and Canada. They were judged by Jesus College Director of Music, Richard Pinel, and renowned composer Grayston Ives, who comments: "Jesus College has a fine tradition for commissioning new music for their choir. This competition is their latest venture, encouraging young composers to submit new settings of a beautiful text by John Henry Newman. It attracted entries from home and abroad. The standard was very high and it was a pleasure to be invited to help with the adjudication."

Richard Pinel adds: "The composition competition is an exciting new initiative for us and I’m delighted that Sarah, and her terrific winning entry, will enter the repertoire of our choir. Watch this space for details of the premiere performance!"