Enter our Compose a Chime for Gloucester Cathedral Competition


The Three Choirs Festival has launched a composition competition to create a new tune for the restored chimes of Gloucester Cathedral, to be played during festival week at the end of July. Both young people and adults are eligible to enter.


Nine of the 13 bells in Gloucester Cathedral’s tower can be controlled digitally and programmed to play a wide range of tunes. They are normally heard every day at 8 am, 1 pm and 5 pm (4 pm at weekends). During Three Choirs Festival week (23 – 30 July) a different sequence of tunes will be played each evening at 7.15 pm. The winning entries from the composition competition will be included in this sequence.


Entrants are invited to submit tunes up to a maximum duration of two minutes. Writing for the chimes does entail some limitations – a full guide to what is and isn’t possible can be found elsewhere on our Three Choirs Festival website www.3choirs.org/take-part/composition-competition.


Entries will be judged in three categories: under 16s, 16-18, and over 18s/adult. Winning entrants will be invited on a bespoke tour of the cathedral bell-tower, where they will be able to work with the cathedral’s honorary chimekeeper, who programmes the chimes, to test their tunes and make any necessary adjustments before the festival begins.


Entries will be judged by Jonathan MacKechnie-Jarvis (honorary chimekeeper), Alexis Paterson (chief executive of Three Choirs Festival), and The Reverend Canon Celia Thomson (Gloucester Cathedral).