Hereford Three Choirs Festival launches choral composition competition

The competition forms part of the 2015 Three Choirs Festival programme, marking the 300th anniversary of the event.

Composers aged 30 and under are invited to submit a short setting of a sacred text, suitable for performance as an introit to a service of Choral Evensong. The judging process will include a workshop day in which shortlisted works will be rehearsed and performed by Hereford Cathedral Voluntary Choir (HCVC), conducted by Peter Dyke, Assistant Director of Music of Hereford Cathedral. The winning introit will be performed by the choir at Choral Evensong during the 2015 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, and will be published by Novello.

The competition judges will be Kate Johnson, Creative Manager of Music Sales Ltd, representing Novello; Peter Dyke; and Professor Paul Mealor of Aberdeen University.

Compositions should be for SATB choir, a cappella or with organ accompaniment. They should be capable of being rehearsed quickly from scratch by a good amateur choir before a run-through performance. The chosen texts must be sacred in nature and in the public domain. Biblical texts or sacred verse are equally acceptable. The chosen piece will be premiered on St Anne’s Day, 26 July, which may provide a source of inspiration, but this is not a requirement of the competition.

Shortlisted composers’ entries will be rehearsed for 15 minutes each and immediately performed at the workshop with HCVC, which will take place in Hereford on Saturday 25 April 2015 and will be attended by all the judges. None of the singers will have seen any of the shortlisted entries before rehearsal. This workshop is an essential part of the process and the views of the choir will be taken into account in choosing an overall winner. Shortlisted composers will be invited to attend the workshop and reasonable travel expenses will be paid to enable them to do so. However they will not be able to discuss their pieces with the choir or its director during the rehearsal; the conductor and choir will work solely from the written source material.

The closing date for submitting scores is Friday 20 March 2015 and this will be strictly adhered to. Scores should be sent to the Competition Administrator, Stewart Taylor, by email (PDF or sib file) to or by post to 39 Breinton Road, Hereford HR4 0JU