Joshua Pacey wins John Sanders Composition Competition 2016

Joshua Pacey has won the John Sanders Memorial Competition for Young Composers 2016 with his anthem Mary's Lullaby. The anthem will be premiered by the St Cecilia Singers, conducted by Jonathan Hope, in Gloucester Cathedral at Choral Evensong on Thursday 28 July as part of the Three Choirs Festival.

Joshua is in his final year studying music at Clare College, Cambridge. Having begun composing at an early age, he has won several competitions including the Homerton College Composition Competition 2016, the Clare College Christmas Carol Composition Competition 2016. His work has been performed in the UK and the USA, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Choral Evensong. He was a boy chorister at Winchester Cathedral, and is now senior choral scholar of the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, with whom he has performed both as a chorus member and soloist across the UK, Europe, and USA, notably in the Library of Congress, Washington DC, the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and Westminster Abbey, with ensembles such as the LPO, the European Union Baroque Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In September Joshua is looking forward to beginning his studies at the Royal College of Music for a Masters in Composition for Screen.  

The biennial John Sanders competition for aspiring young composers of choral music is arranged by The Sanders Society ( and has once again attracted wide international interest. The judging panel of Dr. Christopher Robinson, Bob Chilcott, Adrian Partington and Tim Rogers of Encore Publications unanimously agreed to award the prize of £1000 to Joshua Pacey

Christopher Robinson comments that Joshua's setting of Mary’s Lullaby is firmly rooted in the English tradition, with occasional echoes of Vaughan Williams and Howells, and illustrates with great skill and imagination the general atmosphere of a ‘quite dark’ 13th-century text. Musical textures are varied and, though singers may find some of the dissonance challenging, it always seems logical and relevant.

 The composition is being published by Encore Publications (