We launched an anthem composition competition last year to celebrate our Tercentenary in 2019. The competition, open to young composers under the age of 28, asked entrants to set a text from the Old Testament Book of Haggai in the form of a short anthem for choir and organ.
The closing date for receiving entries was 11 January 2019 and the response we have received from entrants has gone well beyond expectations, delighting the competition’s organiser, Mary-Jannet Leith.
“We sent out details to music colleges and music departments in universities last September, hoping that the competition would attract and encourage young composers to engage with sacred choral music. We are very pleased to have received a total of 31 entries – well beyond our initial expectations,” she said.
“In addition to many entries from the UK, we have been overwhelmed by a number of international submissions from across Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Brazil.”
It is now down to the judges to select the anthems to be performed at the competition finals, to be held in the church on 16 February.
Entries will be adjudicated by eminent British composer Professor Robert Saxton (Worcester College, Oxford), Kyle Macdonald (Senior Social Media Editor, Classic FM), and Director of Music at Crown Court Church, Dr Geoffrey Higgins.
The winner will have their anthem performed by the choir during the Tercentenary Celebration Service to be held in the church on Sunday 24 March, the three-hundredth anniversary of the first service in this church on the site in March 1719.