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BBC Radio 4 and St Martin-in-the-Fields launch carol competition

Category: Radio 4

Date: 13.07.2005
Printable version

Established and aspiring composers are being invited to enter a carol competition launched this week by BBC Radio 4 and St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London.


A £1,000 prize is on offer from St. Martin's and Radio 4 will play the broadcast premiere of the winning carol on the Christmas morning service, which this year comes from St Martin's. The winner will also receive a recording of the piece.


The competition is to compose a piece of choral music to words written by the clergy of St Martin's. It is open to people of all ages who have had some experience in composing for voices/choirs - whether it be for school, church, amateur or professional chamber choir, collegiate or cathedral voices.


The music should be no longer than five minutes in length, with or without organ accompaniment, and be of a level which would also be suitable for widespread use in other parish churches.


Nicholas Danks, Director of Music at St Martin's, says: "The choice of choral music at St Martin's aims not only for high quality of composition but also music which is accessible to our regular congregation and to our many visitors.


"The repertoire is broad and ranges from traditional Anglican church music to contemporary Christian music and world music.


"We have strong links with South Africa and frequently broadcast services around the world. The carol music should ideally reflect some of these qualities."


All entries should be in a computer-set or handwritten format and accompanied by a CV or biography of the composer, although the overall winner will be judged on the merits of the composition alone.


The closing date for entries is 17 October 2005 and the winner(s) will be announced in November.


The judging panel will comprise staff of St Martin's; Christine Morgan, Executive Producer for Radio in BBC Religion and Ethics; and distinguished musicians from the field of church music.


Commissioning Editor for Radio 4, Andrew Caspari, says: "We are delighted to be launching this competition alongside St Martin-in-the-Fields, continuing our 80-year partnership with the Church.


"The piece will make a big impact on one of our most important services of the year."


For further details and an application pack, please visit the website:


Notes to Editors


The text to which the music should be composed is printed below and can be reproduced in your publication alongside the competition details.


The prize has come from donations given within St. Martin-in-the-Fields for music.


St Martin-in-the-Fields, renowned as one of London's liveliest and best-loved churches, attracts over 700,000 visitors a year and serves an extraordinarily diverse range of people.


It also has a fine musical reputation and plays host to some 350 live classical music concerts every year.


St Martin-in-the-Fields is also the setting for one of London's most significant building projects - a £34 million whole-site regeneration scheme, which will restore this magnificent James Gibbs church to its former glory.


A stunning glass entrance pavilion and a central lightwell will be prominent features in the new design.


Telling God's story of love come among us,

Child in a manger stirs wisdom awake;

Shepherds and kings join with poets and prophets

Past, present, future will history make.


Telling God's story in voices of outcasts,

As victims of poverty, old and young, die.

Scorned by the tyrants of violence and hunger

Wisdom of God shall injustice defy.


Telling God's story through hues of creation,

Green of sea, black of skin, red of the earth,

White of stone shaped by the sculptor's caressing,

All shades of women who dare to risk birth.


Telling God's story in protest and daring,

Making our choices that others may flourish.

Gath'ring at table and welcoming strangers,

Breaking and sharing, each other we nourish.


Telling God's story through each generation

Child in a manger stirs wisdom awake;

Living that story, fresh visions inviting,

Past, present, future will history make.


Text: Liz Griffiths and Rosemary Lain-Priestley, St Martin-in-the-Fields

Copyright: St Martin-in-the-Fields




Category: Radio 4

Date: 13.07.2005
Printable version


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