Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Radio 3 launches Breakfast Carol Competition 2017

9:46, 1st September 2017

Radio 3 is inviting listeners and budding composers across the country to write a new Christmas carol.

The 2017 Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition challenges amateur composers to create a new carol for SATB choir (a cappella or with piano accompaniment) set to the words of Sir Christemas, a text thought to be written in the late 15th century.

David Hill (former chief conductor of the BBC Singers) will chair the judging panel, which will also include Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music and associate composer with the BBC Singers), Jonathan Manners (BBC Singers producer), Margaret Cameron (an alto with BBC Singers) and Griselda Sherlaw-Johnson (choral promotion manager with Oxford University Press).

Six shortlisted carols will be performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast programme in the lead up to Christmas by the BBC Singers, directed by David Hill.

The winning carol, which will be decided by public vote, will be announced live on Breakfast on 22 December, and played throughout Christmas day on Radio 3.

The deadline for submissions is 1 November.


Sir Christemas

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell.
Who is there that singeth so,
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell?

I am here, Sir Christemas.
Welcome, my lord Sir Christemas!
Welcome to us all, both more and less!
Come near, Nowell.

Dieu vous garde, beaux sieurs, tidings I you bring:
A maid hath borne a child full young,
The which causeth you for to sing:

Christ is now born of a pure maid;
In an ox-stall he is laid,
Wherefore sing we all at a brayde:

Buvez bien par toute la compagnie,
Make good cheer and be right merry,
And sing with us now joyfully: Nowell

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