Rhinegold Photo credit: Pete Dadds

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Radio 3 reveals Breakfast Carol Competition shortlist

9:29, 15th December 2017

Radio 3 has announced the shortlist for its 2017 Breakfast Carol Competition.

The six shortlisted compositions were performed live on the station’s Breakfast programme this morning by the BBC Singers.

The finalists are:

  • Martin Carling (Yorkshire)
  • Dominic Carter (Devon)
  • Martin Evans (London)
  • David Hughes (Wolverhampton)
  • Alec McGregor (Leicester)
  • Bernard Trafford (Oxford)

Listeners have until 5pm on 21 December to vote for their favourite composition. The winning carol will be announced and performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast programme on 22 December by the BBC Singers, conducted by David Hill, and throughout Christmas Day on Radio 3.

The BBC Singers and David Hill will also perform the six shortlisted carols in a here at BBC Maida Vale Studios on 18 December at 1pm.

The competition challenged listeners to compose a brand new carol for SATB choir (a cappella or with piano accompaniment) set to the words of ‘Sir Christemas’, a text thought to have been written in the late 15th century.

Entries were judged blind by an expert panel chaired by David Hill (former chief conductor of the BBC Singers) and also including Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music and associate composer with the BBC Singers), Jonathan Manners (BBC Singers producer), Margaret Cameron (alto with BBC Singers) and Griselda Sherlaw-Johnson (choral promotion manager with Oxford University Press).

David Hill, former chief conductor of the BBC Singers and chair of the judging panel said: ‘Each composer has brought a distinctive, personal quality and dimension to each of the settings of “Sir Christemas”. Their melodies and use of rhythm are all very different and equally compelling. It really is a high standard and I am looking forward to performing them with the Singers in concert and on BBC Radio 3 and to hearing the reactions of both composers and audience.’

Radio 3 editor Brian Jackson said: ‘The Breakfast Christmas Carol competition is an irreplaceable part of the festive season at Radio 3. Once again we’ve received an incredible volume of entries of an exceptionally high standard; a testament to creativity and talent amongst Radio 3’s listenership.’

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