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January/February 2016 issue on sale now

Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris

Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2015

Choir & Organ is pleased to announce the Composition Competition 2015 in partnership with St Albans International Organ Festival.

'Winning the Choir & Organ / St Albans International Organ Festival competition in 2013 has given me increased self-belief and confidence to write in, and develop, my own style. The prize has already led to a number of exciting events, opportunities and projects, which have included my winning entry being broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Many of these things would not have happened without the interest in my work that has been generated by Choir & Organ and St Albans International Organ Festival.'
David Loxley-Blount, winner of the 2013 Composition Competition.


  • £1,000, donated by Rhinegold Publishing.
  • The composer of the winning entry will be interviewed in the July/August 2015 issue of Choir & Organ and the score will be published on the Choir & Organ website as part of its New Music series.
  • The premiere will be given in St Albans Cathedral during St Albans International Organ Festival (IOF) in July 2015.


The competition is open to composers of any nationality who are under the age of 35 on 30 June 2015.

Entry requirements

  • Entrants are invited to submit an original work for solo organ, lasting c.5-6 minutes (based on the composer’s metronome or tempo mark) in response to the following text by Walt Whitman (‘Reconciliation’, from Drum Taps):
    ‘Word over all, beautiful as the sky,
    Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost…’
  • Scores must be typeset to a professional standard on A4-size pages.
  • The specification of St Albans Cathedral organ can be found on the IOF website, www.organfestival.com/organs/cathedralorgan.shtml

Applications and closing date

Four copies of the score must be sent, one copy of which should have the composer’s name, address, telephone number and email written on the back of each page; the remaining three copies should have no identification markings on them.

Scores must be sent to:

Composition Competition 2015,
Choir & Organ,
Rhinegold Publishing Ltd,
20 Rugby Street,

Closing date: 31 January 2015


The jury comprises David Titterington (artistic director, St Albans International Organ Festival), Thierry Escaich (international organist and composer, France) and Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (international organist and composer, UK), chaired by the editor of Choir & Organ.

The organ

A specification of the organ in St Albans Cathedral can be found at the Organ Festival website

Terms and conditions

  1. The composition must be an unpublished original work written after 1 August 2014.
  2. The work must not have had a public performance, a recording that is publicly available (whether commercial or not), or a broadcast of any sort.
  3. The competition will be judged during February 2015.
  4. The jury reserves the right to withhold the first prize.
  5. The winner will be notified by 1 March 2015.
  6. Choir & Organ will publish an interview with the winner in the July/August 2015 issue.
  7. The composer will retain the copyright of the work, but will grant the right to Choir & Organ to publish the score on the Choir & Organ website from the on-sale date of the July/August 2015 issue and to keep it on the website as a free download for six months.
  8. Scores are sent at entrants’ own risk. We cannot acknowledge receipt of scores, nor return any material submitted.
  9. In all matters relating to the competition the decision of the jury is final and correspondence will not be entered into. Submitting an entry for the competition indicates the entrant’s unqualified acceptance of these terms.

Further information

Full details of St Albans International Organ Festival can be found at www.organfestival.com

David Titterington

David Titterington

David Titterington, artistic director of St Albans International Organ Festival, comments:
‘I am delighted that Choir & Organ and the International Organ Festival continue to promote this composition competition, with the support of Rhinegold Publishing. Over the past two years it is has produced some remarkably original submissions from young composers, and the jury has found it increasingly difficult to select the winning entry. David Loxley-Blount won in 2013 with his captivating and originally scored piece Sonus Repercussus, superbly premiered during the festival by Jamie McVinnie, who subsequently went on to broadcast it for the BBC. Young musicians are at the heart of the IOF, as is new music. In 2015, in addition to world premieres by Paul Patterson and James MacMillan will be the winning entry from this competition – do apply and join us in St Albans and be a part of this great festival and competition. You are very welcome.’

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