Blackburn Cathedral composition competition

The Organ valves at Blackburn Cathedral
Published: 08 February 2024
Category: Featured News

Blackburn Cathedral composition competition

sponsored by the Friends of Blackburn Cathedral

Blackburn Cathedral is pleased to announce its second composition competition. The aim of this series of competitions is to provide new, accessible organ music of a high quality relating to important occasions in the church year. This second competition will contain two categories: one for those under 21 and one for those aged 21 years and over on 1st April 2024. There will be a first prize of £1000 for both categories.

The organ voluntary should be considered as part of the service; a great deal of thought goes into repertoire choices by many organists. Once engaged, members of the congregation can find this a powerful liturgical tool, but in many churches a certain level of education is necessary to culture an interest in the music being played rather than being dismissed as being something played in the background to be talked over.

For this second competition, composers are invited to submit a composition of around five minutes in length which will be suitable as either a prelude or postlude for the feast of Pentecost. A well-known Pentecost theme must be used as the basis of the piece.

• All scores must be submitted by 1st April 2024 to [email protected]

• All scores must be typeset by a standard music notation programme – ideally Sibelius

• The level of difficulty should be no greater than Grade 8 ABRSM standard

• All scores must be unperformed and unpublished

The competition will be judged by Thomas Hewitt-Jones (composer), David Brindle (Organist of St. Silas, Blackburn and former international organ recitalist) and John Hosking (Organist in Residence, Blackburn Cathedral).

It is hoped that future competitions will yield a quality of compositions worthy to be published by the Blackburn Cathedral Music Press in a collection of organ music for the liturgical year. All submissions are made on the understanding that publication may follow to support the work of Blackburn Cathedral.


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