NCEM YOUNG 
COMPOSERS
AWARD 2020

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2020 NCEM Young Composers Award, presented by The National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3 in partnership with the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips. 

19 - 25 YEARS

Noah Bray Our Father
Sam Gooderham late-past
Caitlin Harrison The Flower
James Mitchell The Lord's Prayer
Fintan O'Hare Come Passing Rain

18 YEARS AND UNDER

Ethan Lieber The Flower
Eilidh Owen As If There Were No Such Cold Thing
Emily Pederson Pater Noster

The award will be judged at the National Centre for Early Music in York. The composers whose works were shortlisted are invited to take part in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox, when the compositions will be presented by the Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble, the consort of The Ebor Singers. Following the workshop, the ensemble will perform each of the pieces in the presence of a panel of judges, after which two winners will be announced, one for each of the two age groups.

The winning works will be premiered by The Tallis Scholars in a public performance at Cadogan Hall, London on 24 March 2021. This concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show.

This major national annual award is open to young composers up to the age of 25 and resident in the UK, in two age categories: 18 years and under; and 19 to 25 years.  For the 2020 award, composers were invited to create a new polyphonic work for unaccompanied choir, setting either the Our Father (Pater Noster) prayer from St Matthew's Gospel, or the first and last verses of George Herbert's poem The Flower.

Read Terms and Conditions >

 

Mayfield valley arts trustThe 2020 NCEM Young Composers Award is supported by the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Outline

Young composers from across the UK are invited to compose a new work for a cappella (unaccompanied) choir, utilising the remarkable singing skills of The Tallis Scholars.
A shortlist of entries will be presented by the York based Ebor Singers in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox at the National Centre for Early Music, York on Thursday 14 May 2020. At 7.00pm on the same day the Ebor Singers will perform each of the pieces in the presence of a panel of judges: Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars; Les Pratt, Producer BBC Radio 3; and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music. Two winners will be announced, one for each of the two age categories.
The winning work(s) will then be premiered by The Tallis Scholars in a public concert at Cadogan Hall, London on 24 September 2020. This concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show.

The brief

A Polyphonic Motet

Instrumentation: SSATB (no divisi)

Composers are invited to create a polyphonic work for voices, setting either the Our Father (Pater Noster) prayer (St Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 6, Verse 9-13) or, for those composers who don’t want to set such an explicitly Christian text, the first and last verses of George Herbert’s poem ‘The Flower’:

How fresh, oh Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! even as the flowers in spring;
To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.
Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.

These are thy wonders, Lord of love,
To make us see we are but flowers that glide;
Which when we once can find and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us where to bide;
Who would be more,
Swelling through store,
Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.

Works selected for the NCEM workshop will be rehearsed and performed by the Ebor Singers, with two works selected for subsequent performance by the Tallis Scholars, so it is important that your music should explore the polyphonic possibilities of these vocal ensembles. In particular we want to encourage you to think about ways of setting your chosen text that not only respond to the imagery of the words but also have the sense of melodic direction of the great composers of Renaissance polyphony.

The Pater Noster has been set many times, in many languages, by composers from Josquin, Lassus and Palestrina (in Latin) to John Tavener (in English). Like Palestrina you may want to set the text in Latin but settings of an English translation, or even a combination of Latin and English, will be acceptable. It is not obligatory to set the complete text, either of the Pater Noster or ‘The Flower’.

The work will last between 3 and 4 minutes.

Award Rules

  • Entry is open to all UK residents aged up to 25 at the time entry closes.
  •  There are two categories for the awards as follows:
    18 years and under on the date of submission (born on or after 21/03/2001)
    19 – 25 years on the date of submission (born between 21/03/1994 and 20/03/2001)
  • Applicants and winners of past awards are eligible to enter the 2020 award.
  • Employees and close family members of the BBC, BBC Group Companies, the NCEM and The Tallis Scholars, and persons connected to the award and their close relatives are not eligible to enter. Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested.
  • The composition must be unaccompanied
  • The composition should be scored for SSATB. No other divisions of voices or parts are permitted.
  • The composition should be between 3 and 4 minutes’ duration.

How to enter

  • Entrants must register their interest in entering the award by emailing register.composers@ncem.co.uk by 5.00pm on Friday 21 February 2020, stating which age category they wish to enter. Late registrations cannot be accepted.
  • Application forms are available on the National Centre for Early Music website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2020.
  • Entrants should send two named copies of the score in an A4 format (preferably produced on computerised publishing software), together with a completed application form, to: The Music Administrator, National Centre for Early Music,
    St. Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Digital files will not be accepted.
  • Entries in the form of completed scores should be received no later than 5.00pm on Friday 20 March 2020. Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.

Judging criteria

The shortlisted entrants will be judged on the following criteria:

  • skill of compositional techniques including writing for voices

innovation of composition fused with an awareness of The Tallis Scholars’ style

Selection process

  • A shortlist of up to 8 entrants will be chosen by a judging panel consisting of a member of the National Centre for Early Music, the BBC, The Tallis Scholars and a professional composer, and will be notified no later than Friday 17 April 2020.
  • The judging panel is unable to give feedback to unsuccessful applicants
  • All shortlisted entrants must attend a workshop at the NCEM on Thursday 14 May 2020 led by composer Christopher Fox, where they will have the opportunity to hear their compositions presented by the Ebor Singers.
  • The workshop will be followed the same evening, Thursday 14 May, by a public performance at 7.00pm at the National Centre for Early Music, when the pieces will be performed in the presence of the panel of judges. The judges will select and announce the winners at the end of the concert, based on the aforementioned criteria, and will award them the prize.
  • The performance will be livestreamed on the internet.
  • Should a shortlisted entrant not be available after reasonable attempts to contact him/her, the NCEM reserves the right to select another entrant to attend the workshop or – where applicable – to be awarded the prize.
  • The NCEM’s selection of the winners is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Reasonable transport and accommodation costs for the workshop and performance will be reimbursed by the NCEM to the shortlisted entrants, and to one parent/guardian of those under the age of 18.

The Prize

  • The prize offered is a performance by The Tallis Scholars of the winning compositions in a public concert at Cadogan Hall, London on 24 September 2020.This concert will be recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
  • There will be no cash equivalent and the prize cannot be transferred.
  • The winner will receive a complimentary set of tickets to this concert for themselves and up to two members of their family/friends.
  • Reasonable transport and accommodation costs for this concert will be reimbursed by the NCEM to the winners and up to two members of their family/friends.

Copyright and permissions

  •  By submitting your composition, you grant to the BBC, NCEM and The Tallis Scholars, free of charge, permission to use the material in any way they want (including modifying and adapting it for operational and editorial reasons) for services in any media worldwide (including on the sites accessed by international users).
  • In order that the BBC can use your composition you must confirm that your composition is:
    1. your own original work
    2. has not previously been performed or published
    3. does not infringe any UK laws
    4. you have the right to give the BBC permission to use it for the purposes specified above
  • Copyright in your composition will remain with you after the premiere and the aforementioned permission is non-exclusive. You can continue to use the material in any way you wish, and you can also permit others to use the material.
  • All entries, including composers’ details, may be used in publicity campaigns post award. Photographs of winning entries may also be used in publicity campaigns.
  • The shortlisted entrants must agree to take part in any post-award publicity if required.
  • Any competitor under the age of 18 who attends a workshop or public performance must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • The shortlisted entrants may be filmed and/or interviewed and will be required to assign to the BBC/NCEM/The Tallis Scholars, the copyright and other rights for all purposes (including use in all media now known or which may hereafter become known) in their contribution for broadcast for the full period of copyright and any extensions, revivals or renewals thereof.
  • The shortlisted entrants will grant the BBC/NCEM/The Tallis Scholars, the unlimited right to edit, copy, add to, take from, adapt or translate their contributions for broadcast or performance. The entrants also waive irrevocably any “moral rights” they may have under the laws of any jurisdiction.
  • The shortlisted entrants will grant the NCEM/The Tallis Scholars, the right to perform the piece after the premiere.
  • Contributions cover all contributions made by the shortlisted entrants in connection with the production of any BBC programme including, but not limited to, their performance (including rehearsals) and spoken, written and artistic materials (including audio and video recordings thereof).
  • The NCEM reserves the right to:
    1. cancel or adapt the award
    2. vary or change the prizes
    3. disqualify any entrant who breaches the rules or who commits a fraud, at any stage, if in their opinion it is deemed necessary or if circumstances arise outside its control.
  • In so far as it applies, the programme accords with the BBC's Code of Conduct for Competitions and Voting, details of which can be found on the BBC's Standards and Guidelines website: www.bbc.com/editorialguidelines/guidance/code-of-conduct
  • The promoter of the award is the National Centre for Early Music and is subject to the law of England and Wales.
  • Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and agree to be bound by them by entering the award.
  • The NCEM Young Composers Award is intended as an educational project and preference will be given to those who have not yet embarked on a professional career.

General Information

  • Composers interested in entering this award should email the Music Administrator of the NCEM at register.composers@ncem.co.uk to register their interest by 5.00pm on Friday 21 February 2020.
  • Following registration, two named hard copies of the score should be sent by post along with an application form to the NCEM to arrive no later than 5.00pm on Friday 20 March 2020. Digital files will not be accepted. Applications should be addressed to: The Music Administrator, National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. The scores should be in A4 format and ideally produced using computerised publishing software.
  • All entrants will be informed by 5.00pm on Friday 17 April 2020 whether or not their pieces have been shortlisted for performance at the NCEM.
  • All shortlisted candidates will be expected to attend a full day workshop and evening performance at the NCEM on Thursday 14 May 2020. The workshop will be led by composer Christopher Fox and the Ebor Singers directed by Paul Gameson.
  • At 7.00pm on Thursday 14 May 2020 the shortlisted pieces will be performed in the presence of a panel of judges and an invited audience. The c will be livestreamed on the internet. The winning piece(s) will be announced that evening.
  • The winning piece(s) will be performed by The Tallis Scholars in a public concert at Cadogan Hall, London on 24 September 2020. BBC Radio 3 will record the concert for future broadcast. Each finalist will be awarded tickets to the concert for themselves and up to two members of their family/friends and their names and educational institutions (if appropriate) will be listed in the programme.
  • The finalists must be prepared to work with the NCEM and its partners to raise the profile for this award. This will include consent to be photographed and filmed during the process and to supply information for press materials and conduct radio and television interviews if requested. The publicity materials gathered will be used by the NCEM and its partners on their websites and in general publicity material. It is understood that the NCEM and its partners have the right to perform, record and broadcast the winning piece(s) subject to the usual Performing Rights contractual arrangements.
  • It is recommended that all interested candidates listen to recordings of The Tallis Scholars.
  • Application forms can be accessed via the National Centre for Early Music website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2020

Privacy Notice

  • The personal data you provide will be processed by the NCEM in accordance with the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, for the purposes of administering the award.
  • For further information about how NCEM processes your personal information including your rights under data protection law, please see the NCEM’s Privacy Policy at http://www.ncem.co.uk/privacy.
  • The personal data of all entrants will be passed to the BBC for the purposes of judging the award and recording of the winners’ scores. After the award, the BBC will destroy all personal data except that of the winners, which will be retained for a period of 2 years for regulatory purposes and also kept in the programme records.
  • When your personal information is passed to the BBC, the BBC is a separate controller of your personal information. That means the BBC is responsible for your personal information when it is passed to the BBC. The BBC has a legitimate interest to process your personal information for the purpose of administering the competition. We have considered the impact of our processing on you and we are satisfied that the personal information that is provided to the BBC is limited and is necessary to review the applications and conduct the competition.
  • For further information about how the BBC processes your personal information, your rights under data protection law and the contact details of the BBC’s Data Protection Officer, please see the BBC’s Privacy Policy at http://www.bbc.co.uk/usingthebbc/privacy/privacy-policy

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