Six shortlisted compositions by amateur composers from across the UK have been announced as finalists in the BBC Radio 3’s 2017 Breakfast Carol Competition. They were performed this morning on Radio 3’s Breakfast programme by the BBC Singers. Participants were challenged to compose a new carol for SATB choir, either a capella or with piano accompaniment, set to the words of Sir Christèmas, a text written in the late 15th century.


‘Each composer has brought a distinctive, personal quality and dimension to each of the settings of Sir Christèmas,’ says panel-member and former Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers David Hill. ‘Their melodies and use of rhythm are all very different and equally compelling.’

Alongside David Hill on the judging panel was 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).

Voting is open now, and the winner will be announced and their piece performed on the Breakfast programme on Friday 22 December by the BBC Singers, conducted by David Hill. It will also be played throughout Christmas Day on Radio 3.

Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday 21 December. Cast your vote here.

The finalists are as follows:

Martin Carling, Yorkshire

Dominic Carter, Devon

Martin Evans, London

David Hughes, Wolverhampton

Alec McGregor, Leicester


Bernard Trafford, Oxford


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.