BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast show has announced the launch of its 2014 Christmas Carol Competition.


Listeners have been asked to set the text of a specially commissioned poem by Susan Hill in a carol of any style for SATB choir, either a cappella or with piano accompaniment.

Hill’s text, which can be found here on the Radio 3 website, takes us to the scene of the stable on Christmas Eve where all manor of birds and beasts hear the message of Jesus's birth and travel to see if it’s true.

Six carols will be shortlisted by a panel of judges to be performed by the BBC Singers, celebrating its 90th birthday this year, on the Breakfast Show on Tuesday 16 December. The panel will include the Master of the Queen’s Music and associate composer with the BBC Singers, Judith Weir, and chief conductor of the BBC Singers, David Hill.

The judges will be assessing the entries on their originality, creativity, suitability for choir, word setting and appropriate technical ability.

After the judges's verdicts, Radio 3 listeners will be asked to vote for their favorite carol. The winning carol will be performed live on Breakfast on Tuesday 23 December and played on BBC Radio 3 on Christmas Day.

Entry forms and terms and conditions can be found at Click here to download Susan Hill's text. The closing date for entries is Monday 10 November.


David Quinn