2014 Composer's Competition: the results

A record of 40 compositions were received from 31 composers (also a record) from right across the UK. The quality of entries was very high. 

At a presentation evening, kindly sponsored by Truro and Penwith College, Dr. Alan Bullard the competition adjudicator spent time with composers able to be present and gave the invited audience of patrons and Festival sponsors some insights into his reasons for selecting Ian Assersohn's "Crossing the Bar" as the winning piece. Commenting on the composition, Dr. Bullard said, ".. this is an effective and moving work which represents the best of the male voice tradition, with shapely melodic lines, a sense of musical climax, and traditional but effective harmonic control. It will appeal to both performers and audience."

The full results are as follows:

The winner: Ian Assersohn from Surrey whose male voice piece "Crossing the Bar" won the competition. Ian is Musical Director of Epsom Male Voice Choir. The choir will be singing the world première of "Crossing the Bar" in Truro Cathedral in the Festival Opening International Gala Concert on Thursday 30th April 2015.

"Crossing the Bar" is now published and available for purchase from Alan Simmons Music (see link below).

  Four pieces were also commended: 

  •     Janet Wheeler's "Sea Fever" (for Cambiata choir)
  •     Lorraine Forsdick's "When You're Rocking" (for Cambiata choir);
  •     Henry Howard's "Lullaby" (for traditional male voice choir);
  •     Alan Smith's "That I Ever Saw" (for traditional male voice choir);

"Crossing the Bar", a much-loved poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson provided the inspiration for the winning piece. The Composers’ Composition is one of the major precursors to the biennial Festival and is the only composition competition in the country with no age limit for composers.

Surrey-based Ian, who studied composition and piano at the Royal College of Music before embarking on a 25 year career as a senior IT director, recently came back to music. Ian, also the Musical Director Leatherhead Choral Society and Concordia Singers, was presented with a silver cup and a cheque for £1000 by joint president of the Festival, Michael Galsworthy. As the evening closed he declared, “Returning to music has been a very positive and successful career move for me.”

The competition is now closed. The next competition will be organised in 2016. Details will appear in all major music magazines, choir and specialist websites along with this website. Conditions of entry will be published in due course. Entries should not be submitted until the next competition is declared open.

To purchase "Crossing the Bar", order direct from Alan Simmons Music (external website)