BBC Radio 3 has today unveiled a shortlist of six carols for its 2017 Breakfast Carol Competition. The six shortlisted compositions were performed live on the station’s Breakfast programme this morning by the BBC Singers, with voting now open for the winner to be decided by public vote.

Hundreds of amateur composers from across the nation have submitted entries to BBC Radio 3’s 2017 Breakfast Carol Competition. The contest challenged listeners to compose a brand new carol for SATB choir (a cappella or with piano accompaniment) set to the words of Sir Christemas, a text throught to have been written in the late 15th century.

The finalists are:
Martin Carling - Yorkshire
Dominic Carter - Devon
Martin Evans - London
David Hughes - Wolverhampton
Alec McGregor - Leicester
Bernard Trafford - Oxford

From today, listeners will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite composition. The winning carol, receiving the most votes, will be announced and performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast programme on Friday 22 December by the BBC Singers conducted by David Hill, and throughout Christmas Day on BBC Radio 3. Voting opens at 9am today (Friday 15 December), and closes at 5pm on Thursday 21 December. Further information on how vote can be found on the BBC Radio 3 website:

The BBC Singers and David Hill will also perform the six shortlisted carols in a public concert at BBC Maida Vale Studios on Monday 18 December at 1pm. Further information can be found here.

The competition was judged blind by an expert panel chaired by David Hill (former Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers), Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music and Associate Composer with the BBC Singers), Jonathan Manners (BBC Singers Producer), Margaret Cameron (an alto with BBC Singers) and Griselda Sherlaw-Johnson (Choral Promotion Manager with Oxford University Press).

Brian Jackson, Editor, BBC Radio 3 said: ‘The Breakfast Christmas Carol competition is an irreplaceable part of the festive season at Radio 3. Once again we’ve received an incredible volume of entries of an exceptionally high standard; a testament to creativity and talent amongst Radio 3’s listenership.’

David Hill, Former Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers and Chair of the Judging Panel said: ‘Each composer has brought a distinctive, personal quality and dimension to each of the settings of 'Sir Christemas'. Their melodies and use of rhythm are all very different and equally compelling. It really is a high standard and I am looking forward to performing them with the Singers in concert and on BBC Radio 3 and to hearing the reactions of both composers and audience.’


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