RSCM Annual Composition Competition in Memory of Dr Harold Smart
The 2012 Harold Smart composition competition celebrates the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP).
Composers must select and set text from the Book of Common Prayer, excluding the Book of Psalms, The Lord’s Prayer the three Office Gospel Canticles (Magnificat [Luke 1:46-55], Nunc Dimittis [Luke 2:29-32], Benedictus [Luke 1:68-79]), The Morning Canticles (Te Deum and Benedicite, Omnia Opera), and the usual sung elements of the communion service such as Kyrie, Gloria etc. Any submitted settings of these texts will be disqualified. The text set must be printed in full within the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Please note this paragraph has been updated since first publication.
The setting should be an anthem or song for up to four vocal parts (SATB) and keyboard, suitable for use in worship. This should be composed with non-professional, less experienced, performers in mind, and be adaptable to whatever resources might be available, for example, optional instruments. Duration must not exceed four minutes.
How to enter
Entries should be submitted either (a) as a pdf file by email to press(at)rscm.com, or (b) as a hard copy by post to RSCM Dr Harold Smart Composition Competition, Royal School of Church Music, 19 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EB, UK.
Please complete the entry form below, and submit it with your entry. This form will not be seen by the adjudicators. Do not put your name on the manuscript.
Competitors who wish to have their manuscripts returned should supply a stamped addressed envelope of suitable size.
The closing date for submission of entries is 30 September 2012.
The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £100.
The adjudicators will include composer Malcolm Archer and Tim Ruffer, Head of Publishing at the RSCM.
Terms and Conditions
- Each composer may submit only one entry.
- Manuscripts should not bear the name of the composer.
- The reference(s) of the text (ie from which part of BCP the text has been taken) must be included on the submitted work.
- The work must be original and solely the work of the composer.
- The work should not have been previously published, or performed, or awarded any other prize.
- The Judges will be looking for entries that, in their view, demonstrate the most creative and impressive balance between musical imagination in the setting of the words and appropriateness to use in worship.
- Prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges, whose decision is final.
- No correspondence relating to the judges’ decisions will be entered into.
- The panel reserves the right to withhold the prizes.
If you have any further questions please contact the Publications Department at press(at)rscm.com or +44(0)1722 424845.
The 2011 competition was won by Mr David Manners. His setting of a text by Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith is called Llangarron, and was chosen from a record field of entries. The competition was sponsored by Hymns Ancient & Modern in 2011, to celebrate their 150th anniversary.
In an interview Bishop Timothy talked about his new hymn text for this competition, and what he considers makes the perfect marriage between words and music.
Details of the 2012 Dr Harold Smart Competition will be available here in June 2012, and in the June edition of Church Music Quarterly.
2010 competition - The King James Bible Composition Awards
In 2010, instead of the Dr Harold Smart Competition, the RSCM worked with The King James Bible Trust and the Royal College of Music in 'The King James Bible Composition Awards', as part of the Trust's celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
The Finals were held at Temple Church in London on Tuesday 17th May 2011, and the winning works were featured on Aled Jones’ programme The Choir on BBC Radio.
The winner of Category A (a composition for non-professional choirs) was CHRISTOPHER TOTNEY; Chris is Assistant Director of Music at Dauntsey’s School and Organist and Choirmaster at St John’s Church, Devizes. His composition The Mystery of Christ set texts from the books of Isaiah, Revelation and Colossians, and has been published by the RSCM along with anthems by the three other finalists in this category.
The winner of Category B (for an experienced choir) was an American prizewinning composer ZACHARY WADSWORTH. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, he is currently pursuing a DMA in music composition at Cornell University. A native of Richmond Virginia, he currently lives in Calgary, Alberta. His anthem Out of the South Cometh the Whirlwind set a number of verses from the Book of Job. It was sung during the service to celebrate the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey on 16 November 2011 and has been published by Novello.
The competition was the idea of the King James Bible Trust and was been made possible by the generous support of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey. The Royal College of Music and the Royal School of Church Music collaborated with the organisers to ensure a competition of the highest possible standard.