Leeds Philharmonic Christmas Carol Competition – Winner Announced

We held our first Phil Christmas Carol Competition during the autumn of 2017 as part of our charities aim to promote awareness of the beauty and benefits of choral singing.  

A cash prize of £750.00 together with publication of the winning carol by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) meant that the competition attracted 110 high quality entrants from around the world.  While 75 of the entries came from the UK, there were also 15 from the US and Canada, 3 from Australia, 3 from Italy and also submissions from Taiwan, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore and Lithuania.  We have been blown away by the fully worldwide response and overall quality of the entries submitted.

The competition was judged by Richard Wilberforce, Simon Lindley and David Hill (Music Director) of the Leeds Phil, and Tim Ruffer (RSCM).

We are pleased to announce that the winning Carol is “Christmas Bells“, which was submitted by Christopher Artley, from New Zealand.

Although the winning entry came from New Zealand, Chris is a Leeds lad, born here in 1963, moving and going to Barrowcliffe School in Scarborough and then moving again and going to Cannon Slade School, Bolton.  As a Bristol University music graduate, he has spent 30 years teaching music in schools in the United Kingdom and New Zealand where he is now resident, and teaches at King’s College, Auckland.   Over the last ten years he has become a multi award-winning composer.

We also wish to announce two special commendations from the judges for :

 “Mater Dei” written by Paul Freehan, from Harrogate.

“The First Nowell” written by Daniel Soper, from Bury St Edmunds. 

Christmas Bells” will be premiered at this year’s Lord Mayors Carol Concerts on the 14th December at Leeds Town Hall.  Do come along and hear it.