The Breakfast Christmas Carol Competition is returning to BBC Radio 3 this festive season.
This year, the station is asking music lovers and amateur composers to write a tune setting the words of Victorian poet Christina Rossetti’s Love Came Down At Christmas.
As in 2020, the competition encourages submissions in all musical styles, from gospel to pop; jazz to folk; and beyond – delivered as notated scores or mobile phone-generated voice recordings.
Any music lover aged 16 + is able to enter, and all judging is done on the merits of the tunes alone, with the panel given no information about the composers.
In charge of shortlisting the initial entries is a judging panel which includes The Kingdom Choir founder, conductor and workshop leader Karen Gibson; Church of England parish priest, musician, journalist, and radio presenter Reverend Richard Coles; jazz singer and broadcaster Jumoké Fashola; and BBC Sport commentator and choral music lover Alison Mitchell.
It is chaired by organist, conductor and broadcaster Anna Lapwood, currently serving as Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3 and classical music says: “It is with great pleasure that we launch the 2021 Breakfast Carol Competition and hope that many listeners will accept our challenge to create a new melody for Rosetti’s beautiful seasonal words.
“We had more entries than ever in 2020 from a wide range of people all over the country. We hope that even more will be inspired to dedicate time and inspiration to creating tunes and sharing them with us this year.”
Carol Competition 2021 timeline
Monday 6 September – Radio 3 launches 2021 competition and calls for entries
Tuesday 2 November – entries close
Wednesday 15 December – announcement of 6 shortlisted pieces on Breakfast – voting opens
Tuesday 21 December – voting closes
Wednesday 22 December – Carol Competition 2021 Winner announced on Breakfast