The following summarises the rules and other information relevant to the Walter Hussey Composition Competition. If you have any questions that are not answered below then please contact us and we will get back to you asap.

The Competition

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over, from anywhere in the world. There is no fee to enter.

A maximum of two entries can be made per composer or collaboration of multiple composers.

The composer(s) of the winning piece will be awarded £750 in prize money (to be shared between them if necessary).

The Composition

The piece submitted should be inspired by the theme of ‘Gold’ to reflect the upcoming 50th anniversary of Reading Phoenix Choir.

The format of the piece should be for a 50-strong mixed voice choir, and should therefore be somewhere from SATB to SSAATTBB. Composers may include solo lines if desired.

The piece should be able to be performed a cappella and from memory and should therefore be approximately 3 minutes long.

The piece can be in any language, but if not English then a translation should be provided along with a pronunciation guide if necessary.

The piece must be original and must not have been previously performed or published, and not be part of an existing work.

If the text used in the composition is not in the public domain, and the composer is not the author and copyright holder of the text, it is the responsibility of the composer to obtain permission from the copyright holder to use the text before they submit their application.

The piece should be submitted as an electronic score along with a digital music file that can be played as part of the judging process e.g. a pdf and associated mp3 file.


Entries should be received by no later than 1st July 2018.

The adjudication panel will choose a long list of entries by mid September 2018 and a shortlist by early November 2018. The winner is expected to be chosen by 1st December 2018.

Prize Giving and Performances

The competition winner will be announced to the general public at Reading Phoenix Choir’s Annual Concert at Reading Concert Hall on 9th March 2019.

At this point, the winning composer will be presented with their cheque by Kerry Andrew and the world premiere of their piece will be performed. The winner will be informed well in advance to give them the chance to make arrangements to be there.

The London premiere of the winning piece will take place at Reading Phoenix Choir’s concert at Swiss Church, Covent Garden, later in 2019.

Additional Rules

Reading Phoenix Choir reserve the right to perform and record any of the pieces submitted at any time, including giving the world premiere of the winning piece.

Reading Phoenix Choir reserve the right to use the entries in any way they see fit in order to promote both the choir and the competition.

No claims can be made regarding the result. The judges’ decision will be final and binding.


To find out how to submit your entry, please sign up to our mailing list below and you will be sent details.

Entry to the competition implies acceptance of these rules.

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