The John Sanders Memorial Competition for Young Composers

In order to encourage the composition of music suitable for the liturgy, The Sanders Society will develop a biennial competition for young composers under the age of 30 years. The winning composition, a choral work of up to 6 minutes in length for SATB choir suitable for performance within a cathedral setting, will – if of sufficiently high quality – receive a first performance by Gloucester Cathedral Choir.

In addition the winning composer will receive an award of £1000.

The next competition is expected to take place in 2020.


2018 Result

Although the Adjudicators of the 2018 John Sanders Memorial Competition for Young Composers enjoyed looking in detail at the submitted compositions, they were unfortunately unable to select a suitable 2018 Competition Winner. The Adjudicators have provided a full written explanation of their decision including some extensive guidance for entrants in composing choral music.

Judges: Dr Christopher Robinson, Bob Chilcott, Adrian Partington, Timothy Rogers.


2016 Result

We are delighted to announce that Joshua Pacey of Clare College, Cambridge is the winner of the John Sanders Memorial Competition for Young Composers 2016, with a setting of a 13th Century text Mary's Lullaby.

Judges: Dr Christopher Robinson, Bob Chilcott, Adrian Partington, Timothy Rogers.


2015 Result

It is with great regret that the judging panel have decided that the entries were not of sufficiently high quality to merit an award this year.


2013 Result

We are delighted to announce that from a very wide international field, William Cole of Clare College Cambridge is the winner of the John Sanders Memorial Competition for Young Composers 2013, with an unaccompanied setting of Let all mortal flesh keep silence.

Judges: Bob Chilcott, Adrian Partington, Dr Christopher Robinson, Timothy Rogers.


2011 Result

The 2011 John Sanders Memorial Prize for Composition was not awarded after the judges decided that there was not a single composition which merited this valuable award.


2009 Result

The 2009 John Sanders Memorial Prize for Composition was awarded to Graham Ross for his a capella setting of "I sing of a Maiden". This work has subsequently received many performances, and we are excited to hear that Graham has received a number of new commissions since the award. Graham has also been appointed Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge from September 2010.

The Sanders Society