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Joint Winner of RSCM Harold Smart Composition Competition 2022!

Chris Artley has been declared joint winner of the Royal School of Music (RSCM) Harold Smart Composition Competition 2022! Their press release is as follows: The Royal School of Church Music’s (RSCM) annual composition competition, was established in 1988 to encourage the composition of simple anthems, has selected two winners this year. The winning anthems will feature as the Music Sunday anthems for 2023.

The two winners of the competition are Anthony Gray, Director of Music of St Wilfrid’s Church, Harrogate, and Chris Artley, one of New Zealand’s leading writers of choral music.

Hugh Morris, chair of the judges, and Director of the RSCM, commented on the unusual decision to award 1st price to two composers “These two settings of the anthem text were outstanding, but in very different styles, making it difficult to choose between them. We decided, therefore, to award the first prize to both Anthony and Chris. This will give those choirs celebrating Music Sunday 2023 a choice of anthem, depending on their preferences.”

This year, the text was commissioned from the Revd Canon Dr Gordon Giles, Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral, and a regular contributor to both Church Music Quarterly (CMQ) and Sunday by Sunday magazines. The words were designed to be particularly suitable for RSCM Music Sunday, which will be held on 11 June 2023. The winning anthems will be performed by choirs across the country and beyond.

The panel of judges included best-selling RSCM composer, Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, former Director of Music of York Minster and eminent composer Philip Moore, and the RSCM’s Head of Publications, Tim Ruffer.

The two anthems will be available from the RSCM’s web shop early in the New Year.


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O Magnum Mysterium by Chris Artley - all parts sung by American tenor, Matt Curtis.
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