A Summer Psalm

Do you write songs? Would you like to enter a little competition and win big?

The prize fund for this competition is fame, adulation, the respect of your peers, and £100. Open to anyone from anywhere, with a limit of one entry per person.

The competition

The task is simple – write and submit a song based on or inspired by text from the Psalms. The book of Psalms is in the Old Testament of the Bible, and forms the basis for many traditional hymns and modern Christian songs.

I am running a short competition to encourage composers to dust off their pencils and rulers, remind themselves how to use Sibelius, and have a go at writing for soloists, choir, or any combination of the two with or without accompaniment.

Writing and Submitting the work

The song should be suitable for enthusiastic amateurs, and you have until midnight Saturday 4th July to submit it. You can use the buttons below to review the rules, or to e-mail me if you have any questions. Once you have a single pdf file with your score and contact details (in accordance with the RULES, which I suggest you read before starting), hit the green button below to submit your entry. Submission of an entry will be taken as confirmation that you have read the rules and agree to abide by them.

Once you have submitted your file, you need to wait until Monday 13th July, when the winner will be announced here. Good luck to everyone.

The Prize

Honestly, I’m putting up a nominal cash prize but the challenge and the joy of writing are the main things here. I want to see some brilliant work from people who enjoy writing.

If your piece wins there may be interest from people who want to perform it, commission songs from you, or whatever but that’s entirely down to how much publicity you want and whether you choose to engage.

This is a fun little competition and it’s about the process as much as the winnings.


  • Who is on the judging panel?
    • Me, and a select bunch of suitable friends as soon as I’ve worked out how many entries we have to go through. If you want to enter, you can’t judge. If you want to judge, you can’t enter.
  • Who is running this competition?
    • Me. I recently entered a composition competition (and didn’t win, obviously) and the experience was so enjoyable I reckoned I could run one myself and share that joy with others.
  • What is the entrance fee?
    • Nothing. You are restricted to one entry per person, but there is no cost to enter. We are doing this for the love of good music.
  • Will you perform or record my piece?
    • I don’t know. Give us something we really love and I may enter negotiations to perform it. If you don’t want us to, that’s fine. The music is your property and you have creative control.
  • Will you own the winning piece of music?
    • No. This is a competition to sift through excellent music in search of a piece that really inspires and excites the judges.
  • What are your judging criteria? Do we receive feedback?
    • It’s not an exam. Mostly it will come down to experience, preference, how difficult your piece might be to sing (or not), your selection and setting of the text, texture, range, dynamics, and everything else that makes up a song. We will try to give constructive feedback on request, and everyone will get something back from us outlining how we found your piece.

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