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The Peter Tranchell Foundation Composition Prize


In 2022, the Centenary year of his birth, the Peter Tranchell Foundation held a composition competition for organ, inviting composers to take their inspiration from Tranchell's Sonata for Organ, musical encodings of his name, the Tu Es Petrus melody, and any aspect of Tranchell's life and music. The competition resulted in eight short-listed submissions all of which impressed the Judging Panel, with three prizes awarded. The winning composition, 'Five Portraits of Peter' by Sarah Cattley, and the second-placed work, 'Partita Petrus' by Robert Fielding, were performed by Kevin Bowyer at the Peter Tranchell Centenary Concert on 26 November 2022. Many of those present commented on the quality of the winning entries and on the success of the competition in promoting appreciation of Peter Tranchell’s work and supporting contemporary composers.  

Following this success, we have committed to awarding a Peter Tranchell Foundation Composition Prize in 2023, and thereafter on an annual basis. This initiative is being made possible through the generous support of subscribers and donors (find out how to support the Composition Prize here).

The 2023 Prize

In 2023, composers are invited to submit a composition for choir and organ, suitable for performance by a good church choir in an Advent Carol Service. See below for the detailed brief.


Anyone is eligible, including established composers and regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion, sexuality, politics or any other criteria.

Judging Panel

The judging panel comprises acclaimed choral composers and directors: David Hill (Chair), Matthew Martin, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Jonathan Wikeley, Martin Neary, and last year's winner Sarah Cattley.

The panel's decision will be made in early September 2023 and cannot be contested.


The winning composer will receive:

  • £500
  • A world première performance by an established Cathedral/Chapel/Church choir (to be announced, and subject to the Foundation finalising the necessary agreement with a suitable choir).
  • Complimentary attendance at reception and prize-giving, plus expenses for travel (2nd class rail) within the UK.
  • Invitation to be a member of the judging panel in the subsequent competition.
  • Publication and promotion of the work by the Peter Tranchell Foundation.

2nd and 3rd prizes may be awarded at the judges' discretion, with commensurate value. The Peter Tranchell Foundation reserves the right not to award any prizes if no entries of sufficient quality are received. 


  • Composers may submit only one work.
  • The work should not have been previously performed in public, or any recording released, prior to submission.
  • The work should not comprise or include material generated by 'AI' (artificial intelligence).
  • Duration: maximum 4 minutes.
  • The composer must ensure that any text used is in the public domain, or that permissions to publish, perform and record the work can be obtained.
  • The composer grants the Peter Tranchell Foundation a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish, perform and record the work.
  • In any performances, publications and recordings of the work that do not directly involve the Peter Tranchell Foundation, the composer shall acknowledge that the work was composed for the Peter Tranchell Foundation Composition Prize 2023.
  • The winning composer is expected to attend the performance and reception. Composers do not have to attend to be eligible for the award, but we do encourage participation in the event. 

The Brief

The work should be suitable for performance in an Advent Carol Service by an SATB church choir with organ accompaniment. Some divisi in the choir parts, and use of solo and/or semi-chorus, is permitted.

The work should be no longer than 4 minutes in duration.

We would like composers to draw inspiration from the following:

  • Peter Tranchell's Advent Carol 'People, look East' - while noting that this specific text should not be used;
  • Advent poems and Bible verses;
  • any aspect of Peter Tranchell’s music or life.


Entries are to be submitted as follows:

By email to

  1. a PDF score suitable for printing on A4 paper. NB the name of the composer or other identifying information must not appear on the score.
  2. a biography of the composer, including the composer's full name (no more than 500 words) as Word or PDF document.
  3. an account of the uses of the themes in the Brief (no more than 500 words) in a Word or PDF document. NB the name of the composer or other identifying information must not appear on this document.
  4. if possible, MusicXML of the score.
  5. A scan or photo of the printed, completed and signed registration form. Alternatively, the printed, completed and signed form may be posted to The Peter Tranchell Composition Competition, c/o 1 Fronwen Terrace, Cradoc Road, Brecon, LD3 9HB

Submissions will be forwarded to members of the judging panel anonymously.

All items must be received by 23:59 on Friday 1st September 2023.