Cantata of St Dunstan – Composer Competition

The Composition

The Festival will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2020 and in celebration of this landmark we are commissioning the composition of a new choral work to be given its world premiere at the Festival, based around the story of St Dunstan, entitled Cantata of St Dunstan.

The Cantata will consist of five episodes (perhaps around eight minutes each) in St Dunstan’s life interspersed with a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis; and the Ordinary setting of the Mass excluding the Credo – ie Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus – Benedictus and Agnus Dei. The Kyrie (Rex Splendens Kyrie VII in Vatican Gradual) is attributed to St Dunstan and will open the Cantata.

Composers are invited to apply to enter a competition for the composition of the five episodes in his life. There is no restriction on who may apply. They will be able use up to 20 players (plus optional organ but no piano). For example 6.4.4.3.2. strings and timpani; or they could chose triple woodwind, brass quintet, electric guitar and two percussions; plus soloists and full choir. They will not be required to compose the liturgical movements.

If you wish to compete, in the first place, please submit three short MP3 extracts of no more than five minutes each, at least one of which should be choral. If recordings of live performances are not available then synthesised submissions will be acceptable. You should send them to Jonathan Jones at jonnie@mayfieldfestival.co.uk. Entries will be anonymised and passed on to the judging panel who will whittle the applicants to a shortlist of three. The three will then be given a small section of the cantata to compose (around five minutes). From those, the winner will be selected. Closing date for MP3 submissions is 31 July 2018.

The prize will be a fee of £2,500 and the world premiere of the cantata will be performed at the 2020 Mayfield Festival. There will also be other composition opportunities commissioned by the festival.