Florence Lockheart, Classical Music

The competition honours past choir member Stella Jockel, who bequeathed the funds which made the competition possible.

South Yorkshire choir, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, has launched the inaugural Stella Jockel Young Composer Competition. The choir invites Sheffield composers to submit a choral work to be premiered at the 10th anniversary Classical Sheffield Weekend Festival finale next year.

The winning composer will receive £1,500 and their submission will be premiered at Sheffield City Hall in March 2023. The competition also offers a second prize of £1,000 or third prize of £500. The event was made possible by funds left to the choir by Sheffield local and previous choir member, Stella Jockel.

Chorus chair Paul Henstridge said: ‘Stella Jockel was a Sheffield teacher and vicar’s wife who sang alto with the Chorus for many years. She bequeathed a generous legacy to the Chorus following her death in 2020, and we are delighted to be using part of it to fund this new competition.’

Applicants aged 18 to 35 and were born, lived or studied in Sheffield, are invited to submit a short unaccompanied work for a mixed choir in at least four parts. Submissions will be judged by University of Sheffield emeritus professor of composition, George Nicholson; who will lead a panel including music director of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Darius Battiwall; music director of Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, George Morton and music director of Hallam Choral Society, Clara Rundell.

Applicants will set Sheffield Nocturne, a text written by poet and chorus alto Katharine Towers, herself a previous winner of the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize who was also shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Talking about her commission, Towers said: ‘I’m utterly thrilled to have been given this opportunity. I’ve greatly enjoyed the challenge, and it’s been such an interesting experience to write something in the knowledge that music would be coming its way.’

Entries must be submitted before 31 December. You can find more information, including details of how to apply, at the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus website.

Read the article on the Classical Music website