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23 • 07 • 23

ORA Singers Young Composers' Showcase 2023

ORA Singers saw their 2023 Young Composers' programme come to a close with the Showcase Concert in Gloucester Cathedral on 23rd July.


2023 marked the fourth instalment of this scheme since its inception in 2019. 

Each year, the ORA Singers welcomes 50 students from non fee-paying schools who receive first class training in choral composition via two strands: Young Composers and Apprentices.

10 Young Composers are selected who receive the flagship package of one-to-one mentoring with professional composers, who develop their skills whilst helping them write a brand new piece for ORA. In addition, 40 Apprentices are enrolled onto an online series of composition workshops led by composer, Rory Wainwright Johnston. 

In May, the Young Composers were invited to a workshop where they were given a talk on Western Choral Composition and had the chance to workshop their ideas and sketches with 8 of our singers and ORA-commissioned composer, Oliver Tarney.

Find out more about the Young Composers' programme

ORA Singers was pleased to partner with the Three Choirs Festival who hosted the Showcase Concert in the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral on 23rd July. The Showcase Concert saw ORA Singers perform and record the 10 Young Composers' newly-written works in front of an audience and a panel of industry experts. 

The 10 Young Composers and their pieces were:

Rich Mandal, Year 12, Denbigh School, Milton Keynes

Choral Fantasia on Weelkes - O Jonathan, woe is me

Hannah Lam, Year 13, Westcliff High School for Girls, Essex

O Jonathan

Tristan Ng, Year 11, Bourne Grammar School, Lincolnshire

David's Grief

Jack Brierley, Year 11, St. Aidan's Church of England High School, Harrogate

Sharp North, Declining West

Joshua Laye-Sion, Year 11, Christ's School Richmond, London


Cara Wilkins, Year 10, St Philomenas Catholic High School for Girls, London


Holly Bacon, Year 12, Kendrick School, Reading

Celebratio Dei

Advaith Jagannath, Year 11, Tiffin School, London

Laudibus in sanctis

Emerald Light, Year 12, Silverdale School, Sheffield


Bella Blood, Year 12, York College, York

A Sailor's Lullaby

The Adjudication Panel was Chaired by the world-renowned composer, Bob Chilcott, and featured Emily Pedersen (previous Winner of the Young Composers' scheme), Dominique Le Gendre (ORA-commissioned composer), and Gavin Higgins (composer). The Panel chose the Winner and Runner-Up, with an Audience Vote for the recipient of the Audience Prize. 

The prize-winners were: 


Hannah Lam 

Year 13, Westcliff High School for Girls, Essex


Joshua Laye-Sion

Year 11, Christ's School Richmond, London


Bella Blood

Year 12, York College, York 


Bob Chilcott, Chair of the Adjudication Panel, commented:

“ORA Singers' Young Composers Showcase is a really unique project that shows what a wealth of

composing talent there is in our state school system. It gives the special opportunity for these young

composers to be nurtured, mentored and encouraged. It's absolutely brilliant.”

A 2023 Young Composer commented:

"Having a premiere performance at such a prestigious venue and festival is so unique [...] it

provided me with an extrinsic source of motivation. Furthermore, having a large audience, 

including an all-star judging panel of prominent composers, was so encouraging as a young



The Young Composers' Showcase Concert is available to watch for free on the ORA Singers YouTube channel:

WATCH: ORA Singers Young Composers' Showcase Concert 2023

The 2023 Young Composers' Programme has been generously supported by:

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