Nevis Carol Competition

In the same season as BBC Radio3 has dumbed-down its annual carol-composition competition to a simple melody-line task (“you can just sing it into your phone” as presenters have been encouraged to exhort listeners), Scotland’s path-making Nevis Ensemble has announced its own two-strand commissioning initiative for new songs that will be broadcast over the festive period.

The first is open to young composers under the age of 18 living in Scotland and the selected young person will be mentored by top Scots composer Stuart MacRae to write a new work setting a text in Scots. The results of that will be seen on Christmas Day.

The second is open to submissions of an existing score by composers anywhere in the world, with the winner receiving a £1000 commission to set a new Scots text for voice and orchestra, which will be recorded by mezzo Andrea Baker and the Nevis Ensemble.

Baker has just been named as the orchestra’s second Ambassador, alongside trumpeter John Wallace. She toured to 20 community venues with the Ensemble in December 2019, an experience which she says “brought me back to why I became a singer, the capacity of live music to bring people together through a shared experience”.

Full details on how to apply for the carol competitions are on the Nevis Ensemble website, and the closing date for entries is Tuesday November 10.

Image: Andrea Baker © John Need