bbc_radio_3Listeners and budding composers nationwide are now invited to submit their entries for BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast Carol Competition 2015.

The competition challenges amateur composers to write a choral setting for new poem Comes The Light, commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and written by leading poet, broadcaster and author Roger McGough.

The six shortlisted carols will be performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast in the lead up to Christmas by the BBC Singers, directed by Chief Conductor David Hill. The winner will be decided by public vote, as listeners will be able to listen and download each of the shortlisted carols and to vote for their favourite via the Radio 3 website.

The winning carol will be performed live on Radio 3’s Breakfast on Tuesday 23 December, and played throughout Christmas Day on Radio 3.

To get to the shortlist, all entries will be judged by an expert panel chaired by David Hill, Chief Conductor, BBC Singers, including Jamie W Hall, (bass with the BBC Singers), Griselda Sherlaw-Johnson of Oxford University Press, and Michael Emery (Lead Producer, BBC Singers). Master of the Queen’s Music and Associate Composer of the BBC Singers Judith Weir also joins the panel for the second year running. Last year’s winning entry by Jacqueline Burley set the winning composition to a poem Can It Be True? by Susan Hill.

The deadline is 3 November 2015. The music should be for SATB choir, with or without a piano accompaniment.

Comes the Light
by Roger Mcgough

Follow the star’s beckoning light
Break the silence of the night
Gently open the cattle-shed door
See the baby lying in straw
Sing out for the mother and the child she bore
Sing out for the mother and the child she bore.

Sing out for the earth, its health and renewal
Its wealth universal, equally shared
Through winter’s darkness, bleak and cruel
Comes the light, sing out and be heard.

Sing out…
For those with faith and those without
For those who hope and those who doubt
For those who mock, lay waste and fight
For those who would put out the light
Sing out…

Follow the shepherds’ marvelling gaze
Echo their wonder, join in their praise
Annus mirabilis, who can ignore
A miracle like this with love at its core
Sing out for the mother and the child she bore
Sing out for the mother and the child she bore.

Sing out for the earth, its health and renewal
For the birth of our saviour, the Jesus boy
Through winter’s darkness, bleak and cruel
Comes the light, sing out for joy.

For information on how to enter please visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio3