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Chiswick Choir launches the Robin Johnson Choral Composition Prize “On the Water”

Chiswick Choir is delighted to announce a composition competition to be adjudicated by Cecilia McDowall and Stephen Jackson. The competition is funded by a legacy from Robin Johnson, a long standing member of Chiswick Choir.

competition details

Prizes: 1st prize: £1,000 (~1200 USD), 2nd prize: £500 (~600 USD)

Brief: A choral piece for mixed choir, accompanied by piano or organ. Some divisi is acceptable.

Duration: 4 to 5 minutes

Text: Composers may choose their own text, which may be sacred or secular in content. This must be non-copyright and in the public domain. Robin had connections with the sea, sailing and the river Thames throughout his life, so we have chosen the theme “On the Water”.

Performance: The performance will be on Saturday, July 3, 2021 at 7:30pm at St Nicholas Church in Chiswick, UK and will be presented by the Chiswick Choir, conducted by Hilary Campbell and accompanied by Ben Lewis-Smith on organ or piano.

Deadline: Monday 22nd March 2021. Entries received after this date will not be considered.

Full details about how to enter for the Robin Johnson Composition Prize are below, and any enquiries about the competition should be sent to We look forward to receiving your entries.


Works should be accompanied by piano or organ.

Compositions must be submitted anonymously, under a pseudonym. The composer’s real name must not appear anywhere on the score.

An electronic copy (in PDF format) of the score and a midi file or mp3 must be emailed to

Please ensure that the composer’s real name does not appear on these files, but instead are labelled with the same pseudonym as on the hard copies.

On receipt of the electronic copy, we will inform candidates of the postal address to send the hard copies.

Candidates should submit two bound, double sided hard copies of the score, computer typeset (handwritten copies are not acceptable). The entry must be accompanied by a separate, sealed envelope containing the following information: the name of the work, the composer’s name, address, telephone number, email address, nationality. and a signature indicating that he/she agrees to abide by the competition rules. The envelope should also contain a CV or biography of the composer.

Selection process

A shortlist of up to six entrants will be chosen and notified no later than Monday 12th April 2021. We hope that shortlisted entrants will attend the concert on Saturday 3rd July 2021, when the shortlisted pieces will be premiered in front of an audience and a panel of judges. The judges will select and announce the winners at the end of the concert and will award prizes.

The judges’ selection of the winners is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Text Copyright and Permissions

It is the candidate’s own responsibility to ensure that the text they have set is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright conditions. Failure to do so will disqualify the entry concerned.

Copyright in your composition will remain with you after the premiere and the aforementioned permission is non-exclusive. You can continue to use the material in any way you wish and you can also permit others to use the material.

All entries, including composers’ details, may be used in publicity campaigns post competition. Photographs of winning entries may also be used in publicity campaigns.

The shortlisted entrants agree to take part in any post-competition publicity if required.

General Competition Rules

By submitting your composition you grant to Chiswick Choir, free of charge, permission to use the material in any way they wish. In order that Chiswick Choir can use your composition you must confirm that:

  • It is your own original work
  • It has not previously been performed or published
  • It does not infringe any UK laws
  • You have the right to give Chiswick Choir permission to use it for the purposes specified above.

All candidates submitting entries must enclose a signed affirmation that the submitted composition is entirely their own original work and free from plagiarism of the work of others. This affirmation should also state that the text set in the submission is in the public domain and copyright free. The candidates themselves are liable if either of these assertions turns out to be untrue.

Chiswick Choir reserves the right to alter the competition rules due to unforeseen circumstances.

Any competitor under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The adjudicators’ decision is final.

Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and agree to be bound by them by entering the competition.

Any queries about the competition should be sent to


Publicity starts: November 2020

Publication of rules: November 2020

Submission deadline: Monday 22nd March 2021 – 3 weeks before shortlist announced

Notification of shortlist: Monday 12th April 2021 – 1 week before rehearsals start

Rehearsals start: Tuesday 20th April 2021

Concert date: Saturday 3rd July 2021