Competition launched for new anthem to be composed for regional platinum jubilee celebration

A competition has been launched by organisers of the West Midlands Platinum Jubilee Festival 2022 to find a new anthem for the region’s Jubilee celebrations next year.

ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE

BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY

The search is on for young musicians aged 18-25 attending University of Birmingham, University of Wolverhampton or Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, to write a new piece of choral music, initially with piano accompaniment which will be set to a poem written especially for the occasion by Fatma Mohiuddin, Birmingham Young Poet Laureate.

Top submissions will go to an expert panel chaired by the Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir CBE. The winning composer will then be invited to write a full orchestral accompaniment under the close mentorship of Judith.

On Saturday 4th June 2022 the piece will be world premiered at a dedicated special event inside Birmingham Symphony Hall, sung by a mass choir of school children (aged 9-16) from across the West Midlands, accompanied by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) under the direction of world-renowned choral conductor Simon Halsey.

The winner will also receive an award from John Crabtree OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands in recognition of their outstanding work.

Lawrence Barton, Project Sponsor said, “We are delighted to begin our search for talented young musicians from across our region. The competition presents us with a unique and exciting opportunity to create a new anthem to commemorate and celebrate the historic milestone of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We are very much looking forward to celebrating a weekend of cultural activity, music and performance, showcasing the talent of artists from the West Midlands region held in Centenary Square in the heart of Birmingham.”

Khadeem Duncan-Banerjee, Project Director said, “Amadeus Learning Partnership believes music and the arts is key to transforming the life chances of children and young people. This project will mean hundreds of young people will be able to participate in music making at the highest level, enabling them to develop their creative capacities and musical spark, a wonderful opportunity. We are delighted to be delivering this event in collaboration with some of our region’s best universities and creative organisations; and we are extremely grateful to Lawrence Barton for supporting our concept, showing his deep commitment to the arts in education.”

“Since there are not yet any Platinum Jubilee songs in existence, we need to create one for this major Birmingham premiere! The poem already exists, specially written by Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate, Fatma Mohiuddin. But now we’re searching for the music, via the West Midlands Platinum Jubilee Music Competition, open to West Midlands based student composers. This will be a major opportunity to work with a world-famous orchestra and conductor, and a large-scale chorus. It will be a chance for the winning composer to make a major contribution to a wonderful public event in a great artistic city”.

The closing date for submissions is 15th February 2022 and a winner will be announced in early March 2022.

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