Sheet Music folding over
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James announces the fourth annual Bishop’s Prize for Music – a companion prize to complement the Bishop’s Prize for Art.

Click here to download the full prospectus, texts and entry form

The purpose of the Bishop’s Prize for Music is to help young composers find an engagement with the relationship between the Christian Gospel and music in worship.

The competition is open to students under the age of 18, in any school or college in the geographical area covered by the Diocese of Norwich. Home educated students may also apply.

Age Categories (at the time of submission deadline):

  • Junior: Under 12 years
  • Intermediate: 13 -15 years
  • Senior: 16 – 18 years

Competitors are asked to compose a short anthem, not lasting more than 5 minutes, setting a short text from a selection chosen by Bishop Graham.

By way of explanation of his choices, Bishop Graham writes: “There is an expectation in both the Old Testament passages of a new Teacher emerging to guide the people of God. In Proverbs we are warned not to trust in our own wisdom, something picked up by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians where he speaks about God’s wisdom “secret and hidden” that is revealed in Christ. Finally, part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel illustrates the radical nature of Christ’s teaching, reversing the wisdom of the world and telling us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. The texts possess both drama and surprise and I hope they will be fertile ground for musical composition.”


  • First Prize in each category: £250
  • Second Prize: £100
  • Third Prize: £50
  • Overall Competition Prizewinner: a further £100

Discretionary prizes may be awarded in certain circumstances for outstanding contribution and effort.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 4 June and the results will be announced by the end of August.

The judges are eminent musicians in the field of composition and choral conducting. They are Sarah MacDonald, Alan Bullard and Ashley Grote.

Bishop Graham will present the awards at a service of choral evensong in Norwich Cathedral on Wednesday 3 October and the prize-winning composition may be performed at this service.

For further information please email Stephen Miles, the Bishop’s Prize for Music Co-ordinator or call 01328 878 364 or 07767688514.