Worcester’s Carol Composition Competition 2020

The Chapel Choir of Worcester College, Oxford, invites entries for its annual Carol Composition Competition, now in its sixth year.

Compositions are invited from composers aged 26 or under to set the following text for unaccompanied, four-part mixed choir (with optional divisi). Compositions must be currently unpublished works. The winning composition will be premiered at the College Carol Service, or (if Covid-19 circumstances prohibit services from happening) by means of a recording to be released for Christmas. The deadline for entries is 1 November 2020.

Text to be set:

What child is this?  

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant king to own Him,
The King of kings, salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Words: traditional

To Apply:

Entries should be accompanied by a short biography of the composer and sent by PDF to:


Or by post to:

The Director of Chapel Music
Worcester College

to arrive no later than 1 November 2020.

All entries received will be acknowledged.