Winner of the RSCM Music Sunday Composition …

We are delighted to announce the winner of the RSCM Music Sunday Composition Competition 2021.

The winner is Christopher Totney, from Devizes, Wiltshire.

The RSCM Music Sunday Composition Competition was launched to provide a new anthem for the annual RSCM Music Sunday in June. Composers were asked to set words of a prayer by Revd Dr Canon Gordon Giles, Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral, and a member of the RSCM’s Sunday by Sunday team.

The competition jury was chaired by Hugh Morris, the Director of the RSCM, who was joined by Ben Lamb, Director of Music at Lichfield Cathedral who will be conducting the official first performance on Music Sunday, and Tim Ruffer, Head of Publishing at the RSCM.

Hugh Morris reports: “We were delighted, if a little overwhelmed, with the response to the competition, with over 200 entries from around the world to judge. All the entries provided a pseudonym, so the judges had absolutely no idea of the real identity of the composers. When the three judges met, it became quickly apparent that we all agreed on the winning anthem. Chris’s anthem was very strong, with a very well written organ part and vocal lines, and was well constructed. We felt this was the most outstanding of the anthems we had received.”

Chris Totney is Director of Music of St John’s Church, Devizes, which includes a top line of 22 children representing 12 local schools. He has been Head of Keyboard Studies at St Mary’s School, Calne where he teaches piano and A Level Music, as well as being involved in the work of numerous choirs, concerts, and services. He hails from Stourbridge, West Midlands, where he first studied organ with Andrew Fletcher, before moving on to Durham University with Keith Wright. Whilst there, he spent two years as Organ Scholar at Durham cathedral under the direction of James Lancelot, gaining both the Associateship and Choral Directing diplomas from the Royal College of Organists.