Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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Winners of 2012 choral composing competition announced

3 February 2012

Paul Ayres, a freelance musician working in and around London, has won £2,000 in a Loughborough University Arts competition to find a new choral work to celebrate the University’s sporting tradition and success and mark the London 2012 Games.

Comprising three parts ranging in style and mood, Paul Ayres’ winning composition, Loughborough Cantata, uses relevant poems and texts by Peacham, Housman, Kinto and Tennyson, along with lyrics written especially for the competition.

Ayres comments: “I am thrilled to have won this competition and hope the work reflects the huge interest and enthusiasm that the Olympic Games are generating in London, Loughborough and across the country. Although the complete piece is about 25 minutes in duration, the different sections could be used stand-alone for a variety of occasions, and I hope it will be widely performed and enjoyed after its premiere in May.”

The Loughborough University Student prize of £500 was won by Harris Chapman, a final year undergraduate studying 3D Design, for Sweet Victory, a two minute crowd rallying song, which captures the spirit and exuberance of Loughborough student team match supporters.

The winning compositions, which were selected by a panel made up of members of the University Choir, along with well-known choral composer Bob Chilcott, will be premiered at the Choir’s Gala Concert at the University on 11 May 2012.

Eleanor Graff Baker, Musical Director of the University Choir, was delighted with the quality of the competition entries.

“We are an all-comers choir, welcoming students and staff of the University and also members of the local community,” she said. “Despite our ‘no auditions’ policy, and the fact that many of our members have never sung in a choir before, we aim for high standards with a varied choral repertoire. These exciting new works will be challenging in parts but the choir and myself, along with our accompanist Eleonora Babitsky who has a very substantial role, are very much looking forward to learning and performing them.”

Nick Slater, Director of Arts at the University, explains: “Loughborough University has a lively arts programme and our music activities such as subsidised tuition and ensembles like the Choir enable students with musical interests and talent to develop these alongside their academic study and sport activities.

“The competition has provided a way to bring together the themes of music and sport in this Olympic year, and involve the local community. We are very grateful to the competition sponsors, Logicalis, Intelligent Energy, and Samsung for contributing the prize money and helping to cover the running costs of the competition.”

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