The King’s Singers have announced a thrilling new initiative. In association with Washington National Cathedral and Walton Music generously supported by The King’s Singers Global Foundation & Ronald C. Gunnell, The King’s Singers New Music Prize will recognize, develop and encourage a spirit of musical creativity in today’s world. The prize forms part of the Foundation’s vision for #FindingHarmony in our divided world.

They write, “Through this Prize, we hope to leave the world a musically richer place than we found it.

“With free entry, four categories, a panel of world-renowned judges and a choice of five beautiful texts to set, our primary aim for the New Music Prize is to encourage creativity, both in experienced and in upcoming composers. We also want to help composers to develop their craft by offering a series of free digital masterclasses with leading figures from the world of composition. In order to recognize the imagination and skill of our four winners, we have partnered with publisher Walton Music to offer the chance to have their works made available for performance, alongside a $1,500 prize, and the goal of premiering their works in Washington National Cathedral on Sunday February 28 2021, as part of a dedicated event (circumstances permitting). The winning composers will also be provided with a recording of their composition, captured on this celebratory occasion.”

The King’s Singers New Music Prize is open to residents of the USA and Canada.

For more information, please visit

Key Dates

  • Entries open on Tuesday, July 21, 2020
  • Entries close on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 3pm ET / 12pm PT
  • Winners will be announced on Thursday, December 3, 2020
  • The event at Washington National Cathedral is planned for Sunday, February 28, 2021


  • Category 1: A composition for 4-part SATB Choir (Composers under 18)
  • Category 2: A composition for 4-part SATB Choir (Composers aged 18 and above)
  • Category 3: A composition for children’s choir
  • Category 4: A composition for The King’s Singers


The King’s Singers worked with historian, poet and leading choral lyricist, Charles Anthony Silvestri, to identify five texts for use in the New Music Prize. Sincere thanks to Charles Anthony Silvestri for writing When All Falls Silent especially for this Prize, and to Malcolm Guite for allowing this project to use his poem, The Singing Bowl.

  • When All Falls Silent – Charles Anthony Silvestri
  • The Gift to Sing – James Weldon Johnson
  • I Had No Time To Hate – Emily Dickinson
  • Invitation to love – Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Singing Bowl – Malcolm Guite

The Judges

  • Elise Bradley (Director, Toronto Children’s Chorus)
  • Stacey V. Gibbs (composer and arranger)
  • Jonathan Howard (The King’s Singers, 2010- )
  • David Hurley (The King’s Singers, 1991 – 2016)
  • Gabriela Lena Frank (composer and pianist)
  • Michael McCarthy (Director of Music, Washington National Cathedral)
  • Francisco J. Núñez (Director, Young Peoples Chorus of New York City)
  • Mack J. Wilberg (Music Director, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square)