Competitions

Entrants are encouraged to explore the vast wealth of material from five hundred years of song writing, prose and poetry, of writers and composers world-wide who employ the English language. All songs must use the original English. English translations of original foreign words are not acceptable. Ideas can be found in the AESS Century of English Song – Volumes 1-10, details of which can be found on the relevant page on this website.

Selected prize winners of all the AESS competitions will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert on Thursday, November 19th at 7.00pm as part of 2019 The London Song Festival. The venue is Hinde St Methodist Church

Follow the AESS on Twitter 

The Catherine Lambert Junior Recital Prize 2018

The final will be held on Sunday November 17th at St Paul’s Girls’ School, Hammersmith, London at 2.00pm

The preliminary round will take place on Sunday, November 3rd at

Taggs Yard, London and in Burton on Trent 

The deadline for entries is Friday, October 25th

Entrants are encouraged to explore the vast wealth of material from five hundred years of song writing, prose and poetry, of writers and composers world-wide who employ the English language. All songs must use the original English. English translations of original foreign words are not acceptable. Ideas can be found in the AESS Century of English Song – Volumes 1-10, details of which can be found at www.aofess.org

The Catherine Lambert Junior Recital Prize 2019 

Prospectus 

Purpose:

The purpose of the AESS Junior Recital Competition, in accordance with the general aims of the AESS, is “to encourage the communication of English words, in singing and in speech, with clarity, understanding and imagination”.

Requirement:

Competitors are asked to present and sing a themed recital of classical ‘Art Songs’ with original English texts. (N.B ‘Art Songs does NOT include opera, oratorio, operetta or musicals). The integrated programme may include spoken links and must contain at least one piece of poetry or prose. The programme should not exceed 15 minutes in total. Candidates should provide their own accompanist.

The entire programme must be delivered from memory in both rounds.

The judges will give equal attention to the spoken and sung elements of the programme.

Eligibility:

The competition is open to young singers resident in the UK and Ireland. Junior Conservatoires and specialist Music Schools may nominate candidates. The competition is also open to students who are pupils of members of the Association and schools where there is a link with the Association.

Age Limit:

The prize is open to young singers who are aged 13 to 18 on or before the date of the final, Sunday 17th November 2019.

Prizes:

First Prize – £300 sponsored by Catherine Lambert
Second Prize – £200 sponsored by Catherine Lambert                                                                          Third Prize – £100 sponsored by Coral Gould

Marian Lines prize of £200 for the best spoken element

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert on Thursday, November 21st at 7.00pm as part of 2019 The London Song Festival. The venue is Hinde St Methodist Church

The Competition:

The competition will be in two stages.

Stage One:

There will be a preliminary round on Sunday, 3rd November in London (Taggs Yard, Barnes) and at a studio in Burton on Trent, Midlands. Judges will be drawn from members of the Association, who have not themselves submitted candidates. They will select a maximum of eight competitors for the final.

Stage Two:

The final will be held on Sunday, 17th November at St Paul’s Grils’ School, Hammersmith, London from 2.00pm until 4.00pm. The winner of the competition will be offered a masterclass for their school or college from an AESS member in addition to the prize.

Entry:

A nominal, non-refundable, entry fee of £15.00 is charged to cover administrative expenses. Entries must be made on the official forms provided and must be received no later than Friday, October 25th.

Entry Form:

AESS Catherine Lambert Junior Recital Prize Application Form 2019

AESS Catherine Lambert Junior Recital Prize Prospectus 2019

Previous Prize Winners:

2002 – Elena Anastopoulos

2003 – Kirsten Barker

2004 – Soraya Mafi

2005 – NO COMPETITION

2006 – Alex Knox

2007 – Harriet Eyley

2008 – Mary Galloway

2009 – Thomas Payne

2010 – Rosanna Cooper

2011 – Elizabeth Thomas

2012 – Julius Haswell

2013 – Clare Sutherland

2014 – Georgia Odette

2015 – Ella Rainbird-Earley

2016 – Ellen Pearson

2017 – Ailsa McTernan

2018 – Matilda Wale

2019 – Giorgia Tolson

Previous winners of this competition are not eligible to enter a second time.

Feedback from the judges will be given to all entrants as soon as is practicable for both rounds.

Enquiries:

The administrator for the Competition is Carolyn Richards, 29 Petersfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 4EP Tel. 07768 086 123. E-mail. CarolynWestrip@aol.com

The Courtney Kenny Award 2020

The final will take place at Tonbridge School on Sunday, March 8th at 2.00pm

The preliminary round will take place at Taggs Yard, Barnes, on Sunday, March 1st

The deadline for entries will be Saturday, 22nd February

Entrants are encouraged to explore the vast wealth of material from five hundred years of song writing, prose and poetry, of writers and composers world-wide who employ the English language. Ideas can be found in the AESS Century of English Song – Volumes 1-10, details of which can be found at www.aofess.org

The Courtney Kenny Award 2020

Prospectus 

Purpose:

The purpose of the AESS Courtney Kenny Award, in accordance with the general aims of the AESS, is “to encourage the communication of English words, in singing and in speech, with clarity, understanding and imagination”.

Requirement:

Competitors are asked to present and sing a themed recital of classical ‘Art Songs’ and the spoken word, with original English texts. (N.B.’Art Songs’ does NOT include opera, oratorio, operetta or musical theatre). The integrated programme may include spoken links and must contain poetry and/ or prose. The programme should not exceed 20 minutes in total. Candidates should provide their own accompanist.

The entire programme must be delivered from memory in both rounds.

The judges will give equal emphasis to the spoken and sung elements of the programme.

Eligibility:

The competition is open to young singers aged 18 to 23. The application form must be signed by an AESS member.

Age Limit:

Singers, together with pianists eligible for the accompanists’ prize, should be in the above age-range on or before the date of the final. In 2020 this is March 8th.

Prizes:

First Prize – £1,000
Second Prize – £500
Third Prize – £500
Accompanists’ Prize – £500

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert in the afternoon of December 12th 2020 as part of The London Song Festival.

The Competition:

The competition will be in two stages.

Stage One:

There will be a preliminary session on Sunday, March 1st at Tagg’s Yard, Barnes , London. The panel of judges will be drawn from members of the Association, who have not themselves submitted candidates. They will select a maximum of 6 competitors for the final.

Stage Two:

The final will be held at Tonbridge School in Kent from 2.30pm on the afternoon of Sunday March 8th 2020.

Venue – The Recital Room,

Entry:

A nominal, non-refundable, entry fee of £20.00 is charged to cover administrative expenses. Entries must be made on the official forms provided and must be received no later than February 22nd 2020.

Entry Form:

Courtney Kenny Award Application Form 2020 

Previous Prize Winners:

2010 – Angharad Lyddon

2011 – Raphaela Papadakis

2012 – Elizabeth Desbruslais

2013 – Sinéad O’Kelly

2014 – Meilir Jones

2015 – Charlotte Yeoman

2016 – Leilani Barratt

2017 – Renee Michaela G Fajardo

2018 – Lila Chrisp

2019 – Annabel Kennedy

Previous winners of this competition are not eligible to enter a second time.

Feedback from the judges will be given to all entrants as soon as is practicable for both rounds.

Enquiries:

Stephen Miles

The Well House, 20 Barney Road, Fulmodestone, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0AT

Tel: 07767688514 email: miles.s.j@btinternet.com

The article by 2014 Senior Prizewinner, Alexei Winter will be of use to those who are unsure of how to devise a recital for the AESS competitions. You can read it here: Devising a recital

Leilani Barratt, the Courntey Kenny 2016 winner has also written about how she came to devise her programme. Read here 

Read Caroline Taylor’s Blog about her experience in entering the 2016 Courtney Kenny Award

Caroline’s Blog: THE 2016 AESS COURTNEY KENNY AWARD

Courtney Kenny writes about his thoughts on the competition

The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition 2020

The Final will take place at the Royal Academy of Music on Sunday, June 14th from 2.30pm

The preliminary round will take place on Sunday, June 7th during the day at the Royal Academy of Music in the David Josefewitz Recital Hall 

The deadline for entries is Saturday, May 30th

Entrants are encouraged to explore the vast wealth of material from more than five hundred years of song writing, prose and poetry, of writers and composers world-wide who employ the English language. All songs must use the original English. English translations of original foreign words are not acceptable. Ideas can be found in the AESS Century of English Song – Volumes 1-10, details of which can be found at A Century of English Song

The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition 2020 

Prospectus

Purpose:

The purpose of the Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition, in accordance with the aims of the AESS, is “to encourage the communication of English words, in singing and in speech, with clarity, understanding and imagination”.

Requirement:

Competitors are asked to present and sing a themed recital of ‘Art’ songs with original English texts. The integrated programme may include spoken links and must contain at least one piece of poetry or prose. It should not exceed 20 minutes in total. Candidates are required to bring their own accompanist.

The same programme must be delivered from memory in its entirety in both rounds. (A high number of entrants might necessitate that one song be omitted in the preliminary round.)

The judges will give equal attention to the spoken and sung elements of the programme.

Eligibility:

The competition is open to full-time students at institutions of further education in the UK and Ireland where singing or speech are taught. Each institution may nominate up to four candidates but may at the discretion of the committee be allowed further candidates if they are of a very high standard. Also, the competition is open to members and to students who are pupils of members of the Association.

Age Limit:

Open to those who are 23 – 32 years of age on June 14th 2020.

Prizes:

First Prize – £2,000
Second Prize – £1,000
Third Prize – £1,000
Accompanist’s Prize – £1,000

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert as part of The London Song Festival in December 2020.

The Competition:

The competition will be in two stages.

Stage One:

The preliminary round will be held at the Royal Academy of music, London during the day on Sunday, June 7th 2020 (approximately from 11.00am until 5.00pm). Candidates should state a preference for a particular time, if they have one, (please check this with your accompanist first), although this cannot necessarily be guaranteed. The panel of judges is drawn from members of the Association who have not themselves submitted candidates. They will select up to six competitors from this round to compete in the final.

Stage Two:

The final will be held at the Royal Academy of Music on Sunday, June 14th from 2.30pm until 5.30pm.

Expenses:

Competitors will be expected to defray their own expenses for the first stage. Standard class travel expenses will be offered to finalists travelling to London.

Entry:

A nominal, non-refundable, entry fee of £20.00 is charged to cover administrative expenses. Entries must be made on the official forms provided and must be received no later than Saturday, May 30th.

Previous winners of this competition are not eligible to enter a second time.

Feedback from the judges will be given to all entrants as soon as is practicable for both rounds.

Entry Form:

AESS Senior Application Form 2020 in word.docx

AESS Senior Application Form 2020 in pdf

Previous Prize Winners:

SENIOR COMPETITION PREVIOUS PRIZE WINNERS

Enquiries:

Stephen Miles, The Well House, 20 Barney Road, Fulmodestone, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 0AT. Tel. 07767688514  E-mail. miles.s.j@btinternet.com

The article by 2014 Senior Prizewinner, Alexei Winter will be of use to those who are unsure of how to devise a recital for the AESS competitions. You can read it here: Devising a recital

2019 Winner, Milly Forrest, writes of her experience in the competition here

The Timothy West & Prunella Scales Speech Prize for Actors 2020

The competition final will take place at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama               
64 Eton Avenue London NW3 3HY

Competition dates

Preliminary round – Friday April 17th 2020 10am – 5pm

Final Saturday April 18th 2020, 2pm – 5pm

The deadline for entries is Monday 6th April 2020.

Purpose:

The purpose of the Timothy West & Prunellas Scales Speech Prize for Actors, in accordance with the general aims of the AESS, is “to encourage the communication of English words, with clarity, understanding and imagination”

Eligibility:

The competition is open to young actors aged 18 to 23 who are in full or part time training at a recognized institution.

Each institution may nominate up to THREE candidates but may at the discretion of the committee be allowed further candidates if they are of a very high standard.

Requirement:

Competitors are asked to prepare up to a seven minute themed programme from memory, to include at least one poem or sonnet, and prose from plays and literature from any period, (or written by themselves), within a creative framework.

The entire programme must be delivered from memory.

The programme will be the same for both rounds.

The judges will be looking for clarity of expression, fluency of delivery, imaginative use of material and an ability to take the audience on a dramatic journey.

Age Limit:

Actors should be within the above age-range on or before the date of the final.

Prizes:

First Prize –     £1,000

Second Prize – £600

Third Prize –   £400

2nd & 3rd prizes sponsored by John and Julia Dewhurst

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert in December of 2020 as part of The London Song Festival.

The Competition:

Preliminaries on Friday April 17th – 10am – 5pm

Finals on Saturday April 18th – 2pm – 5pm

The panel of judges will be drawn from AESS members and other members of the acting profession.

Entry:

A nominal, non-refundable, entry fee of £10.00 is charged to cover administrative expenses. Entries must be made on the official forms provided and must be received no later than April 6th 2020 .

Application form

Please send the completed form by email only to: svarcoe1@googlemail.com

Cheques and applications can also be sent to Stephen Varcoe, Ansells Farm, Alphamstone, Bures, Suffolk CO8 5HN

Jamie Sandersfield, the 2017 competition winner, writes of his experience of the competition here

AESS Music Festivals Trophy

In its Centenary Year of 2013, the AESS inaugurated a special trophy and a £25 prize to be presented at ten National Federation of Music Festivals. Currently, the age group is for singers who present a song and a spoken element in the age range 13 to 18. The last year for this arrangement is 2017. After this time, the prize will be put out to tender again and the age range may be broadened.

The festivals which currently present an AESS trophy are:

Blackheath Music Festival http://www.blackheathmusicfestival.co.uk

Chelmsford Competitive Festival of Music, Speech & Drama http://www.federationoffestivals.org.uk/chelmsford-festival-of-performing-arts/

Ealing Festival of Music http://www.ealingfestival.org.uk

Eastbourne Music & Arts Festival http://www.eastbournemusicandartsfestival.org

Richmond Upon Thames Performing Arts Festival http://www.richmondfestival.org.uk/Richmond_Festival/Welcome.html

South Cumbria Musical Festival http://www.southcumbriamusicalfestival.co.uk

Southend Musical Festival http://www.southendmusicfestival.co.uk

Stratford & East London Musical Festival http://www.stratfordmusicfestival.org.uk

Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts http://suffolk-festival.org.uk 

Watford Festival of Music, Speech & Drama https://www.watfordfestival.co.uk