The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition 2020

Details of the 2019 competition are given below  as a guide for the 2020 competition.

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 2019 



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”.


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.


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 26th 2019.


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 the autumn of 2019.

The Competition:

The competition will be in two stages.

Stage One:

The preliminary round will be held at St Marylebone Parish Church on Sunday 23rd June. 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 St Marylebone Parish Church on the evening of Wednesday 26th June beginning at 6.00pm.


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.


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, 15th June 2019.

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 2019

Previous Prize Winners:



Stephen Miles, The Well House, 20 Barney Road, Fulmodestone, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 0AT. Tel. 01328 878 364 / 07767688514  E-mail.

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, write of her experience in the competition here