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The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition 2025

STOP PRESS! The 2025 Senior Prize, The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition final will take place at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama , London on Sunday, July 5th from 2.30pm.


The 2024 Senior Prize, The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition final took place at the Royal Academy of Music , London on Sunday, June 23rd at 2.30pm.

Prize Winners:

Lily Mo Browne 1st

Emily Jennings 2nd

Richard Decker 3rd

Jack Redman & Ayane Nakajima Joint Winners of the Accompanist's Prize

Richard Decker: The Rodney Gibson Prize Early Music Prize for the perofrmance of a song writtne before 1700

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert as part of The London Song Festival at a date TBC

The 1st Prize winner and the winner of the accompanists prize will be offered Honorary Membership of the AESS for three years.

The finals will be open to AESS members and the public.

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 under the 'Publications' section on the AESS website.

Every effort will be made to make the prelims and finals as safe as possible and current Covid rules will be observed.



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 23rd 2024.

This age limit does not apply to pianists


First Prize – £2,000

Second Prize – £1,000

Third Prize – £1,000

Accompanist's Prize - £1,000

The Rodney Gibson Early Music Prize-  £250

Candidates who include one song from the 16th or 17th centuries up to 1700 will be eligible to be considered for this prize.

We are looking for expressive use of English in this repertoire.


Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert as part of The London Song Festival at a date TBC


The competition will be in two stages.

Stage One:

The preliminary round will be held at Taggs Yard, Barnes during the day on Sunday June 16th 2024 between 11.00am and 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 23rd from 2.30pm


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, June 8th by email only.

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.

If your singing teacher is a member of the AESS, you may have a 50% reduction of the administration fee.


Stephen Miles: Tel. 07767688514  E-mail.

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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 - Alexei WInter
Download PDF • 72KB

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

2019-Winner Milly Forest
Download PDF • 54KB

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