Derry-based composer Sean Doherty has won a recent choral composition competition run by the Choir & Organ Magazine. This is the composer’s second time to have won this competition, the first time being in 2012 with his work Blessed be that Maid Marie. Doherty is becoming well known for his choral work, adding this to a recent string of accolades and awards alongside the Fragment Composition prize (2014), a West Cork Chamber Music Festival Young Composer Bursary (2014), the Jerome Hunes Composition Competition (2011) and the Feis Ceoil choral composition award, which he has won three times (2009, 2011, 2014).
The Choir & Organ composition competition was in partnership with Merton College, Oxford, and called for an Advent or Christmas carol written for the College’s choir. The competition jury consisted of Benjamin Nicholas of Merton College; Simon Halway, conductor and choral director; Donald Nally, director and professor and Northwetern University; artistic director of the Cheltenham Festival, Meurig Bowen; and composer Matthew Martin.
Doherty’s winning work, chosen from 27 entries, was titled A Nywe Werk is Come on Honed (A New Work Is Come On Hand). The composer writes about the piece and win:
“I’m delighted to have won the Choir & Organ Magazine composition competition for the second time, with a setting of A Nywe Werk is come on Honde (‘A new work is come on hand’) originally copied in the fifteenth-century Selden manuscript, housed at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, a stone’s throw from Merton College, where the piece will be premiered as part of the college’s 750th anniversary celebrations in December.”
More information on the competition can be found here