Call for Music 2023
Since 2002 JAM has invited composers to submit to its Call for Music, giving them the chance to have their work performed at JAM’s season opening concert in central London.
In the last 20 years over 2000 composers have submitted scores for choir, brass quintet and organ (or any combination of these forces), and audiences at our Music of Our Time concert have been introduced to more than 140 new works.
The pieces submitted to the Call for Music are anonymously reviewed by JAM’s music panel, consisting of some of the most distinguished musicians in the UK: Paul Mealor (composer & JAM President), Jonathan Manners (Chief Producer, The BBC Singers), Sarah MacDonald (Director of Music, Selwyn College, Cambridge), Daniel Cook (Master of the Choristers and Organist, Durham Cathedral), Nicholas Cleobury (conductor), Michael Bawtree (Principal Conductor of JAM), Eric Crees (musician, conductor & composer), Timothy Jackson (composer & Principal Horn, Liverpool Philharmonic) and Robert Jones (Singer & Director of Music, St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street) and Simon Hogan (Sub-Organist & Assistant Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral).
Each year the panel has the difficult task of choosing a handful of compositions, from an ever-growing pool of submissions. In 2022’s Call for Music we received 150 submissions.
The successful entries, accompanied by JAM commissions, take centre stage at JAM’s season opening concert Music of Our Time, where they get performed by longstanding JAM friends and collaborators The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Onyx Brass and organist Simon Hogan, conducted by Michael Bawtree.
The concert attracts a large audience of general public, media and music industry, often leading to repeat performances by other promoters, publishing contracts and commissions. Thanks to it being recorded, Music of Our Time additionally helps composers to promote their work and further their career.
Paul Mealor successfully submitted to JAM’s inaugural Call for Music in 2002, and again in 2004, and has been commissioned four times. The first commission Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (2010) transformed his life as a composer: Catherine Middleton, now Princess of Wales, heard a performance of the choral cycle, and Paul was consequently asked to rearrange it for the Royal Wedding in 2011. Ubi Caritas catapulted the composer to international attention. This year, Paul was invited to write for the Coronation of King Charles III, with Coronation Kyrie being the first Welsh language performance at a Coronation.
Hannah Kendall’s Nativity was selected among numerous Call for Music submissions to be performed in the season opening concert in 2008. Two years later JAM commissioned her to write Fundamental, written for SATB choir and brass quintet.
Jack Oades’ Hear me when I call was performed at Music of Our Time in 2017, and he was subsequently invited to write JAM’s 20th anniversary commission. Between the Stormclouds and the Sea, with libretto by the acclaimed poet Grahame Davies, premiered at JAM on the Marsh in 2021 and was revisited at Music of Our Time in 2022.
Richard Peat is the most successful submitter to JAM’s Call for Music, with the music panel anonymously selecting his works on five occasions: 2002 (Whitsunday), 2005 (Winter Lands), 2018 (Corpus Christi Carol), 2019 (Sanctorum Cantuarienses) and 2022 (In Drifts of Sleep). Richard has received two JAM commissions: Fiery the Angels in 2010 and most recently JAM’s biggest ever commission, the community oratorio The Sky Engine, which premiered at this year’s JAM on the Marsh.
Enabling new music and supporting composers remains at the heart of JAM, and we look forward to receiving many submissions for this year’s Call for Music. The Call for Music is open to anyone born, living or studying in the UK, as long as they are 18 and over. Scores must be submitted by Friday 27 October, 5pm.
For details, and how to submit, head to https://jamconcert.org/callformusic/.
- Mark the date! Successful submissions will be performed at Music of Our Time 2024, taking place on 20 March in St Bride’s Church.
- Help us put new music front and centre, and become a JAM supporter: https://jamconcert.org/support/
- Interested in finding out more about JAM’s Commissions? https://jamconcert.org/jam-commissions/