What are we looking for?

This competition is inspired by Claire Newman, a local teacher and musician who had a passion for literature, singing, songwriting and music-making. 

The aim is to allow local young people a creative space to weave together superb lyric writing with an interesting and strong melody.  You do not need to be a fantastic instrumentalist, and you do not need to sing the song yourself, you can have someone else sing your work for you if you wish. It can be either a solo or a group entry. 

Your song should be no more than 3 minutes long, and have clear words and melody.

The most important factors in the judges’ decision will be:

  • Lyrics: the material is interesting, dynamic and engaging.  The lyrics fit the melodic line well and help to develop the song as it progresses.
  • Melody: the melody is memorable and ‘hooks’ the listener.  The content will effectively demonstrate a variety of rhythms, pitches and a suitable range.
  • Chords/Instrumental: the accompaniment makes harmonic sense and effectively supports the melody line, allowing it to shine and build as the song progresses.

    In association with 

    The Judges

    • SuRie


      SuRie is a Singer-Songwriter, Actor, Composer and Musical Director and graduated from The Royal Academy of Music. She has over 7 million sales, streams and downloads, and has performed to crowds across the world, including at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. With a passion for truthful, musical storytelling and soundscapes, SuRie was also awarded an Associateship to The Royal Academy of Music for her significant contribution to the music profession.
    • Josie Cowley

      Josie Cowley

      Josie Cowley is a highly trained Soprano who studied with teachers at Junior RNCM, RAM and GSMD, and is an acclaimed community choir conductor, having formed Herts and Soul Community Choir and The Harmonaires, which have collectively raised over £100,000 for local and national charities in the last 15 years.  Josie has taught classroom Music to children aged 3-18 for much of her career, and co-ordinates yearly choral festivals for children in Bishop’s Stortford.
    • George Newman

      George Newman

      George is currently a Year 13 student and member of the Music Academy at Saffron Walden County High School. George is a very proficient clarinet player, singer and is also learning to play the piano. George is studying A Level Music and Music Technology at sixth form. George is a member of the Senior Orchestra, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Show Choir at sixth form and enjoyed the Music Department's Tour to Strasbourg and the Black Forest in July 2023.
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