Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters 2020

The 2020 competition was delayed due to Covid and, when it became obvious that a live concert final would be out of the question, we decided to organise an online competition instead. This has proved to be enormously popular and has attracted an unprecedented number of entries, 68 in all.

The extremely high standard of most of the submissions has made it difficult to choose a shortlist, but 12 compositions have now been selected to go through to the final.  The two £400 adjudicated prizes will be awarded as usual but not the £200 audience prize. This prize money may be used for another award, at the discretion of the adjudicators.

The Results are In!

Here is the final result of the delayed Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters 2020.
Dr Larry Goves, who is the outside adjudicator appointed by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, wanted all the finalists to know how difficult it has been to come to a decision and we at Philip Bates Trust agree with that completely. Having been chosen from an initial entry of 68 to go through to the final is an achievement in itself.
In view of the high standard of the competition Philip Bates Trust has made additional prize money of £400 available to fund 2 second prizes: both adjudications have split these second prizes.
The results are:
Dr Larry Goves adjudication on behalf of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire    Martin and Sue Bates adjudication for Philip Bates Trust
1st Prize (£400)              Michal Kawecki ‘Lost’                                                           1st Prize (£400)               Niall Docherty ‘A Godly Dream’
Joint 2nd Prize (£100)   Amelia Clarkson ‘Through His Gaze’                                  Joint 2nd Prize (£100)    Leoni Hughes-King ‘Time’
Joint 2nd Prize (£100)   Peter Hughes ’42 3′                                                              Joint 2nd Prize (£100)    Will Harmer ‘Drummer Hodge’
Highly commended       Daniel Hall ‘A Dialogue of Transmogrified Souls’           Highly commended        Joshua Dowling ‘The Song of Achilles’

Listen to the 2020 competition entries 

The Shortlisted entries are available to watch as a YouTube Playlist here.

The Entries are also listed below in alphabetical order including links to their recordings, biographies and programme notes.

Amelia Clarkson

Through His Gaze

Three songs for tenor & harp

1. To a young girl

2. A crazed girl

3. He tells of a valley

Download further information here

Niall Docherty

A Godly Dream

Male voice vocal ensemble

Download further information here

Joshua Dowling

The Song of Achilles    

Three movement song cycle for baritone and chamber ensemble

I. Burial

II. Our Joy

III. Memories

Download further information here

Daniel Hall

A Dialogue of Transmogrified Souls

Brass band and percussion

Download further information here

Will Harmer

Drummer Hodge   

Solo piano

YouTube image by Juanita Swart

Download further information here

Josh Hill

Your Skin Like Dawn    

Five-part male vocal ensemble

Download further information here

Peter Hughes

42 3

I. A Birthday Present
II. chattily. Is that
III. Shortly thereafter, the
IV. manager #8 has
V. sorrowful tone; ‘at
VI. slaughters, their blood

Download further information here

Leoni Hughes-King


Countertenor and piano 

I. Time let me hail and climb

II. Time let me play and be

III. In the first, spinning place (Interlude)

IV. Time held me green and dying


Download further information here

Michal Kawecki



Six-part vocal ensemble 

Download further information here

Jack Ledger Dowse


High voices and piano


Download further information here

Georgia Lee


Vocal solo with instrumental accompaniment

Download further information here

Ruaraidh Williams

This Morning I Watched from Here

Instrumental ensemble

YouTube image by Mark Asthoff 

Download further information here

Contact the Trust
0121 747 5705
 24 Elmfield Road, Castle Bromwich, B36 0HL