The Choir Schools’ Association recently announced Dean Close Preparatory School pupil, Benedict Braddock aged 11, as joint winner of the U14 category. This year’s competition was to celebrate the CSA’s Centenary, in memory of Sir David Willcocks and to commemorate those choristers and choir school staff who gave their lives in the First World War. Benedict who is a member of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum won the U14 category jointly with Harry L’Estrange, a chorister at St John’s College Choir, Cambridge. To enter the competition pupils had to produce a short introit suitable for performance in a cathedral, chapel or church, using words from Wisdom 3.1-2:
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and there shall no torment touch them.
In the sight of the unwise,
they seemed to die, but they are in peace
Jonathan Willcocks was the adjudicator. Congratulating all those who entered the competition, he said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the compositions and it was very refreshing to find so many contrasting approaches to the setting of the given words. Every entry had something interesting to offer and I do encourage you all to continue to enjoy composing music.’
Benedict said, 'I was thrilled to win, I love composing music it’s something I hope to do a great deal more of in the future. Hearing my fellow choristers sing a piece of music that I have written is indeed a great privilege.'