To all writers and composers who took part…
One month ago we were delighted to announce the winners of A Song for the Commonwealth here on our website. There has been a great deal of international interest in the competition and we want to recognise all those who entered, as well as those reached the shortlist and the final. The standard was exceptionally high and many of those taking part created beautiful, memorable works.
Alison Cox OBE, Founder of the Commonwealth Resounds said…
Everyone has done amazingly well to reach this stage in the competition from such a large number of entries around the Commonwealth. All entrants should feel very proud of themselves indeed – knowing that their songs were right up there with the very, very best and could well have been the winning entries.
A song for the Commonwealth
Music by: Vincent Atueyi Chinemelu
Lyrics by: Lucy Kiely
Performed by: Sacha Dow (treble), Charlotte Potter (Soprano), Elisha Jade (Soprano), Leyla Ruby (Soprano), Clare Sutherland (Alto), Stephen Mike Chidi (Tenor), Toby Hession (Bass), Patrick Owston (Bass), Joaquim Badia (Backing track)
Produced by: Tom Bell
Commonwealth writers and lyricists – the finalists
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons competition for Commonwealth writers and lyricists ran from June 2nd – August 2nd 2021. Entrants were asked to write lyrics suitable for a Song for the Commonwealth. Three outstanding writers were chosen from a very large number of excellent entries and their lyrics were offered to composers from all over the world in the second stage of the competition.
Rodrica Rudge from the U.K. and Meenakshi Gautam Chaturvedi from India were two of the three winning lyricists.
The overall winning lyrics were written by Lucy Kiely from Australia.
Commonwealth composers – the finalists
The second stage of the competition, for Commonwealth composers, ran from September 2nd to November 2nd 2021. We were delighted that so many fascinating, deserving composers from all over the world entered for the Song for the Commonwealth Competition. From these, 12 songs were shortlisted, and just one week later, three finalists were chosen.
Stephen Joseph from the UK and Stephen Olusoji from Nigeria were two of our three finalists.
The winning song was composed by Vincent Atueyi Chinemelu from Nigeria.
Rodrica Rudge developed an enthusiasm for music, lyric writing and poetry at an early age. She started training as a classical pianist at the age of 8, taking exams at the Royal College of Music. Later on she learned how to play the cello and guitar. She began writing contemporary music across many genres and also became a published poet. She gained valuable media experience working in the advertising industry, planning and organising publicity campaigns for a wide range of clients including music promoters and their artists. With the development of new technology Rodrica set up her own recording studio and began writing, performing, producing and engineering her own projects. Her songs have been played on both terrestrial and internet radio, she has won a number of song writing competitions for her music compositions and lyrics, and she has created specially commissioned works for both individuals and businesses.
Meenakshi Gautam Chaturvedi
An internationally acclaimed author, national science research fellow, copywriter and model at different points in time, Meenakshi Gautam Chaturvedi has won Literati 2019, and was short-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, 2015. She has eleven books to her credit including FOSTER LOVE, THE RUNAWAY MOON, THE MOON CAKE- A FAIRY TALE and others, spanning genres and publishers across continents. Versatility is her forte, testified by her works in polyphonous voices. She lives in Mumbai, India, with her husband Gautam and the inspiring memories of her parents- Late Sqn. Ldr. O. N. Misra and Late Mrs. Brijesh Misra, that keep her going.
Dr. Stephen Olusoji, is currently an Associate Professor of Music in the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Nigeria. He received his National Certificate of Education from the Polytechnic Ibadan, B.A.Music Hons Specialising in Composition (U.N.N), M.A., African Music, Ph.D. Musicology, and many other professional certificates. He won the maiden award for the best final year performance major student of his U.N.N set.
Stephen, is a Composer- Musicologist, whose works have been commissioned and performed in Nigeria and abroad. He is a member of Association of Nigerian Musicologists, Pan African Society of Musical Arts Educators, African Art Music Composers Forum and other associations. He participated and presented in the Harvard Radcliffe Institute Exploratory Virtual Seminar for Composers, Performers and Scholars (2021). He is happily married with children.
There were 12 shortlisted Commonwealth composers altogether, three of whom reached the final. However, the other nine composers all submitted beautiful, memorable songs, which were based upon one of the three sets of winning lyrics. A distinguished panel of adjudicators were deeply impressed by the quality and sincerity of all these songs and decisions were not easy. We are proud and delighted to be able to name the nine shortlisted composers here.
Loretta Kay Feld
The Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC
Roderick Williams OBE
Judith Weir CBE
Master of the Queen’s Music
Alison Cox OBE
Founder and Chair of Trustees, The Commonwealth Resounds / Head of Composition, The Purcell School for Young Musicians.
Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR
Pageantmaster, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons
Anne T. Gallagher AO
Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation
Graham Trew MVO
Baritone, former Chairman of the Association of English Singers and Speakers.