A Song for the Commonwealth – music and recordings now released!

A Song for the Commonwealth – music and recordings now released!

A Song for the Commonwealth

Listen to our song for the Commonwealth

This is the very first recording of ‘A Song for the Commonwealth’ – just to introduce it to everyone.

It can be sung in many different ways, in different keys and by different groups of voices. We shall help choirs to find the right version for themselves!

You can find plenty of alternative arrangements on this page. We will be adding to this so if one doesn’t work for you, please check back or get in touch with us.

Please read the TERMS AND CONDITIONS carefully.

We are be very excited to be working with all the choirs who have already signed up and warmly encourage others to join us.

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

A Song for the Commonwealth – music and recordings now released!

Results – Shortlist & Finalists Announced

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons

A Song for the Commonwealth: Results
Find the parts and audio files here

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

The Winning Song

“A Life Lived With Grace”

Music by: Vincent Atueyi Chinemelu
Lyrics by: Lucy Kiely

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.

The Finalists

Lyricists

Rodrica Rudge

Lyricist Finalist

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

Lyricist Finalist

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.

Composers

Stephen Joseph

Composer Finalist

Born in Singapore. Throughout his life, Stephen has always had a passion for music.  His abilities in composition, orchestration,  harmony and choral arrangements is self taught. Stephen’s experience includes working for EMI in Singapore, performing on television and  inheriting a passion for singing.
Stephen moved to the UK and embarked on a long and dedicated career as a registered mental health nurse  in the NHS Now retired, Stephen lives in South Wales and continues to be actively engaged in music arrangement composing and songwriting. 

Stephen Olusoji

Composer Finalist

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.

Shortlisted composers

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.

Carol Corns

Loretta Kay Feld

Stella Fullard

Graham Maclean

Lea Nixon

Innocent Okechukwu

Paul Whitfield

Daxter Yeo

Frances Yonge

The adjudicators

The Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC

Commonwealth Secretary-General

Judith Weir Photographer, Sim Canetty-Clarke.

Roderick Williams OBE

Baritone

Judith Weir Photographer, Sim Canetty-Clarke.

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.

A Song for the Commonwealth – music and recordings now released!

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Winners announced

We are delighted to announce our winners of A Song for the Commonwealth after a rigorous competition including lyricists and composers from across the entire Commonwealth.

We were delighted to receive so many excellent, meaningful entries. Every single piece of work has been carefully read or listened to by our panel of esteemed and distinguished adjudicators before the winners were chosen.

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

 

Our two winners are…

Lucy Kiely

Lucy Kiely

Lyricist

To be selected as the winning lyricist on the unique occasion of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a once-in-a-lifetime honour and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the winning composer. I am thrilled that my lyrics ‘A Life Lived With Grace’ will be performed by choirs and community singers as the Beacons are lit throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on 2nd June 2022, in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s extraordinary 70-year reign.

Lucy Kiely is a 30-year-old singer songwriter from Sydney, Australia with a passion for jazz. After graduating from the University of Sydney, Lucy wrote, recorded and independently released two EPs and one LP of all original material inspired by her travels and life experiences. Lucy’s releases have enjoyed worldwide exposure across a variety of platforms. These days Lucy performs regularly as a vocalist, is writing her second full-length album and is currently a semi-finalist across nine different categories in the 2021 UK Songwriting Contest.

Lucy Kiely

Vincent Atueyi Chinemelu

Composer

My joy rests on the fact that my humble effort has led to a gigantically bountiful harvest. I am so glad that my little song has attained a universal relevance and will cement the love and bond shared by all the peoples of the world as the song is sung as the Beacons are lit throughout the UK and the Commonwealth in celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on 2nd June 2022. I am happy that through our song, with the lyrics written by my friend Lucy Kiely, the love, peace and harmony promoted by the Commonwealth of Nations through their involvement in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons will become indelible in our minds and more real in our lives.

Vincent is a 38-year-old academic musician from Anambra State, Nigeria. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the piano, flute, cello, trumpet, alto-sax and guitar and in 2021 he received the Department Award of Excellence from the University of Uyo, Nigeria after studying there for 5 years. Ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest in 2011 after his Theological studies, Vincent is credited with over a hundred religious, art and secular vocal music compositions, 30 piano works, arranged and composed orchestral pieces and musical solos. Presently, he has returned to the St. Dominic Savio Seminary in Akpu, Nigeria as Music Director again whilst preparing to further his studies in music to Master and Doctorate levels.

The adjudicators

The Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC

Commonwealth Secretary-General

Judith Weir Photographer, Sim Canetty-Clarke.

Roderick Williams OBE

Baritone

Judith Weir Photographer, Sim Canetty-Clarke.

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.

Go Compose, South Africa!

Go Compose, South Africa!

Go Compose, South Africa!

In September 2021, The Commonwealth Resounds ran Go Compose, South Africa, in partnership with Access Music South Africa, sponsored by the ABRSM. In spite of very dodgy internet access in South Africa, this lovely project enabled 12 young South African musicians to compose their own music and hear it performed for the very first time.

The Go Compose concept is a very exciting one and having now experienced the project, it was just wonderful to see how well it works. The presenters were able to introduce compositional techniques and ideas in such a simple and accessible way. We really appreciated the flexibility of the project – allowing learners to use their own tastes and inspirations to inform their work, without sticking rigidly to the style. I really loved seeing how the learners’ original work was honoured, while really simple suggestions were made that enhanced the compositions. I think this will have really opened up our learners’ eyes to compositional processes as well as giving them insight into all the kinds of creative possibilities that are out there.

After the concert I asked the learners what they made of the whole process. I asked if they found it difficult and most expressed that it had indeed been challenging (which is only natural and also a good thing), but I asked if the workshop had given them a feeling that they would like to try more composing and there was a genuine and unanimous yes! They were already asking how we can do more of this and when?

I think the concert and video aspect of the project is just brilliant. It was so affirming for the learners to see results from their work -finished products performed by professional musicians – and to have their achievements recorded on a public platform in a professionally produced video. I really hope there will be scope for you to continue this great work as it truly is a very
special project.

Shiloh Marsh

Project Manager, Access Music, South Africa

Go Compose Online

Go Compose Online

Go Compose, Online!

We created Go Compose Online during the first pandemic in 2020, to give young people who were stuck at home all over the world a chance to compose their own music. There were five excellent projects run during this time and over 70 young composers took part.

The projects were run by composers Duncan Chapman, Philip Dutton, Lauren Marshall and Sonya Knussen (2 projects)

Go Compose Online was advertised widely, helped by the ABRSM, Sound and Music and the Commonwealth Secretariat

Sonya Knussen who lives in North America, ran two excellent workshops, and enjoyed working with young composers so much that she created her own Go Compose, North America. This project is run in a different time zone to those in the UK, which is excellent for young Commonwealth composers throughout the Caribbean and in Canada. They have run many workshops during 2020 and 2021 and in the summer of 2021 even created an exciting festival for young composers. 

For all the young composers who took part in Go Compose Online, during the lockdown, The Commonwealth Resounds organised a special competition called the Commonwealth Composition Challenge. This was open to young people around the world and we created a special online concert for those shortlisted.