Virtual Music Competitions

Music has been offered to God in this corner of Bury St Edmunds for over a thousand years. The monks in the mediaeval Abbey were replaced after its closure in the sixteenth century by choirs of men and boys. Today, that tradition continues at St Edmundsbury Cathedral even during the COVID-19 crisis.


Three exciting competitions are offered here to young musicians to enable them to continue to make music.


Organ Competition


St Edmundsbury Cathedral is offering the first virtual organ competition for young organists aged up to 22, in a bid to encourage and promote music-making during these challenging times.


Categories and Prizes
Beginner (up to grade 5) – £50 music voucher, plus 30 min organ lesson with David Briggs.
Intermediate (grades 6-8) – £100 music voucher, plus 45 min organ lesson with David Briggs.
Advanced £500 – 60 min organ lesson with David Briggs plus recital at St Edmundsbury Cathedral as part of the Lunchtime recital series.


Please note that, given the virtual nature of the competition, each entry will only be judged on the performance, and not the instrument used for the recording.


James Lancelot – Concert Organist and Former Director of Music at Durham Cathedral
Martin Baker – Concert Organist and Former Director of Music at Westminster Cathedral
Richard Cook – Acting Director of Music, St Edmundsbury Cathedral
William Saunders – Concert Organist, and Assisting Organist at St Edmundsbury Cathedral


Recital length:
Beginners: one piece up to 5 min
Intermediate: one or two pieces up to 10 min
Advanced: a recital lasting up to 15 minutes in duration


Candidates are asked to upload VIDEO recordings (converted to MP4 if possible) of their pieces to and email us the link at along with an Organ Competition Registration Form.
Please read the Terms and Conditions


The panellists will decide on the winning entries from each category, and will announce winners on a live stream. All entrants will receive feedback and constructive advice from the panel. If you have any problems uploading or converting your video files, please contact the Cathedral music department on



Closing date for submission:  DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 12 noon on 18 July
Announcement: to be confirmed