Hawick Missal Fragment competition deadline looms

Young Composers sought to compose choral works inspired by Hawick medieval manuscript
Young Composers sought to compose choral works inspired by Hawick medieval manuscript

THERE are just five weeks left for young composers to submit compositions of choral works inspired by the Hawick Missal Fragment.

The competition for the Fragments Composition Prize, which closes on February 28, was announced last year before what is believed to have been the first performance in at least 450 years of the music.

The 12th-century medieval manuscript, known as the Hawick Missal Fragment, would have been part of a missal – a book which contained the texts and chants for a mass. It was discovered in 2010 at the Heritage Hub, Heart of Hawick.

Dr Matthew Cheung Salisbury, lecturer in music at University College, Oxford University, said: “The winning composition will be between three and 20 minutes long. It can be for any combination of voices, accompanied or unaccompanied, and could be performed in a historic venue. Submissions should reflect or explore some aspect of the fragments project, which aims to help participants create new work on the theme of art and music as representations of the divine. As a surviving witness to the worship of the medieval church, the fragment is already helping us to better understand how mass would have been celebrated in the Border abbeys.”

The two-year music and arts project is unique to the Borders and is called Fragments. It is a partnership between Historic Scotland and Scottish Borders Council’s archive service, supported with funding from Creative Scotland.

Those aged 35 and under are eligible to take part in the competition. The value of the prize is £500 and three performances will be given as part of the project’s programme.

For more information on the project, visit www.fragmentsproject.co.uk.