Press Area - Latest News & Events

arrow About the Competition

arrow Applications & Rules

arrow About John Kerr

arrow Venue for the Competition

arrow Donations and Sponsorship

arrow Contact

Arrow Press Area

Arrow Archive

Donate Now!


The JKA West Wycombe Weekend 8th/9th October - The JKA Song Final and Sunday Show
Venue : St. Lawrence Church, West Wycombe, HP14 3AH.

The John Kerr Award is delighted to announce the following information regarding this very special celebration weekend of English Song to held in West Wycombe.

THE JOHN KERR AWARD SONG COMPETITION FINAL : Saturday 8th October - 2pm - 7pm

Six finalists will battle for the prize of the JKA 2016 English Song Competition Winner. There are also a runners-up prize, prizes for the best song in each century from the 17th-20th/21st centuries, an accompanist prize and for the audience, a vote to choose their favourite singer in the Smallfield Place Audience Prize. Refreshment will be available including a tea with some delicious cakes!
Ticket price - £20

EVELINA in SOCIETY : Sunday 9th October 3pm

This light-hearted show based on the noval 'Evelina' by Fanny Burney tells the amusing events of a young country girl Evelina and her introduction to London Society. This one hour show with narration, English song and music of the period will again be followed by tea and cakes!
Ticket price - £15
Maureen Lyle - Adaptation and Narration, Abigail sudbury - soprano, Gary Branch - keyboard spinet

SPECIAL OFFER to both events as a Festival Pass - £30

Tickets are available from the Adminstrators on the following telephone numbers : 01892 530049 and 01628 482520
Via email at :


The 2016 - Finalists

The Trustees are delighted to announce that the Finalists for the John Kerr Award for English Song 2016 competition are as follows :
Felicity Hayward (soprano)
Isolde Roxby (soprano)
Joanna Songi (soprano)
Louisa Stirland (soprano)
Zita Syme (soprano)
Clare Wheat (soprano)

This year's final will be a battle of the divas! Please come to support these talented young singers and hear there wonderfully inspired recitals showing the amazing variety of English song through the ages.

Announcing the 2016 Competition

The next competition will take place in the Autumn of 2016. The John Kerr Award will be celebrating it's tenth anniversary and sixth competition. At present the Trustees and Founder of the competition are finalising the details and are looking forward to exciting changes, which we hope will expand and highten the interest in the genre of English Song. The finalised programme and rules for the 2016 competition will be posted here on the website by January 2016. The competition will be held on Saturday 8th October at St. Lawrence Church, West Wycombe, HP14 3AH.

2014 Prize Winners Concert
Friday 9th October 2015 at 5pm (6pm recital) - Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst, Kent 
Joe Bolger - Counter-tenor

The John Kerr Award is delighted to invite Joe Bolger to perform a recital of one hour at 6pm. He will be choosing a programme of music, which includes many of his choices of English song for his very special vocal range. At 5pm please join Maureen Lyle and Trustees for a glass of wine and nibbles and to hear her anecdotal and humourous short talk on 'My Life with John Kerr' 

TICKETS : £20 including talk and refreshments - £15 for entry only to the recital

Tickets are available via email : or by telephone on 01892 - 530049

The 2014 Competition - The Results

Congratulations to all the singers and their accompanists who took part in the 2014 competition. The competition was the best yet, with every competitor producing a wonderfully varied programme, with many rarely heard songs, all sung and performed to a high standard. Congratulations to Rhiannon Llewellyn for winning first prize, however, there were several prizes awarded this year, below is a list of the prizes and the winners :

Christopher Ball First Prize : Rhiannon Llewellyn

Second Prize : Joe Bolger

The Smallfield Place Audience Prize : Felix Kemp

The Charles Dibdin Song Prize : James Williams

The Raymond Brown Accompanist's Prize : Nathaniel Mander

Once again, congratulations to the prize winners. The Prize Winners Concert will take place in October 2015. Please look out for details.

The Final
Sunday 26th October 2014 - 10am - 6pm
Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst, Kent

This exciting and unique competition for singers combines the rich variety of the English song genre with the historical keyboard instruments of the Finchcocks Collection. This international competition is presided over by a panel of distinguished judges including Ian Partridge CBE, Julie Kennard and Dr. Geoffrey Govier and offers substantial prize money to a number of competitors.


Christopher Ball First Prize - £1,600 plus a £400 recital

Second Prize - £1,000

The Smallfield Place Audience Prize - £500
(to qualify to vote you must hear all eight singers, entry no later than 10.20am)

The Raymond Brown Accompanist Prize - £500

The Charles Dibdin Song Prize - £200 

The Finchcocks Cellar Restaurant will be open all day for refreshments and lunch

Full Day Ticket - opportunity to vote in the Audience Prize - £20
Half day ticket - listen to either 4 competitors in the morning or afternoon - £15

Tickets available from Maureen Lyle on 01892 530049 or email :

N.B. - Tickets are not available direct from Finchcocks Musical Museum

The 2014 Competition - The Finalists

We are delighted to annouce the following finalists for the competition to be held at Finchcocks Musicial Museum, Goudhurst, Kent on 26th October 2014, (doors open at 10am.) 

Helen Lacey, Phillipa Thomas, Riannon Llewellyn, Bethany Seymour, Felix Kemp, Joe Bolger, James Williams and Jon Stainsby (not in order of performance)

Please remember - to vote in the Audience Prize you MUST hear all eight singers and arrive no later than 10.20am for the first performance at 10.30am. 

The Finchcocks Cellar restaurant will be open all day for drinks, cakes and biscuits and at lunchtime for light bites, lunches and main meals including a 'Special of the Day', all homemade by the Finchcocks chef Graham Stock. 

Patron - Christopher Ball

The JKA trustees are very greatful to all our supporters who have sponsored a prize for the 2014 competition. Our Patron Christopher Ball has been very generous in sponsoring the first prize and as thanks to Christopher, the JKA trustees have decided that the prize will be titled the 'Christopher Ball First Prize' for the 2014 competition. Once again, a big thank you to all our supporters who have given very generously, both for the prizes and individual donations, we hope to see you all at the final. Please come to the whole day as you will be eligible to vote for 'The Smallfield Place Audience Prize'.

JKA Fund raising concert

Monday 28th July at 3pm
Greg Tassell (tenor) Gary Branch (piano)

An afternoon recital including a performance of the song cycle 'The Window' by Sir Arthur Sullivan and songs by Charles Dibdin in his 200th anniversary year. Afternoon refreshments included, limited spaces, book now to avoid disappointment.
Venue : Clifton Coach House, Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5AA
Contact details available on contact page

2014 Competition

Rules, requirements and application form (download in PDF) are now available on the website

We look forward to receiving your application forms and we wish you all the success in researching and choosing the songs you would like to sing in each round. For the 2014 Competition we have the additional Charles Dibdin Song Prize to commemorate the bicentenary of his death in 1814.  

Website design ©DevineMusic.