When can I enter?

The original competition deadline for songs (music + lyrics) was 6th November 2015. We are now running a further call for songs with a deadline of  30th March 2018 . However we encourage schools and colleges and songwriters taking part to submit songs as soon as they are ready.

What do I need to submit?

To submit songs (music and lyrics) you will need to submit a text file with the song theme, song lyrics, the mp3 for the music, a music score and (optional) a brief paragraph describing the rationale for the song and another paragraph describing the musical style and tone (allow about 75 -150 words for each).  Assuming it is not an instrumental number, you will increase your chances of having your song chosen greatly if you include a sung vocal line. Also the names/contact details of the author(s) of the lyrics and composer(s) of the music. We ask for contact details of the students in case they leave school and we need to get hold of them for an event. But it is Ok to give a school contact instead if you keep up to date contact details for the relevant student so we can get in contact if we need to.

You will also need to submit signed consent forms by each composer and author which also needs to be countersigned by the students’ parent/guardian if student is under 16. See the section on musical guidance for further details.

Secondary level applicants need to include a ‘piano vocal score’ (pdf, sib, logic) which is the typical format for musicals (you can submit an acoustic guitar score instead if it is more appropriate for your song). A piano score is a vocal stave with a two-stave piano part underneath and chord symbols above. Here is an example from the Lion King:


Students at higher education level should submit a piano (or acoustic guitar)  score and full orchestra score.

The piano (and orchestra score if you have it) should be uploaded with your submission. If you submit without any score, we may have to get back to you to ask for one if the song is amongst the winners. Also email the MP3, lyrics, score and consent forms to fidel@soton.ac.uk as well as uploading via the website.

Can I submit an instrumental number?

Yes you may submit an instrumental number, or one that has minimal lyrics e.g. just the odd cry,  and this might be appropriate for the battle scenes where there is a lot going on in the stage, but not much talking. In this case, instead of submitting lyrics you should submit details of what is going on onstage so we can see how the music reflects the action.

Length of song

We expect submissions to be between 2 and 5 minutes long. If you strongly believe your song should be much longer (i.e. between 6 and 9 minutes) you should provide a justification for this in your accompanying paragraph (see also reprises – next)

What about reprises?

Many songs in musicals are reprises i.e. the same song is repeated more than once in the musical, often with the same melody but different lyrics to reflect the change in circumstances. If you are submitting a song which is reprised,  provide the full lyrics for each reprise, but do not include every version in the submitted mp3 – keep under 6 minutes unless the reprisals vary a lot in delivery and tone, in which case, the maximum is 9 minutes.

Is there an age limit?

We now have three categories: 16 and under; 17-21  and adult songwriter and we will offer at least one prize per category.

 Can there be more than one composer?

The default is we expect most submissions to have one composer (for the music) and one lyricist (for the lyrics) and it is fine if this is the same person. Where there is more than one, the name and contact details of each should be specified on the submission page and each person’s relative contribution to the submission (where none is specified we will assume equal contribution for all named composers/lyricists). We can allow a maximum of 5 contributors for each submission.

Do I have to be a student?

No. We began by only promoting this to educational institutions as it is primarily meant to be an educational project. Also this allows an element of pre-selection as each school/college can just pick their best to submit. However for the upcoming round (deadline 30/03/2018) we are more inclusive and will allow anyone to submit , so adult songwriters can submit into the adult songwriter category.

Does the music score have to be submitted?

As this is not a commercial project we will not have funds to get each song properly scored. You can submit without a score, but if the song is chosen as a winner, we may get back to you and ask for it to be scored. It is not compulsory to submit a full orchestra score. We would not expect students at secondary school level to submit a full orchestra score (but you could do so if you wish). but we would expect students at university level to be able to do so. Students at A level can if they wish, and their teacher may set their own guidelines on what they expect.

Teaching support and help creating the score from an expert in composition may be available depending on where you are based, click here for details.

Will the musical be performed?

We will allow all participating organisations to put on the musical once without charge before 31/12/2020, and any organisation that submitted a winning entry to put on the musical twice (maybe more with permission) without charge until 31/12/2025.

The first full performance of Act 1(90 mins) was being staged at Iris Theatre, Covent Garden on 16th Nov 2017


Are there prizes?

We will award at least three prizes: £100 to the best entry in each age category: 16 and under; 17-21 and adult songwriter. If we get more funds or many submissions we will also offer runners-up prizes.  This prize will be shared among all composers/writers of the song where there has been a group submission. As above, schools/colleges benefit from rights to put on the musical. Winning students get named credit.  In addition we will present a University of Southampton certificate to all winning entries. This will look good on the wall and make a great addition to students’ cvs. Details to be confirmed.

Who owns the rights to the songs submitted?

(draft response) The rights to the song remain with the composers/writers as listed on the submission page. However in submitting the song you grant us license to use and/or modify the song for the purpose of the musical.

How to submit

Please email fidel@soton.ac.uk the MP3, consent form, lyrics and score. use Drop box, We transfer or similar if email size is over 5MB.


Any other questions, please email fidel@soton.ac.uk