Archbishop’s Prize for New Composers

The Poem

Wisdom by Fr Andrew Bullen SJ
From Etiquette with Angels: Selected and New Poems,
published by David Lovell Publishing

Casper, Casper, do not be afraid
Of me, of yourself, and even of Herod.

Do not fear that Melchior and Balthazar
Will doubt your story, or be jealous
That I came to your alone.
If they claim that your are young,
Or black, or dream too much,
admit it

Make them remember
How they felt when Herod smiled.
You all trusted his welcome.
Notice how you shudder now
At his innocent request.

The child needs no other homage
Than that of the riff-raff shepherds,
Yourselves with your silly gifts,
The heavens singing or your shifting star,
The warm breath of ox and ass,
Joseph’s vigilance and the arms of Mary.

You cannot prevent the slaughter.
Arise and disobey the king.

How do I enter?

To enter in the competition, you must be aged between 18 and 35 and must complete the Entry Application Form, agree to the Competition Conditions of Entry and submit your musical composition. The Entry is to be submitted in the form of sheet music.

A separate application form is required for each Entry in the Competition. It is permitted for an Entry to have more than one composer.

In this case, each Entrant will need to complete a separate Entry Application Form. Each Entrant may only submit one Entry either for himself/herself only or for a group of Entrants where the Entry has more than one composer.

The Competition closes at 5pm on Thursday, 30 September 2021.

Competition Criteria

Selection of the winning Entry will be based on the following criteria
• the Entry must be a musical composition which uses Andrew Bullen SJ’s poem, “Wisdom”, as its lyrics. A copy of the poem is below;
• the Entry must be no more than 5 minutes in duration;
• the Entry must consist of a standard SATB choral piece with optional division of voices; and
• an Entry may also have an optional organ accompaniment.

In addition, in submitting an Entry, the Entrant should also describe his or her compositional activity to date, such as whether the Entrant has studied composition or performed works.


If you have any questions about the competition, please email