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How it works

Before each Annual Competition, Applications are invited from promising young singers and musicians who wish to be invited to take part in the Competition.

The Trustees, who all have expertise in at least one musical genre, then consider all the Applications received, and a small number of Applicants are invited to compete in the final.


At the Competition Final, each Competitor is asked to provide a performance programme lasting up to 15 minutes, to demonstrate and display their particular talent , in singing, and/or playing their chosen instrument.


The Competition Final is held in Chester le Street Methodist Church (in the Market Place, Chester le Street) with an Audience made up of family, friends and supporters of the entrants, and supporters of the Trust who always look forward to hearing and seeing young people demonstrate their musical ability.


Once all the Competitors have performed, the Trustees retire to discuss in confidence the performances they have listened to - and decide who deserves to be the Winner and Runner-up on the night.

The Winner is awarded the James Etherington Trophy, and a cheque (currently for £500.00)

Once the Trophy is engraved (and this takes a little longer than it takes at Wimbledon) they are invited to retain the Trophy until the next Competition.

The Runner-up is now awarded the Margaret Crawford Trophy to retain until the next Competition, and also a cheque (currently for £250.00)

Margaret Crawford was a Trustee of the Charity for many years before she sadly passed away in 2018, and the award is presented in her memory.

The remaining Competitors who are not awarded either of the two top prizes don't go home empty-handed, but are also awarded a cash prize (usually of at least £75.00)

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