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For Unaccompanied Singing
Homegrown hosts a heat of the John Birmingham Cup with judges Nancy Kerr and Sean Cooney.
The legacy of John Birmingham, a much loved regular at The Cumberland Arms in Byker, was to establish a competition for songwriters of unaccompanied songs in the folk tradition. Past JB Cup holders include Jess Arrowsmith and Jerry Simon. The JB Cup is not about the best singers, it's about the best songs that get the whole room going, whether that be in tears or a rousing chorus.
Audience entry to watch the competition is free.
Entering the Competition
- Entry into the competition is £5 and you will be given feedback from the judges.
- There are two categories, under 25 and over 25, and a winner will be selected from each category.
- Songs written must be sung a cappella singly or as a duo.
- The song sung at the competition must be written by the singer or must have been written for the singer; this is in order to promote the art of song writing.
- Performance times maybe tailored to fit in with competition time frames, competitors will be notified of this prior to the start of the competition.
- The style of singing and the nature of the song must be suitable for the songs to be appreciated in a pub, at a folk session, on a street corner, or around a campfire.
- The prize money will be for two places for over 25s and for under 25s. In place of third place special mention can be made of a singer at the judges' discretion.
- There may be other prizes for those placed as above, at the discretion of the organisers.
All entrants will get a ticket to the 2pm concert of Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band at the Castle Armoury Drill Hall.
The winners be entered into the Final, to be held at Whitby Folk Week in August, and be offered the opportunity to sing their song at an appropriate gig at The Met in the coming months. The winner of the over 25s will also have his or her name engraved on the Cup, which will be presented at the competition but kept at The Cumberland Arms, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, and will receive a small cup, as shall the winner of the under 25s, theirs to keep.
The competition entrance fee goes directly into the running of the competition.
Part of Homegrown, The Met's festival of English folk music.
Thank you to
Core programme and
major capital funders
The John S
With thanks to
Walker Morris LLP.
Joanne Collumbine and Keith Gillespie; Noreen Kershaw;
Mark Potter; Ian Warburton.