The Competition Final: Saturday, 9th November 2024, 2-7PM

The John Kerr Award was founded in 2006 as a biennial award competition.

The Final

Six finalists will perform a programme of English song from the 17th century to the present day. A compulsory lute song will be part of each finalists programme, this song will be accompanied by the John Kerr Award lutenist.

Please remember, all members of the audience who attend all the performances of the six finalists will be eligible to vote in the Audience Prize. There will be a long interval in the middle of the afternoon. Refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon at the Lauderdale House Cafe.

The Judges

We are delighted to welcome our judges: Neil Jenkins (Head Judge), Julie Kennard (John Kerr Award Specialist Judge), Peter Thresh (Senior Producer BBC Radio 3) and Christopher Grant (Accompanists Judge).

Adjudication Criteria

The following criteria will form the basis of the adjudication (as appropriate) for both the first round and final :

  • Historical awareness in vocal matters
  • Performance style and manner
  • Audience engagement
  • Sympathy with and understanding of the words
  • Evidence of personal involvement and veracity
  • Ability to introduce the songs in a stylish manner


Vocalists are strongly encouraged to provide their own accompanists for the final. A house accompanist will be available for any singer who is unable to provide their own.

Their own accompanist will automatically be entered into the accompanist prize if 35 years of age or younger.

Ticket Prices

£15 – Seniors
£12 – Under 18’s and students

Tickets are available from Administrator
Email :
Telephone : 07771 570530

Location & Transport

St.Peter’s Church is located in the Old Town of Bexhill-on-Sea, a short walk (uphill) from the town centre and railway station.

As Bexhill-on-Sea is some distance from London. The John Kerr Award is delighted to help our chosen finalists and their accompanists with travel expenses by car or train to the venue. We are also delighted to offer via our local supporters opportunities to stay on the Friday night, before the competition at a local host home. Please, if you are chosen as a finalist/accompanist, contact the Administrator who will be able to assist.

Entering the Competition

Entry to the 2024 Competition is made by completing the entry form (see below.) All the details and requirements are on the entry form.

The competition consists of a first round and final. The first round will require a video of you singing two contrasting songs. The final will require a recital of approximately twenty-five minutes performed to the judges and an audience at St. Peter’s Church, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Entry to the competiton, including a completed entry form, your video for the first round and entry fee (paid by electronic bank transfer or cheque), must be completed by the closing date of the 31st July 2024.


Age : 35 or under on the date of the final (9/11/24)

Download the entry form here :

For updates and other stories relating to the John Kerr Award, please see our Facebook page :

ST. PETER’S CHURCH, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN40 2HE

Bexhill-on-Sea Railway Station is approximately a 10 minute (uphill) from the church.