Rosetti poem becomes carol of the year

A musical setting of a Christina Rosetti by a lawyer and mother of two has won the BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition.

Tamiko Dooley was one of 1,000 entrants this year and her treatment of Rossetti’s seasonal classic Love Came Down At Christmas beat five other shortlisted compositions.

Dooley, from Surbiton in Surrey, learnt to play the piano as a child. Music has always been her main interest: at school she took part in the annual carol services; at university she was part of a group that put on a musical at the Edinburgh Fringe. Since lockdown she has also started writing poetry.

Petroc Trelawny, the presenter of Radio 3’s Breakfast programme who announced the winner on air today, said: “The fact that so many took part seems to me a clear illustration of the passion for singing and making music among Radio 3 listeners. We ended up with a shortlist that was rich and varied, half a dozen fine tunes, brought to life on Breakfast by the BBC Singers and arranger Ken Burton. There is no way I could have selected a winner - so I am so glad listeners voted with such enthusiasm. And so, in these dark, uncertain times, we have a new carol that brings light, joy and hope.”

And Ken Burton added: “Each contestant was a pure delight to work with. Every melody captured the essence of the text in a unique way, and they are accessible. The test of a good melody is whether you find it hard to get out of your head, and I found myself in the privileged position of having six earworms to contend with! All six tunes are worthy of a place in the canon of carols.”

You can hear Tamiko Dooley’s winning carol here: BBC Radio 3 website 

 

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