Music Competition


Music Maker Competition and Constance Shacklock Memorial Prize

Carlton Male Voice Choir are passionate in supporting and promoting young musicians in our area with our Music Competition. The original Music Maker competitions turn 25 years old in 2024 – something we are celebrating with the launch, this year, of a second prize.

This is an exciting opportunity for young, skilled musicians and singers aged 16-20 with a passion for music, who love performing and can produce music to a high standard. The winners will join the ranks of many talented previous winners including three members of Nottingham’s illustrious musical family the Kanneh-Masons, Konya, Braimah and Isata.

The main prize is the Music Maker Trophy and a cash prize of £700 along with the opportunity to perform at Carlton MVC’s annual Festival Concert at the prestigious Albert Hall, Nottingham on 22nd June 2024.

An additional cash prize of £500 will be awarded to the performer who shows the greatest potential. This is a new prize for 2024, in memory of one of England’s and Nottingham’s finest opera singers, Constance Shacklock (see details below).

The Competition will feature Preliminary Performances and a Final Performance. These events will be open to the public and will be supported by performances by Carlton Male Voice Choir.

The competition is open to male, female and non-binary contestants playing any instrument or singers.  Any genre of music can be performed.


Music Maker Competition – How to enter

Please check you comply with the entry conditions set out below.

If you meet the criteria, and if you would like to enter this fantastic competition in its 25th Anniversary please email our Chairman, Chris Coats, at and ask him to send you an entry form.

The entry form must be completed and returned to us not later than 31 March 2024 so please do not leave it to the last minute to ask for the form! When returning the form we will ask you to include a link to a video of you singing or playing your instrument. We will use that performance video to select the 12 entrants who will be invited to one of the two heats. The best performers at the heats will then be invited to the final of the competition where the two winners will be chosen by the panel of judges.


Who was Constance Shacklock? (1913 – 1999)
As a founder member of the Royal Opera, Constance Shacklock graduated from minor roles to stardom. She also gave Lieder recitals all over the country to the delight of the large audiences which she attracted on her visits to provincial cities. After withdrawing from Covent Garden she accepted many invitations to sing in continental opera houses with great success. The legendary conductor Erich Kleiber thought her the best operatic Mezzo in the world. She was also a soloist in the first-ever performance in Italy of The Dream of Gerontius, the first British singer to perform behind the Iron Curtain in 1951, and one of the first to sing at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. She also became an immensely popular figure at The Last Night of the Proms, the only singer to have performed Rule Britania on 10 occasions under the baton of Sir Malcolm Sargent. She sang alongside Kirsten Flagstad in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde playing the role of Brangane. Her other operatic roles were Carmen in Carmen, Amneris in Aida, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Azucena in Il Trovatore and Mrs Sedley, in Peter Grimes. At the end of her career, she played Mother Abbess in the West End in The Sound of Music. When she retired from the stage she became a professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music. She was awarded an OBE in 1971, and in 2017 a blue plaque was unveiled at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham by Katharine Dryden for BBC Music Day. Most great singers are gradually forgotten over time, however, it would be very fitting to commemorate Constance and keep her memory alive for young artists with a new memorial.


Previous Winners

Congratulations to Music Maker Competition Winner 2022Benjamin Staniforth (Baritone). Benjamin performed at our Festival Concert at the Albert Hall in 2022 after a year of no winner due to Covid-19. We will see and hear Benjamin perform with the choir in 2023.


Our 2020 Carlton Male Voice Choir Music Maker Award winner Magnus Hawker-French (Trombone). Magnus performed in concert Christmas 2021

Magnus performing at the choir’s Christmas Festival Concert with our Principle Accompanist Roger Holland.


The 2019 Carlton Male Voice Choir Music Maker Award winner Lydia Messan (Soprano).


The 2018 Carlton Male Voice Choir Music Makers Award winners were Konya Kanneh-Mason (Piano) & Nathan Holroyd (Saxophone).


The 2017 Carlton Male Voice Choir Music Makers Award winner was Christopher Hill (flute).



The Past Music Maker Winners (pre-2017)

Braimah Kanneh-Mason 2016 – Violin


Matt Glendening 2015 – Clarinet


Isata Kanneh-Mason 2014 – Piano


Laura Roberts 2013 – Soprano


Amanda Bruce 2012 – Violin and Vocal


Bethany Peace 2011 – Soprano


Samantha Vernon 2010 – Soprano


Jennifer Adams 2009 – Soprano


Rebecca Stafford 2008 – Piano


Lauren Broxholme 2007 – Soprano


Ruth Hodkin 2006 – Piano


Rebecca Matthews 2005 – Clarinet


Rosalyn Curwen 2004 – Soprano


Phillipa Thorne 2003 – Piano


Patrick Shaw 2002 – Saxophone


Sara Lawson 2001 – Soprano


Nick Yates 2000 – Tenor

Liz Mahon 1999 – Soprano


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