We’re pleased to confirm that the final of the 11th annual Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year competition – better known as SSSSPOTY – will take place on Sunday 11th June 2017 at the Noël Coward Theatre in St Martin’s Lane, London, meaning that 12 lucky finalists will get the chance to sing in front of a West End audience – and the all-important celebrity jury, chaired once again by Edward Seckerson.
The students entering the competition will be expected to sing one Sondheim song, plus one new song, selected from 12 shortlisted songs submitted by members of Mercury Musical Developments (MMD). The first prize for the best student performance is £1,000, while the writers of the best new song will also win £1,000, plus the chance to win the Stiles & Drewe Prize, which offers a mentorship package to the writers of the best new musical. The runner-up student will also win £500. Last year, the winning student was Courtney Bowman of the Guildford School of Acting, while the winning songwriter was Tim Connor. The mentorship prize went to Darren Clark and Rhys Jennings, writers of The Wicker Husband. The event was a great success, thanks to, among others, our host Julian Ovenden, our guest performer (and judge) Sophie-Louise Dann, our MD Mark Warman, and the judging panel, which included actress Anne Reid, lyricist Don Black and Society champion Julia McKenzie.
The heats this year will be held on 12th March at London’s Bishopsgate Institute, and the first submissions have already been received. For details on how to enter the competition, please email the Society Administrator, Lynne Chapman.
We – and all of the student performers – would really appreciate your support, so please keep the afternoon of Sunday 11th June free – and watch this space for more information.