Rebecca, a 13-year-old girl from St Albans, has won a carol competition on national radio.

The teenager was announced as the winner of BBC Radio 3's 2023 Breakfast Carol Competition today (Thursday, December 21) in the junior category.

Clare Welfare, from Dereham, won the senior prize.

Both awards were voted for by listeners over the space of a week, and will feature across the radio station's festive schedule and on BBC Sounds.

As part of today’s Breakfast show, they were performed live from Maida Vale Studios by the BBC Singers.

Rebecca and Clare’s carols triumphed among eight shortlisted compositions, chosen by a panel of judges including broadcaster Clive Myrie, Blue Peter presenter Mwaksy Mudenda, Kings College director of music Daniel Hyde and Beverley McGeown, who runs Open Arts Community Choir in Northern Ireland.

Chairing the panel was Abimbola Amoako-Gyampah from the Coronation Gospel Choir, who performed at the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

All finalists had the opportunity to work with composer and arranger Iain Farrington to transform their melodies into fully harmonised Christmas carols.

Rebecca plays the violin and the piano, and is also a member of the ceilidh band at school.

Her first violin teacher loved folk music and that rubbed off on Rebecca when composing this carol.

When she was writing her entry, she wanted her to sound like a traditional one that’s sung from door to door.

Rebecca said: “When I first heard I had won I could hardly believe it, it was a dream come true and I was so happy.

"This has been an incredible experience and I am so grateful to everyone at the BBC who performed and produced my carol as well as all those who supported and voted for me.


"Thank you so much”

Sam Jackson, BBC Radio 3 controller, added: "Thanks to everyone involved – poet Laureate Simon Armitage, our brilliant panel of judges for their shortlisting, Iain Farrington for the arrangements and of course the BBC Singers for bringing these carols to life.

"We hope these two winning carols will have a long life beyond this competition.”

The winning carols and other shortlisted entries can be heard on the BBC Radio 3 website and the BBC Sounds app.