We must always be looking to the next generation: the continued health of music demands it. So the Ebor Singers and their conductor Paul Gameson deserve plaudits for their new carol competition for young composers.

The two leading works were unveiled on Sunday in a concert that aligned Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, in its original, treble-voice version, with other carols of the last century.

Topaz Pauls's setting of Hush! My Dear, by the 18th-century hymn-writer Isaac Watts, was a worthy winner.

A pretty melody, heard at first from a soprano soloist, framed the piece, with a contrasting minor section between: a neat shape, easily comprehended, full of promise. Runner-up Ester Lusty gave Herrick's What Sweeter Music? more hymn-like treatment, pleasingly harmonised.

It was a pity that the opening and closing plainchants in the Britten were not sung in procession, given the ideal surroundings. Still, after a slightly boisterous start, the ladies settled into an easier stride, gentled along by Melanie Jones's harp. Solo voices were relaxed and ensemble was tight. Over-fast, Deo Gracias lost rhythmic excitement. But the overall effect was vividly evocative.

Interleaving the 'O' antiphons with the remaining carols - following the example of St John's College Choir, Cambridge - worked well. Leighton's setting of the Coventry Carol was beautifully delivered, set off by Louise Eekelaar's clear soprano. And the stunning final chords of Howells' A Spotless Rose were impeccably tuned. The carol is alive and thriving.