William Thomas bass won the 67th ROSL Annual Music Competition Singers Prize on Tuesday 19 February and was awarded £5,000 and a sought-after place at the Gold Medal Final on 30 May 2019. Thomas’s 20-minute programme of Schubert, Wolf, Poulenc, Harrison and Rossini wowed the capacity crowd and judging panel. 

Four section finalists were chosen from 50 hopefuls during two rounds of preliminary auditions; competitors Joel Williams tenor, Benson Wilson baritone, Emily Kyte mezzo-soprano, and William Thomas bass made for an exciting competition as each performer chose varied repertoire that fully utilised their vocal talents; everything from Mozart to a Maori haka, via Bernstein and Schubert. The adjudicators Gavin Henderson CBE, Joseph Middleton, Dame Felicity Palmer, Geoff Parkin, and Maxine Robertson had a difficult decision choosing the performer for the sought after-place in the Grand Final and the opportunity to win the Gold Medal prize of £15,000.

Briton William Thomas is the winner of the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, winner of the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Award and winner of the 2018 John Christie Award from Glyndebourne. Brought up in Harpenden, Will is currently on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studies with John Evans.

ROSL Annual Music Competition Section Finals take place each Tuesday 7-9pm at Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1LR:

  • 12 February: Wind and Percussion – winner Kris Garfitt trombone
  • 19 February: Singers – winner William Thomas bass
  • 26 February: Strings
  • 5 March: Keyboard
  • 12 March: Ensemble A (Strings)
  • 19 March: Ensemble B (Mixed)
  • 21 March: Over-Seas Award
  • 30 May: Grand Final held at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Tickets: £16. To book tickets, visit www.rosl.org.uk/events, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7408 0214 ext 219

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For more information or press images contact Gemma Matthews, Director of Marketing on T 020 7016 6904 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. visit www.rosl.org.uk


Founded in 1910, the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) is a non-profit private members' club dedicated to championing international friendship and understanding. ROSL helps artists and musicians across the Commonwealth connect, collaborate and create. Our humanitarian work benefits communities and changes lives.

ROSL ARTS supports talented young artists and musicians from the UK and Commonwealth, providing performance and exhibition opportunities which bring their work to the attention of the professional arts community, media and general public.


The ROSL Annual Music Competition grew out of a series of concerts inaugurated at Over-Seas House London in 1947 under the banner ‘Festival of Commonwealth Youth’. The Festival became competitive in 1952, with a first prize of £10. Over the past 60 years the competition has grown in scope and prestige and now awards in excess of £80,000 for solo performers, accompanists and chamber ensembles. Past ROSL prizewinners make an impressive alumni of musicians of the highest calibre who have established prominent careers in the music profession, find a list of past winners here: https://www.rosl.org.uk/music/music-alumni

To mark ROSL’s centenary in 2010 an appeal was launched to secure the future endowment of the ROSL Annual Music Competition Awards and Commonwealth Music Scholarships, currently worth £125,000 per annum. The funds are held in the ROSL Golden Jubilee Trust (registered charity 306095). To make a donation contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.