Somerville College Choir
The Choir of Somerville College, Oxford is coming to be seen as one of the best mixed-voice choirs in the university. It has sung at many of the great cathedrals in the UK (Wells, Winchester, Worcester, Blackburn Southwark) and most recently at St. Paul’s for the Accession Day service as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The choir has toured Germany (Berlin Potsdam, Brandenburg), Italy (Milan, Crema, Lodi, Caravaggio) and North-West England. Since 2011 Somerville Choir has been recording commercial CDs for Stone Records. A CD of Duruflé’s Requiem and Milford’s Mass was released last year. The choir regularly collaborates with an Oxford-based professional orchestra. Plans for this year include recording sessions for a CD of advent music, two performances at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a concert at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London as well as concerts and radio broadcasts as part of the ‘Britten in Oxford’ festival.
Somerville Chapel is the only inter-denominational college chapel in the university. The weekly services can take absolutely any liturgical format (Anglican evensong/eucharist, Catholic mass, Jewish service, ecumenical faith talk etc.). The Choir of Somerville College therefore has an unusually flexible repertoire and sings sacred choral music from many different traditions as well as secular music.
One service a week plus a rehearsal on Thursday. The choir also has a strong commitment to other projects such as operas and concerts outside the regular service schedule.
Who can join the choir?
The choir is fully auditioned but not all singers are choral scholars. Members of any college as well as those from Brookes and former students living in Oxford are part of the choir.
Dinner is provided free of charge after the service on Sunday.
The choir has 10 choral scholarships and these are auditioned in the September choral trials, or in Michaelmas should there be any remaining vacancies. These are worth £150 per annum.
Details of the Organ Scholarships:
Organ scholars are normally appointed every other year and, in addition to accompanying the choir, they conduct at least one anthem per term and assist in running the choir. It is worth £200 a year plus £600 for organ lessons.