The chapel choir at Corpus Christi College sings three services each week under the direction of the Director of Music, Robin Walker. The choir is formed of Choral Scholars, either those who apply specifically to Corpus to sing as a choral scholar, or through the Intercollegiate Choral Award Scheme, and also Volunteer singers. Through the course of the year the choir undertakes a busy and exciting schedule of services, concerts, tours and recordings.
The Director of Music conducts most services and rehearsals, and there is a focus at Corpus on the vocal technique and individual development of each singer. The choir will appeal to those who wish to sing regularly through the week but don’t want to be committed to the daily services of other colleges.
Most weeks the choir sings at sung Eucharist on Sunday mornings, and for Evensong on Wednesday and Sunday nights. There is also a weekly Friday evening rehearsal. In return for their commitment to music in the chapel all singers have singing lessons provided each term and may also dine on Sunday evenings after Evensong.
The choir travels to sing in concerts and services outside Cambridge, and goes on an international tour in the summer. In 2015, the choir performed in London as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival, and was joined by the Cambridge Baroque Camerata in a special concert of Bach’s St John Passion. In December 2016 the choir will represent the college on a major tour of Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Auditions for choir places take place in early October each year, and new applicants are welcome to apply at any time to join. It’s a great place to meet new people from within the college, and to enjoy some of the finest choral repertoire each week.
Regular weekly programme:
Rehearsal 5pm – 6.15pm
Holy Communion 10am
Rehearsal 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Jessica Stewart, 2nd year Arabic and Russian
Being a member of the choir and a part of chapel life has been a wonderful way of getting to know people from all years, undergraduate and postgraduate. The chapel community is vibrant and tight-knit, and it is satisfying to know that the choir has such an important role in the life of the college and its members.
We sing three services a week, so we get to look at lots of very varied music, including Palestrina, Howells, Tavener, Vierne and Purcell. Michaelmas holds many delights, including a performance for All Souls of Fauré’s Requiem, and two carol services. We also sing with other college choirs at various occasions, this year including joint evensong with Magdalene and a huge Eucharist at the University Church with the choirs of Jesus, Magdalene and Clare. Last year we also sang at several parishes in the area connected to Corpus – Landbeach and Little Wilbraham in Cambridgeshire, and Fulmodestone in Norfolk – where we were looked after very well. However, the highlight of the year, for me, was the Choir tour to Vienna. We sang at the Hofburg Palace Chapel, the Stephansdom, the chapel at Schönbrunn, the Karlskirche, and many other places besides. We had an incredible time, and I am already looking forward to the next tour, rumoured to be to Scandinavia…
It is amazing to be a part of the long chapel tradition at Corpus and to get to spend so much time in such a beautiful building. Services provide structure and calm in a busy and often crazy academic week, and we have such fun as a group. Weekly formals, breakfast at James’, and the Dean’s late parties provide great entertainment. I am very blessed to be part of it all.