If you want to be part of the only non-denominational chapel choir in Oxford and join a friendly, supportive and professionally-directed group of singers, Somerville Choir is the place for you.
Under the direction of professional singer and choral conductor Will Dawes (Stile Antico), our singers and organists flourish within an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, and good humour. We rehearse twice a week and perform a diverse range of secular and traditional anglican choral music on Sundays in Somerville’s unique non-denominational format, Choral Contemplation. A significant proportion of our output is by female composers and/or poets.
Somerville College Choir plays a central role in the life of the college – including singing services and regular concerts within the fine acoustics of the College Chapel, and supporting the college’s endeavours elsewhere in in the UK and abroad. Dinner and wine is provided each Sunday evening, and the choir also sings at the major college dinners through the year, dining free of charge in return.
The regular weekly commitments are:
- Thursday afternoon rehearsal (5.15-6.45pm)
- Sunday evening service of Choral Contemplation (3.45-5pm rehearsal for 5.30pm service, with refreshments provided during the break)
Concerts, often in conjunction with the excellent Somerville Music Society, range from full operatic productions through oratorios and other choral and orchestral works, including biannual performances of Bach’s John Passion. The choir has toured the USA and Europe several times in recent years. In December 2018, the choir was the first Oxford college choir to visit India. Upcoming tours include Hong Kong & Singapore and the USA, in addition to plans for a new CD recording.
Somerville offers up to eight Choral Scholarships each year to join the 28-strong choir, which can be auditioned for through the University’s Choral Trials scheme. You can also contact Will Dawes at any point after you get your offer or during your studies to arrange an informal audition. The choir is open to undergraduates and postgraduates from Somerville and other Oxford colleges, as well as to all from the wider Oxford community.