Welcome to our new choir blog! For those who aren’t familiar with the Worcester Chapel choirs, there are two choirs (one with boy choristers and one with sopranos) who sing both separately and combined, totalling four sung services a week. Rehearsals happen before evensong and also on Thursday evenings, and individual singing lessons are available for scholars during term. The atmosphere in choir is very friendly; we eat together after each service (a 3-course meal in hall) and have regular socials. Alongside our weekly service schedule we often sing for special events and concerts which sometimes take us out of Oxford to locations such as London, Worcester, and Faversham. Recent summer tours have included Rome, Puglia, and Nice.
It’s been a busy start to the year for the choir, what with three evensongs and a Eucharist already under our belt, along with rehearsals, a gaudy, and a funeral service for a Worcester tutor (not to mention a few cheeky trips to the college bar). On Saturday of Freshers’ Week we welcomed prospective new members at an open rehearsal and evensong. Lots of freshers and students from college and the wider university came along and we were lucky enough to boost our ranks through this. After a Eucharist service with music by Byrd and Farrant last Thursday, two of our new choral scholars, Gabby and Polly, spoke to us about how they have found the start of term…
How have you found the first couple of weeks?
Gabby: I think it’s a really great community, everyone’s so close and supportive of each other. We’re doing some really great rep this term – I’m excited for what’s in my folder!
Polly: Everyone’s been really friendly, even though I joined after some of the others, at the open evensong. It’s very welcoming and I think it will be a good year.
What are you most looking forward to in choir?
Gabby: I’m really looking forward to the Christmas services; it’s one of my favourite times of year and so I think it will be really special. My favourite Christmas carol is Hark the Herald, because of the fantastic soprano descant.
Polly: I’ve never been in a chapel choir before so I’m looking forward to singing services; it will be an exciting new experience.
What first attracted you to singing with us at Worcester?
Gabby: I applied to Worcester College because of the soprano choral scholarships, and because everyone was really friendly at the open day. Also the chapel is lovely!
Polly: Everyone sounded great at the open evensong so I thought I’d audition. It was one of the less intimidating auditions I’ve done thankfully.
Describe choir in three words:
Gabby: Dining, friendly and gaudy (and maybe drinking!)
Polly: Welcoming, fun and Brahms.
That’s it from us for this week. Stay tuned for all the latest updates from Worcester chapel choir!
Next week: A day in the life of an organ scholar! We’ll be delving into the secret life of this fascinating species…