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University College Chapel Choir, the finest College Choir in Durham, is made up of around twenty students. With a choice of two college chapels in which to sing, they are the envy of other college choirs. The choir's regular commitments include singing full choral Evensong every Thursday in Tunstal Chapel and a sung Eucharist every Sunday.
On top of their busy commitments within the Chapels they are kept busy with services in Cathedrals throughout the northeast, as well as special concerts in Durham, Newcastle and York. In July of 2005 they recorded a new CD in York Minster, whilst in August 2004 they won the Schott Musik International Youth Choir Award at the Edinburgh Fringe.
In the summer of 2006, the choir toured the south-west of England, singing at Bristol, Wells and Exeter Cathedrals, all to great acclaim.
The choir is constantly kept busy with new ventures which diversify its commitments beyond the Chapel, however we never forget our primary concern - that of providing music for College services.
For more current information regarding the various choral and organ scholarships available, please contact the Director of Music.
The Chapels of University College are home to one of the finest student choirs in the University.
The choirís primary role is to lead the worship of the Chapel community which it does by singing two services each week; Choral Evensong every Thursday and sung Eucharist on Sunday mornings.
However, in addition to this they frequently sing services in Durham and other Cathedrals and perform regular concerts, both independently and in association with the College Music Society. The have recorded two CDs in the past eight years, tour in England and abroad and appear at several college dinners and functions.
In a normal week the choirís commitments are as follows:
The choir itself generally consists of twenty-two singers: six sopranos, six altos, four tenors and six basses. Everyone is re-auditioned every year to ensure the choir remains of a suitably high standard.
From these twenty-two singers the Chapel appoints eight student Choral Scholars for the duration of the year. Choral Scholars are expected to set an example to the rest of the choir and bear the brunt of the solo work, as well as singing on occasions when the full choir are not required. They also occasionally function as a solo octet, performing independently within the Durham area. Remuneration for Choral Scholarships is currently set at £150 a year.
The Chapel also appoint two Organ Scholars whose main role is to play at the two weekly services. They will also have the opportunity to conduct the choir from time to time, not only in lieu of the Director of Music but also to gain experience of working with choirs. In spite of this, no prior conducting experience is required. Remuneration for Organ Scholarships is also set at £150 a year (currently under review).
The choir of University College Chapel has two CDs to its name so far, both on the Lammas record label:
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
The Chapel Choir of University College, Durham
Recorded live in Durham Castle's Tunstal Chapel
Director: Edward Moore
Organ: Megan Sharp
Organ: Richard Allum
Total playing time 67m 49s
Once in Royal David's City
Welcome and Introduction - The Chaplain
Adam Lay Y'Bounden
First Lesson - Harriet Russell, Senior Man
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Second Lesson - The Master
For Unto Us A Child Is Born
Third Lesson - John Lumsden, SCR
O Come All Ye Faithful
Fourth Lesson - Andrew Thurman, Sacristan
Fifth Lesson - Matthew Dyson, Vice Senior Man
Sixth Lesson - Martin Dehnel, Chapel Treasurer
In the Bleak Midwinter
Seventh Lesson - Eva Schumacher-Reid, Senior Tutor
O Magnum Mysterium
Eighth Lesson - Richard Harness, MCR President
The Three Kings
Ninth Lesson - Edward Moore, Director of Music
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
Prayers - Sophia Gerth, Chapel Clerk
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Dismissal - The Chaplain
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