1. Background
  2. Joining Chapel Choir
  3. Recordings
  4. Current Music List [PDF]

Music at Castle

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 organ in the Tunstal Chapel is a two-manual Harrison & Harrison organ. If you would like to view it or practice at it, please contact the Organ Scholar.

Joining Chapel Choir

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:

6:30 - 7:45 Rehearsal
5:00 Rehearsal for 6:00 Evensong
10:00 Rehearsal for 11:00 Eucharist

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).

For more information or to arrange an audition please contact the Director of Music, James Day, either by email or on 07970 152 098.


The choir of University College Chapel has two CDs to its name so far, both on the Lammas record label:

God So Loved The World - A Passiontide Sequence Cover Picture
God So Loved The World - A Passiontide Sequence
The Chapel Choir of University College, Durham
Recorded in York Minster
Director: David Jackson
Organ: Oliver Bond

Total playing time 60m 37s
God so loved the world - John Stainer
Drop, drop, slow tears - Kenneth LeightonListen to this track
The Lamentation - Edward Bairstow
Call to Remembrance - Richard Farrant
Ubi Caritas - Maurice DuruflÈ
Like as the Hart - Herbert Howells
Salvator Mundi - Thomas Tallis
Take up thy Cross - R.L. Pearsall, arr. Richard Shephard
Christus factus est - Anton Bruckner
The Reproaches - John Sanders
Never weather-beaten sail - Richard Shephard
Crucifixus - Antonio Lotti
Geistliches Lied - Johannes Brahms
O Brother Man - Harold Darke
Jesu, grant me this, I pray - Edward Bairstow
Cantate Domino Cover Picture
Cantate Domino
The Chapel Choir Of University College, Durham

Director: Christopher Totney
Organ: David Jackson

Total playing time 68m 55s
O Sing Joyfully - Adrian Batten
Psalm 114 - Tonus Peregrinus ed. Christopher Totney
Psalm 115 - chant by Gerald Knight
Magnificat from the Short Service - Orlando Gibbons
Nunc Dimittis from the Short Service - Orlando Gibbons
Cantate Domino - Richard Nicolson
Hymn: Glory to Thee, my God - Thomas Tallis
Lord, for thy tender mercyís sake - Richard Farrant or John Hilton
Psalm 126 - chant by George Garrett
Psalm 127 - chant by John Leman Rogers
Psalm 128 - chant by Christopher Totney
Psalm 129 - chant by George Garrett
Psalm 130 - chant by William Ellis
Psalm 131 - chant by David Willcocks
Magnificat from the Evening Service for four voices - Thomas Caustun
Nunc Dimittis from the Evening Service for four voices - Thomas CaustunListen to this track
Ave Maria - Robert Parsons
Hymn: Love of the Father - Orlando Gibbons
If ye love me - Thomas Tallis
Psalm 142 - chant by Joseph Barnby
Psalm 143 - melody by Martin Hurst harm. Christopher Totney
Magnificat from the Short Service (Dorian Mode) - Thomas Tallis
Nunc Dimittis from the Short Service (Dorian Mode) - Thomas Tallis
Loquebantur variis linguis - Thomas Tallis

Other music

Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols 2009 2009
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
Organ Voluntary Listen to this track
Once in Royal David's City Listen to this track
Welcome and Introduction - The Chaplain Listen to this track
Adam Lay Y'Bounden Listen to this track
First Lesson - Harriet Russell, Senior Man Listen to this track
O Little Town of Bethlehem Listen to this track
Second Lesson - The Master Listen to this track
For Unto Us A Child Is Born Listen to this track
Third Lesson - John Lumsden, SCR Listen to this track
O Come All Ye Faithful Listen to this track
Fourth Lesson - Andrew Thurman, Sacristan Listen to this track
Coventry Carol Listen to this track
Fifth Lesson - Matthew Dyson, Vice Senior Man Listen to this track
Stille Nacht Listen to this track
Sixth Lesson - Martin Dehnel, Chapel Treasurer Listen to this track
In the Bleak Midwinter Listen to this track
Seventh Lesson - Eva Schumacher-Reid, Senior Tutor Listen to this track
O Magnum Mysterium Listen to this track
Eighth Lesson - Richard Harness, MCR President Listen to this track
The Three Kings Listen to this track
Ninth Lesson - Edward Moore, Director of Music Listen to this track
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear Listen to this track
Prayers - Sophia Gerth, Chapel Clerk Listen to this track
Hark The Herald Angels Sing Listen to this track
Dismissal - The Chaplain Listen to this track
Organ Voluntary Listen to this track