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12th February 2024 The Reverand Andrew Allen

Exeter College Choir builds links with choirs across the UK

Chaplain Andrew Allen reports on outreach work by Exeter's talented choir.

One of the great delights at Exeter is hearing music floating out of the Chapel and around the Front Quad. This term the voices of our Choir have been supplemented by several school, cathedral, and visiting choirs.

The Choir of Arundel Catholic Cathedral sang at our Epiphany Carol Service at the start of term, and we hosted two secondary school choirs as guests: the Choir of Warwick School and the London Oratory School Chamber Choir. Both schools chose to include repertoire by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, whose death was one hundred years ago this year.

Furthermore, for the first time, we welcomed the Choir of our sister college, Emmanuel College, Cambridge for a choral eucharist to celebrate the Conversion of St Paul. The two choirs sang the loud and expansive Messe Solennelle by Vierne; the French accents of our organ aptly providing the right tonal colours for this masterpiece. Later in term we will continue to build our links with the John Henry Newman Academy, our link primary school in the Oxford area. They will participate in a workshop led by our Choir.

It is always a great thrill to hear young voices from different backgrounds and traditions come together and make music. We have worked hard at building links, and opening music making in the Chapel to other groups, and hopefully inspiring them to continue making music back in their home institutions and beyond.

Exeter College is now the only Oxford or Cambridge college where organising four choral services a week falls entirely to the student organ scholars and graduate organist. We are proud of this, but also are working to ensure that the tradition continues, which is why we support and encourage school and church choirs to come and sing with us.

For more information about choral or organ awards, please click here.

For information about attending Chapel services or organ recitals click here.

Emmanuel College, Cambridge choir at the Exeter College chapel

Emmanuel College Choir joins Exeter College Choir at Exeter College Chapel

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