Choir

The Choir of Gonville & Caius College is one of the UK’s leading collegiate choirs, with a world-wide reputation based on its extensive touring and broadcasting, and on its highly acclaimed and imaginative CD recordings. The choir consists of around 22 students and 2 Organ Scholars, and is directed by Dr Geoffrey Webber, who is also the Director of Studies in Music. The Choral Awards section has more information for prospective choir members about the choir and how to apply.

"Their singing is, in short, a delight"

Classic CD Magazine

"Such poise and technical control from a college choir, with its constant turnover of undergraduate voices, is remarkable"

BBC Music Magazine

"The world-class Caius Choir"

Classics Today

General enquiries should be directed to the Choir Administrator:

Mrs Claire Wheeler Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, CB2 1TA Telephone: 01223 332411 Email: choir@cai.cam.ac.uk

 

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The choir’s regular work consists of singing Chapel services week by week during term, performing an impressive range of sacred music from all periods. Out of term the choir gives concerts at home and abroad, appearing in prestigious concert series in the UK such as the Aldeburgh Festival and Spitalfields Festival in London, and performing in concert halls and churches across the world from America to China. The choir has sung with several professional orchestras including the Philharmonia Baroque of San Francisco (Handel), l’Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine(Bach, Haydn), the Aurora Orchestra (Schubert) and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Holst).

The choir has a notable reputation for commissioning and performing new music, by composers such as Judith Weir, James MacMillan, Richard Causton, Gabriel Jackson and Robin Holloway (a Fellow of the College). The choir’s recordings have been internationally recognised for their quality and innovative approach to repertoire through excellent reviews and by featuring as Critics’ Choice in Gramophone magazine and Choral CD of the month in the BBC Music Magazine. Broadcasts of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 have included programmes of Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox music, Tallis’s Spem in alium, a service of music composed entirely by students at the College, and South African music broadcast from Johannesburg.

The College’s musical tradition began at the end of the nineteenth century with a choir of men and boys, founded by the celebrated composer of Anglican church music Charles Wood, and later became an exclusively undergraduate male choir under Wood’s successor the composer Patrick Hadley. Hadley was succeeded by Peter Tranchell, under whose direction the choir became mixed in 1979, and Geoffrey Webber has directed the choir since 1989.

The College is grateful for the generous support for the choir given by its alumni. The current holders of named awards are:

Award Current Holder
Sir Keith Stuart Choral Scholar Katie Braithwaite
John Chumrow Choral Scholar Nicholas Doig
James Pitman Choral Scholar Clover Willis
Patrick Burgess Choral Scholar Stephen Fort
Caius Fund 2012 Choral Scholars Emily Kay & Joshua Stutter
Caius Fund 2013 Choral Scholars Jack May & Eloise Pederson
Caius Fund 2014 Choral Scholars Cleo Newton & Chase Smith
Wilfrid Holland Organ Scholar Liam Crangle
Peter Walker Organ Scholar James Leitch