"Merton Chapel is the most perfect place to be – singing in the choir was an absolute thrill."
Dame Emma Kirkby, soprano
The Choir of Merton College has established itself as one of Oxford’s leading mixed-voice choirs. The choir consists of 30 undergraduates and post-graduates, many of whom hold choral scholarships at the College. Members of the choir read a wide range of subjects, and some members of the choir are students at other colleges. The main focus of the choir’s work is the singing of the services in Merton College Chapel where, in addition to Choral Evensong, special services such as the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Carol Services and the Requiem Mass for All Souls have a large following. The choir continues to build its reputation worldwide through numerous international tours, broadcasts and recordings.
The choral scholars study with Giles Underwood and Carys Lane, and take part in masterclasses and workshops with visiting teachers, most recently Steven Varcoe, Robert Rice, Iain Burnside and Rogers Covey-Crump.
A Choral Scholar at Merton:
- Sings three services a week during term, plus occasional special services
- Receives an award to the value of £935 which includes funding for singing lessons
- Has singing lessons with the College’s inspirational singing teachers
- Receives free meals in Hall after choral services
- Takes part in masterclasses
- Tours abroad regularly
- Sings on recordings and broadcasts regularly on the BBC
- Performs with orchestras (Bach Passions & Mass in B minor, Elgar The Dream of Gerontius, Mozart Requiem, Pärt Passio, etc.)
In addition to 24 Choral Scholars, there are six members of the choir who receive an honorarium per service, and many of the privileges of a Choral Scholar.