Members of the Merton College Girls' Choir in 2019 - Photo: © John Cairns

Merton College Girl Choristers: Life as a Chorister

Girls are welcomed into the choir as probationers during Year 4, and sing as Choristers up to the end of Year 11. By negotiation, they can continue in the choir whilst in the sixth form. They receive tuition in Music Theory, and have singing lessons with Carys Lane.

The benefits of working alongside Merton College Choir (30 undergraduate and graduate students at the University) has led to the choristers participating in a number of high profile events including concert performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Instruments of Time & Truth, and Elgar’s The Apostles with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The choristers have performed in The Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and Durham Cathedral, and have taken part in the world première of new pieces by Neil Cox and Gabriel Jackson, including the first performance of Jackson’s Stabat Mater with The Marian Consort.

If you would like to be put on a waiting list for an audition, please contact the Chapel Administrator on 01865 616724.

What are the benefits to being a chorister?

  • Singing music by great composers in one of Oxford’s most famous buildings;
  • taking part in services and concerts in Oxford and further afield;
  • receiving lessons from an experienced singing teacher;
  • making friends and getting to know new people with similar interests; and
  • occasional opportunities to sing with the undergraduate College Choir.

This is an entirely free opportunity: robes, singing lessons and refreshments are all provided.

What is the time commitment?

  • Monday: 4:00pm-4:30pm optional Theory Class; 4:45pm-6:00pm Rehearsal (refreshments available from 4:30pm)
  • Wednesday: 4:45pm-5:55pm Rehearsal; 6:15pm-6:50pm Evensong

These are the core duties during school term. The choir will have occasional extra commitments during the Christmas and Easter holidays, for which advance notice will always be given.

Do I have to be religious?

There is no requirement to have experience of Anglican worship or traditions but families need to be comfortable with the Chapel’s Christian ethos and that the choir will lead both the said and sung parts of the service.