Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Written by one of our choir members...


What I have learnt this term: • Some outstanding, spiritually moving music. • How to put my music in my folder without it falling out. • Camaraderie! • There were not too many pieces after all! • Some lovely solo voices in the choir – inspiring for the less courageous. • Having an audience of a few family and friends makes it all the more fun. • Pay your fees before the concert! (sorry) • I can actually sing an A! • In Oxford when it rains, it rains – our concerts are becoming renowned for extremes of

weather. • Words and music can embrace. • The privilege of singing in such a beautiful chapel is inspirational. • The young professionals are on their way! • There’s a shared joy in amalgamating parts to form a whole. • Hard work is repaid in seeing Janet radiant and happy – a true professional, she

envisages our potential long before we know it ourselves! • Look forward to our workshop.

Do join us on 25 January 2020 for our workshop 'Breathe the melody', led by Janet Lincé. To register your place, please use the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/breathe-the-melody-tickets-82384816203


Updated: Dec 7, 2019


There’s no shortage of joy in this programme – given its title, we’d be short-changing our fans if there were. But you needn’t look far to find more meditative beauty and, here and there, passages of sublime harmony, even verging on melancholy.


Sublime certainly applies to Purcell’s Te Deum laudamus, with its frequent spine-tingling harmonies. The women’s voices soaring and interweaving in the solo passages are a special highlight. Purcell brings the piece to a poignant close with a hopeful “Let me never, never be confounded.”

We then leap forward a couple of centuries to Stanford’s beautiful, concise Three Motets, among the finest examples of his mastery of choral writing.

There follows a complete change of style with Simon Johnson’s Gloria. Premièred in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, in 2014, it features a seven-four time signature and a vigorous fugue. A fun challenge for all singers.


After the interval comes a trio of Tudor anthems – Tallis’s If ye love me, Gibbons’ This is the record of John, and Byrd’s Sing joyfully– each a masterpiece of its kind.


And the finale is another trio of works – this time, spirituals. Gwyneth Walker’s original interpretation of the great classic Steal Away is particularly moving.


See you Saturday 23 November in Exeter College chapel at 1930



Updated: Jun 26, 2019




The pairing of a choir with a harp is not often heard. But our summer concert offers just such a rare opportunity, with an eclectic programme of 20th-century pieces.


We start with Britten’s choral dances from the opera Gloriana, composed to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. Britten rearranged them for choir, harp, and tenor solo to mark the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, in 1967.


Cecilia MacDowall’s A Fancy of Folksongs could not be a greater contrast – a suite of part songs ranging from the poignant to the humorous, ending with the well-known O No, John!


It’s another change of style with Joseph Horovitz’s three songs from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which use blues and jazz harmony to powerful effect.


James Bassi was commissioned to write the Harpsonnetsby the Victor Salvi Foundation, a US-based organisation whose mission is to promote the harp. The four settings of Shakespeare sonnets begin with perhaps his most famous, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?, and each deals with a different aspect of love. The last and most dramatic, Devouring Time, Blunt Thou the Lion’s Paws, comes full circle, concluding with the same sentiment as the first – that through poetry the beloved will live for ever.


See you at the Holywell Music Room on Saturday 29 June at 1930.