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New College Choir


The Choir of New College Oxford is one of the most celebrated and acclaimed choral groups of the UK. When William of Wykeham founded his ‘New’ College in 1379, a choral foundation was at its heart, and daily chapel services have been a central part of college life ever since. The choir comprises sixteen boy choristers and fourteen adult clerks; the latter a mixture of professional singers and undergraduate members of the college. The pattern set by New College Choir in the 1380s was later adopted by other foundations, and may be seen as the prototype for all choirs of its kind. The boy choristers benefit not only from the matchless education provided by daily contact with superb music, or the satisfaction of performing at a professional level, but also from generous bursaries at New College School.

New College Choir is often to be heard in concert around the world, and on broadcasts and recordings. A wide range of music is represented in its discography; it was the first choral foundation to establish its own recording label, Novum, and has also recorded for Decca, Erato, Hyperion and CRD. The choir has released four discs with director Robert Quinney. John Blow: Symphony Anthems won acclaim on BBC Radio 3 CD Review and was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. Nowell sing we! celebrates the choir’s renowned Christmas carol services alongside The Gate of Heaven: Favourite Anthems from New College, which features music with an Oxford connection, including two new commissions. Like as the Hart: Music for the Templar’s Garden brought together settings of Psalm 42 to accompany the novel The Templar’s Garden by Catherine Clover. Their new recording Parry, Songs of Farewell and other choral music, was released in September in time for the Parry centenary.

Touring is an important part of the choir’s profile, and recent highlights have included singing for Pope Francis in the Sistine Chapel, Rome, concerts in Hungary and Normandy, and visits to both the east and west coasts of the USA. Choral services reach a global audience via regular webcasts.

Last updated: Jul 2019