Chapel Choir

SJC Chapel Choir

Sir Thomas White, the founder of St John’s, intended there to be six choristers, four singing men, and three chaplains, but the choir was abolished before the number of chaplains had risen beyond one, although there were certainly four singing men and six choristers when the choir came to an end. The choir was disbanded at the end of 1577 owing to a lack of funds.

The choir was revived on 9th June 1637 by the liberality of Sir William Paddy (King James I’s physician). He established a choral foundation of eight singing men, four boy choristers, and an organist, to improve the worship in the Chapel. Changes in the political climate, however, resulted in the college spending 25s. to pull down the organ in the summer of 1651. Choral services were reinstated in 1660.

The present day choir continues in the time-honoured choral tradition and regularly sings services in Chapel during term. It is composed of undergraduate and graduate students selected by audition, and is directed by the undergraduate Organ Scholars.

Recent tours have taken the choir to many places of worship in England – including Westminster Abbey – and internationally to the USA, Sweden, France, South Africa, Italy and Germany. The choir have made a number of recordings, including a Christmas CD, Dormi Jesu, which is available from the College Lodge.

If you’d like to join the choir, contact the Choir Director.