Although Christ Church Cathedral Choir is 500 years old, it is justly famous for the youthfulness of its sound and its daring and adventurous musical programming. Unique in the world as both Cathedral and College choir, the intimate acoustic of its musical home, Oxford’s 12th-century Cathedral, has given it a relationship with early sacred music and the rhythm and vigour of contemporary idioms which is second to none.
Throughout its history, the Choir has attracted many distinguished composers and organists, from its first director John Taverner, appointed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1526, to William Walton in the 20th century. In recent years, the Choir has commissioned and recorded works by composers such as John Tavener, William Mathias, Robert Saxton and Howard Goodall.
There are 12 men and 16 boys in the Choir along with two organists. The boys are selected for their musical ability and attend Christ Church Cathedral School. Of the men, six are professionals (‘lay clerks’), and six are undergraduates (‘academical clerks’). The Cathedral is renowned for training many of the country’s leading organists and singers.
As well as their daily services in the Cathedral, the Choir’s reputation inevitably leads to a busy annual programme of concerts and overseas tours. The Choir has many award-winning recordings to its credit and works with several international orchestras and soloists.
Further details about how to apply for choral or organ awards can be found here. Potential candidates are encouraged to make informal contact with the Organist and Director of Music, Dr Stephen Darlington.
Registered Charity Number: 1143423