Music at Keble
The Choir and Beyond
The College Chapel is perhaps the grandest ecclesiastical space in Oxford. Its resonant, cathedral-like acoustic is much in demand for concerts and recordings, and is home to a lively and active music foundation in which the Chapel Choir plays a primary role. It is also the main focal point for regular concerts promoted by the student-run Keble College Music Society, organ recitals, and the annual Keble which takes place each February.
The Keble College Choir
Singing with Keble College Choir provides a unique and varied musical experience, and a solid choral grounding for life. The choir consists of approximately twenty-five undergraduates and postgraduates, and some are students at other colleges.
The College offers a number of Choral and Organ scholarships. Organ scholarship applicants must apply to read Music, although choral scholars read a wide range of subjects, including Music. Choral award holders all receive regular vocal tuition and participate in masterclasses with distinguished singers and coaches, and organ scholars benefit from instrumental, conducting and vocal tuition. A number of our recent scholars have gone on to sing with groups such as Genesis Sixteen and the Voces8 Scholars, and are beginning to develop their freelance careers.
“Lively and convincing…excellently performed” (Choir & Organ, May 2018)
Keble College Choir on Facebook
The main function of the choir is to sing the weekly services in addition to special events such as the Christmas Services and College feasts.
During Full Term the choir sings three choral services per week: Sung Eucharist on Sunday at 5.30pm followed by Formal Hall, Evensong on Wednesdays at 6pm, and Sung Compline on Thursdays at 9pm. The choir rehearses every Thursday from 5.15-6.45pm. Then there are additional services during the course of the year, plus involvement in various College events, particularly at Christmas. The choir makes regular appearances outside Oxford; in the past year we have performed at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music and the Edington Arts Festival.
We regularly undertake foreign tours; since 2016 we have performed in France, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong and Singapore, and will be visiting Sweden in July 2019. A tour to the USA is planned for April 2020, which will include a performance in the concert series at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York.
Over the last past year we have broadcast Choral Evensong twice on BBC Radio 3 and our recent CD recording of the music of William Hayes for CRD Records was described on BBC Record Review as “very punchy, bags of atmosphere, wonderfully balanced singing”.
We are delighted to have formed a partnership with the Academy of Ancient Music for the premier recording of the Missa Regalis by little-known Spanish composer, Francisco Valls, recorded under the direction of Matthew Martin in December 2018. Set for release later in the spring of 2020, this project forms part of AAM’s series of discovery recordings, exploring and revealing works which deserve greater recognition.