King’s College Choir comprises 16 boy choristers, aged between nine and 13 years, and 14 male undergraduates, reading for degrees in a variety of subjects. There are also two organ scholars.
Singing at daily Chapel services is the Choir's primary duty, and has been since the foundation of King’s College in 1441, when King Henry VI envisaged that the Choir would provide music for the daily offices and celebrations of the Mass in his new Chapel.
Daily services are not the Choir’s sole commitment today though: its worldwide fame and reputation, enhanced by its many recordings, has led to invitations to perform around the globe, and to an extensive international tour schedule.
King’s College Choir’s primary purpose is to sing the daily choral services in Chapel during term-time. This the Choir does on six days a week. The services on Mondays are sung by the College’s mixed voice choir, King’s Voices.
The boy choristers are educated just across the river at King’s College School. They have exactly the same education as the other 350 or so boys and girls at the School; their choral commitments come before and after school hours.
The men of the choir – the choral scholars – play a major role in the musical life of the College and University, not only through their daily singing in the Chapel, but through their involvement as singers and directors in concerts and shows in a wide variety of musical styles.
In addition to their singing of the daily services, the Choir participates in a number of King’s high-profile events in the Chapel. These include the live radio broadcast of the famous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which is heard by millions of people around the world, television broadcasts of Carols from King’s and Easter from King’s and radio broadcasts from the festival, Easter at King’s.
Daniel Hyde, the Director of Music, is very keen to hear from potential members of the Choir, either as a Chorister or Choral Scholar, and those interested in becoming an Organ Scholar. He can be contacted by email or by phone at: 01223 331224, and is always ready to offer an informal meeting prior to auditions and academic interviews.
The Choir performs extensively in the United Kingdom, appearing regularly at all the major halls in London and in the regions, including Manchester (Bridgewater Hall), Birmingham (Symphony Hall) and Cardiff (St David’s Hall).
It has appeared at the BBC Proms on a number of occasions, performs regularly with the Academy of Ancient Music and the Britten Sinfonia, and gives an annual Christmas concert in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Recent festival appearances have seen the Choir at The Sage, Gateshead, the City of London Festival, Chester Music Festival, Windsor Festival, King's Place (Mozart and Bach festivals), St Albans International Organ Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, and Aldeburgh Music.
King’s College Choir has been performing abroad since its first overseas invitation in 1936. More recently, tours have taken the Choir to China, the USA, Australia and across Europe.
The generosity of those who support the College and Choir financially is essential to its upkeep. The Friends programme was established to recognise and encourage financial support from individuals, families, foundations and organisations. You can become a Friend by completing the form attached below.