Choir and Music

The music of King’s College Chapel is as well-known as the building itself, and depends on the continued provision of education for the sixteen choristers at King’s College School, fourteen Choral Scholars and two Organ Scholars, as well as the employment of a full-time Director of Music.

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.

In addition to their singing of the daily services, the Choir participates in a number of 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 tens of millions of people around the world, television broadcasts of Carols from King’s, and radio broadcasts from the Easter at King’s festival.

The Choir's commitments are not restricted to performances in the Chapel, however: 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.

Why We Need Your Support

The funding needs for one of the world’s most renowned and best-loved choirs are significant. The excellence of King’s music depends on the continued provision of education for the sixteen choristers at King’s College School; fourteen Choral Scholars and two Organ Scholars at the College; and the employment of a full-time Director of Music.

King’s has over the past years found new ways to bring the music of the Choir and the Chapel experience to the world, through recordings, webcasts and tours. These generate some revenue, but philanthropic support remains essential to ensure the future of the Choir and the permanent position of Director of Music.

Endowing the post of Director of Music

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Since the appointment of AH Mann in 1876, there have been only six permanent organists or Directors of Music to lead the Choir and the musical life of the College, with each leaving their own mark on the style, repertoire and public perception of the Choir. The current Director of Music is Daniel Hyde (KC 2000), following on from Sir Stephen Cleobury who held the post from 1982 to 2019.

The Director of Music is steward and guardian of the unique and world-class musical heritage that King’s College Choir has achieved over the centuries. The post is integral to the success of music at King’s; but currently it is funded from the general budget of the College. A gift towards endowing the position will help support this vital role in perpetuity. 


 

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