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Jesus College Chapel Choir, Cambridge (Choir)

Founded: 1849 - Cambridge, England

Jesus College Chapel Choirs

The Jesus College of Cambridge has a long and rich tradition of church music. It is distinctive in maintaining two choirs, details of which are given below. James O'Donnell (Organist of Westminster Abbey), Malcolm Archer (Organist of Wells Cathedral), Richard Lloyd (sometime Organist of Durham Cathedral) and Peter Hurford (internationally renowned organ recitalist) were all organ scholars here. With the appointment of a full-time Director of Music in 1999, the Chapel's music has taken on a new and exciting dimension.

The Jesus College Chapel Choir (= JCCC), founded in 1849, is composed of volunteer boy choristers from the city, together with adult singers from the University and city. The Mixed Choir was formed in 1980, to allow women undergraduates the opportunity of singing in the Chapel. The counter-tenors, tenors and basses are the same for both the Mixed Choir and the Chapel Choir.

The Chapel Choir

The all-male choir is one of only three College choirs of its kind in Cambridge, and is highly regarded. Unlike the others (at King's and St John's) it recruits trebles from local schools rather than maintaining a choir school. They sing two of the four choral evensongs per week as well as Eucharists.

In August 2002, the Chapel choir traveled to Paris, singing at several venues including St Sulpice, Chartres Cathedral, the American Cathedral and l'Eglise de la Madelaine. During 2002, the choir sang services in St John's, Cambridge, St Paul's Cathedral, London and St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. In The choristers are regularly involved in additional performances within Cambridge colleges and churches, and elsewhere. In 2004 they joined the choir of King's College for a rendition of St Matthew's Passion (BWV 244). The Chapel Choir recorded a CD of Christmas music in June 2002. A CD recording of a live evensong service has recently been released.

The Chapel Mixed Choir

The mixed choir sings two choral evensongs per week and regularly performs at college feasts, concerts and additional services. In addition to singing in combined-choir events, other opportunities include foreign tours (most recently to Belgium in September 2001), recordings (the choir recorded in June 2001 and January 2003), Cathedral visits and concerts.

The Combined Choirs

On occasions, the mixed and chapel choirs join together, forming a choir of over 40 singers. This is usually for the final service of term and for certain concerts or special services. In recent years, the combined choirs have performed Bach's St John Passion (BWV 245) (March 2000, with The Hanover Band and John Mark Ainsley) and St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) (March 2002, with the Britten Sinfonia and James Gilchrist at Ely Cathedral). Since September 2001, the choirs have broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and 3.

Source: Jesus College Chapel Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2005)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

Conductor

As

Works

Stephen Cleobury

Choir

BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Jesus College Chapel Choirs (Official Website)

 

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Last update: żOctober 27, 2010 ż11:32:35