A Choral Scholarship at Queen's provides an exciting musical experience, and vocal and choral training to the highest standard.
Three choral services per week during term-time, plus special services
Concert engagements across the UK and with professional ensembles
Annual international tours (e.g. China, U.S.A., Spain, Portugal, Sri Lanka)
Broadcasts for BBC Radio, CD recordings, and film work
Free singing tuition with inspirational teachers
A first-class choral and solo training
Much the best way to secure a place in Queen's choir is by applying for a Choral Scholarship, and around twenty of the choir's singers are Choral Scholars. Choral Scholarships at Queen’s are open to all voices (including both male and female altos) and Choral Scholars can study any of the academic subjects offered by the College. Queen's choir's schedule is rich enough to provide a focused choral experience, but also allows Choral Scholars to pursue a variety of other interests, and ensures that there is plenty of time for student life. Many Choral Scholars at Queen's have excelled academically, in Music and other subjects. Many also sing in other choirs and play in orchestras, and some develop their solo singing in particular, opportunities for which are abundant at Queen's.
Scholars receive an award to the value of £800 a year, which includes funding for singing lessons. In addition, dinner is provided free of charge after every sung service. Choral Scholars are elected in competition in two stages: the Oxford University choral scholarship trials in September and the academic examining and interviewing in November and December. If there are vacancies the College may also hold a second competition in October for newly arrived undergraduates. Up to eight Choral Scholarships are available each year. The duties of the Choral Scholars are to sing in the Chapel Choir at the three weekly choral services and in the choir's concerts. Prospective applicants are welcome to contact Professor Rees at any time of year. An open day for Choral and Organ awards is held by the Oxford University Music Faculty in late April each year.
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Choral Scholarship auditions 2019
Auditions for choral scholarships for entry in 2019/20 have now taken place. Auditions for choral scholarships for entry in 2020/21 will take place in September 2019. Scholarships are offered at Queen’s for all voice types, and eight scholarships are available in total. The online application form for 2020/21 entry is available here. The deadline for applications is September 1st 2019.
Choral Scholar Profile
Read about Esther Brazil's experience as a Queen's Choral Scholar and how her time in the Choir prepared her for life as a professional singer.
Where are they now?
Alice Gribbin (soprano, Music, 1998–2001) sings regularly with many of the top professional early-music groups, including The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, The BBC Singers, Tenebrae, and Polyphony.
Kiri Parker (soprano, Theology, 2001–2003) went on to gain a Distinction in the MMus in Vocal Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she held a full scholarship. She has sung professionally with Garden State Opera, Aspen Opera, and Mannes Opera.
Jonathan Wagstaff (bass, Music, 2004–2007) subsequently held a lay clerkship at Wells Cathedral, and participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist scheme. He completed a MMus in Voice at the Peabody Institute, Baltimore.
Claire Eadington (alto, Music, 2004–2007) undertook postgraduate study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She was a soloist in the world premiere of Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht for Birmingham Opera Company. She also sings with the Brabant Ensemble, Tenebrae, and the Gabrieli Consort.
Rebecca Lea (soprano, French & German, 2004–2008) completed an MMus with Distinction at the Royal Northern College of Music. As a soloist, she has appeared at the Purcell Room, Sage Gateshead, the Wigmore Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms Lates Series. She has also appeared as a soloist in concert and on BBC Radio 3 with Manchester Camerata and Northern Sinfonia. She sings with the BBC Singers, Britten Sinfonia Voices, and Buxton Opera Festival Chorus.
Esther Brazil (soprano, Philosophy & Theology, 2005–2008) went on to gain an MA with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music, where she held a full scholarship. She has recently appeared as a soloist with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandthaus Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Monteverdi Choir. She sings regularly with the Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, and La Nuova Musica.
Roya Stuart-Rees (soprano, Music, 2006–2009) gained an MMus with Distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has appeared as a soloist in the London Handel Festival.
James Potter (alto, Music, 2007–2010) has subsequently held lay clerkships at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
William Blake (tenor, Music, 2008–2011) has recently gained a scholarship to undertake postgraduate study on the prestigious opera course at the Royal Academy of Music. He sings with Tenebrae and the Brabant Ensemble, and is a member of the 2018 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus.
Peter Harris (tenor, Music, 2009–2011) sings with the Monteverdi Choir and is a lay clerk at Winchester Cathedral.
Harry Sever (bass, Music, 2010–2011) undertook the repetiteur programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and is a freelance choral and orchestral conductor in London.
Tara Mansfield (alto, History, 2010–2013) gained a scholarship to pursue postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music.
Oxford in Voice
The series Oxford in Voice features Queen's Choir and Owen Rees, and offers insights into choral life at Oxford University.