The Choir of Exeter College, Oxford, remains the only choir in either Oxford or Cambridge to sing three Evensongs a week under the sole direction of the Organ Scholar, and is widely regarded as one of the finest student ensembles in the country. The choir has recently toured the US, Germany, Malta, Sicily, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, and will tour Estonia in the Summer of 2018. The choir also regularly leads Evensong services at home in the UK, having visited Westminster Abbey and Exeter, Truro, and St Paul’s Cathedrals. To mark the 700th anniversary of Exeter College’s foundation in 1314, the choir produced a landmark world-premiere CD recording of Stanford’s Mass in G on EM Records. This disc was widely acclaimed, with Gramophone describing the choir’s singing as “fully professional...with real delicacy, detail and momentum”. The Choir’s most recent disk , On Christmas Night, which is available for purchase, download, and on Spotify, and consists of 20th- & 21st-century Christmas choral music, has been described as having “every tiniest detail of these scores carefully and precisely placed”. In January of 2018, the choir will undertake the latest project of recording much underperformed choral music of the Baltic States.
The choir has fostered a close association with the Oxford Philharmonia, Oxford’s professional symphony orchestra, with whom they were invited to appear in an operatic gala concert given by world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming at the Sheldonian Theatre. Other concert endeavours have seen the choir involved with The Brandenburg Festival, The Oxford Lieder Festival, and The Orgelbüchlein Project, performing repertoire including the Duruflé, Fauré, Rutter, and Howells’s Requiems, and specially commissioned works from leading contemporary composers such as Cecilia MacDowell and Jonathan Dove. The choir regularly broadcasts on radio, appearing on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, and ClassicFM. In October 2017, the choir performed Bach’s cantata Nun Danket Alle Gott BWV 192 alongside the Oxford Bach Soloists, for an Evensong celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
The choir’s raison d’être is to provide music for services throughout the year in the college’s magnificent Gilbert Scott chapel, modelled on the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The chapel and the choir have also appeared on Inspector Morse, providing a backdrop to the fictitious inspector’s death. The choir returned to the screen in January 2016, appearing in the new series of ITV’s Endeavour.