A unique College,

with a unique

Choir, supported

by an unrivalled

thriving musical


Nicholas Collon, conductor, former Organ Scholar (2001-04)
How to Join

The Choir of Clare College admits new Choral Scholars in each voice part every year, making up a choir of typically 24-28 singers at one time.

Choral Scholars are expected to fully commit to the Choir's busy schedule of services in Chapel during full term, and the large number of external commitments throughout the year.


Choral Scholars receive a scholarship of £100 per year (the standard university wide amount). More substantially, Choral Scholars receive free weekly singing lessons with respected singing teachers, masterclasses, overseas tours and, on occasion, fees for performances and broadcasts.

The Choir performs in major concert venues throughout the United Kingdom and tours internationally at least twice every year. In recent years, the Choir has toured to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Israel and throughout Europe. The Choir has an ongoing relationship with record label Harmonia Mundi, recording and releasing new CDs each year. In addition, the Choir regularly performs as part of the BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong schedule, also appearing live on the station's In Tune programme.

After Clare

Many former members of the Choir now enjoy distinguished professional solo careers. Others sing in leading vocal ensembles such as the Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, Polyphony, and the Tallis Scholars, whilst recent Organ Scholars have taken up positions at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral. Many former Organ and Choral Scholars have established international reputations including Sir Roger Norrington, Ivor Bolton, Richard Egarr, John Rutter, Stephen Farr, Dominic Wheeler, Elin Manahan Thomas and Nicholas Collon.


Auditions for the Choral Scholarships take place after candidates have received an academic offer to study at the University. Academic interviews normally take place in December and auditions for Choral Awards take place between the end of January and the end of March. At the Choral Trials candidates can apply for a Choral Award at the College with which they hold their academic offer, or a volunteer choral position at a different College. Occasionally the Choir will appoint Choral Volunteers closer to the start of the academic year to fill any remaining vacancies in the Choir.

The audition process consists of singing a piece of the candidate's choice to Graham Ross, the Director of Music, with some sightreading and aural tests. Candidates are welcome to get in touch with Graham Ross at any point throughout the year to meet informally and sing to him. There will be an opportunity to offer advice, informally sing a piece of your choice and to discuss the choral admissions process.

Please click here for more information about Choral and Organ Scholarships.