A unique College,

with a unique

Choir, supported

by an unrivalled

thriving musical

scene

Nicholas Collon, conductor, former Organ Scholar (2001-04)
  • Graham Ross
  • The Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar
  • Junior Organ Scholar
  • Senior Choral Scholar
  • Senior Choral Volunteer
  • Choral Scholar
  • Choral Scholar

Who's who

  • Graham Ross

    The Director of Music

    The Director of Music is always willing to meet with prospective music students and Choral Scholars at any point throughout the year

    Graham Ross is Director of Music and Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. Responsible for all practical music-making in the College, he builds on and seeks to enhance the continued excellence of musicianship of Clare’s instrumentalists, composers, conductors, and the internationally-renowned Chapel Choir. He continues to broaden the liturgical repertoire by commissioning new music, and to develop the Choir’s schedule of concerts, broadcasts and international tours. Since he returned to Clare as Director of Music in 2010, he has established a new recording relationship for the Choir with Harmonia Mundi, instituted the Clare College Masterclass Series, Friends of Clare Music scheme, Clare Choir Alumni Association and secured tours around the world.
     
    He has established an exceptional reputation as a sought-after conductor and composer of a very broad range of repertoire. His performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high international praise, including a Diapason d’Or, Le Choix de France Musique and a Gramophone Award nomination. As a guest conductor he has worked with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Aurora Orchestra, Salomon Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Mozart Players, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Singers, as well as acting as Assistant Conductor to Vladimir Jurowski. He is co-founder and Principal Conductor of The Dmitri Ensemble, and, since 2010, Fellow and Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge.
     
    At the age of 25 he made his BBC Proms and Glyndebourne debuts, with other opera work taking him to Jerusalem, London, Aldeburgh and Provence. A passionate believer in the unveiling of both unjustly-neglected and newly-written works, he has conducted and recorded world premières of a wide spectrum of composers, including James MacMillan, Judith Bingham, Giles Swayne, Vaughan Williams, Imogen Holst, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean and Matthew Martin. Since 2011 he has recorded exclusively for Harmonia Mundi.
     
    As a composer commissions have included BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, O Duo, Park Lane Group, and the Solstice Quartet. As an animateur and through outreach work he has conducted projects in Tower Hamlets, Wigmore Hall, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and overseas in Nigeria, Palestine, across Europe and the USA. He is Artistic Director of Fringe in the Fen, a music and arts festival in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
    He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge and conducting at the Royal College of Music, London. He held a conducting scholarship with the London Symphony Chorus, has served as assistant conductor for Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Jurowski and Diego Masson, and acted as Chorus Master for Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Ivor Bolton, Edward Gardner, Richard Tognetti and Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
     
    Graham Ross is always willing to meet with prospective music students and Choral Scholars interested in applying to Clare College at any point throughout the year. There will be an opportunity to offer advice, informally sing a piece of your choice, and to discuss the choral admissions process.
     
  • The Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar

    George Gillow

     
    George Gillow, is a second year student reading Music.  During the academic year 2017–18, he was organ scholar of Gloucester Cathedral where he assisted in the accompaniment of the four Cathedral choirs, the Cathedral’s programme of singing outreach in primary schools and the administration of its busy music department. 
     
    During the academic year 2018–19, he studied organ and harpsichord at the Toulouse Conservatoire with Michel and Yasuko Bouvard.  Whilst in Toulouse, he appeared in concerts alongside the choir of the Conservatoire – the Maîtrise de Toulouse – notably for a performance of the Duruflé Requiem. 
     
    On a freelance basis, he accompanied amateur choirs for performances of the Fauré and Campra Requiems, Mozart Great Mass in c and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle.  He is an experienced recitalist and has given recitals at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester, Hereford and Southwark Cathedrals.
  • Junior Organ Scholar

    Samuel Jones

    Samuel Jones is in his first year studying Music. He started playing the organ whilst at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford where he gained valuable experience accompanying the Chamber Choir at venues such as Keble College, Oxford and St. Paul’s Cathedral. In the Sixth Form, he was appointed Organ Scholar of the Chapel Royal, St. James’ Palace, London where he had the opportunity to play at a broadcast Ballroom Carol Service from Buckingham Palace and at the Royal Maundy service held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

    After leaving school in 2019, Samuel spent a Gap Year as Organ Scholar at Portsmouth Cathedral, where he assisted in accompanying the cathedral choirs in their 8 weekly services and the Choral Scholars in concerts throughout the year. He also acted as choir librarian and worked in an administrative role at Portsmouth Grammar School.

    Samuel enjoys performing as a soloist on both the organ and the piano, recently playing works such as Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Aside from the keyboard, Samuel also plays the oboe in both a chamber and ensemble capacity.  

     

  • Senior Choral Scholar

    Harry Swanson

    Harry Swanson is a 3rd-year Linguistics undergraduate and Choral Scholar at Clare, singing as a baritone in the Choir. He currently studies singing with Robert Rice. Throughout his time in the Choir, he has been lucky enough to perform in concerts across the UK as well as in the Netherlands, Spain, China, Canada, Mexico and the USA.

    He has the honour of being captain of CCCCCFC, and he led his side to famous victories over King’s and Sidney Sussex Choirs in the truncated 2019/20 season, seeing them finish top of the collegiate choir football league. Harry spends the rest of his time in Cambridge singing in operas and recitals, as well as playing guitar and trombone in various jazz and funk bands.

    In his words: “I don’t think there are many choirs out there with such a varied repertoire – in a given week (or even a single service) we might do something medieval, a brand new Icelandic commission, and one or two choral classics in the middle. My time in this choir has introduced to such a wide variety of music, while giving me an excuse to leave the library and sing with some of my closest friends four evenings a week, not to mention taking me across the world. The opportunities are just incredible, the quality is high, the experience is so much fun and so rewarding – singing in Clare Choir has been an unforgettable highlight of my Cambridge experience.”

     

  • Senior Choral Volunteer

    Julia Morris

    Julia Morris is a fourth-year reading French and Spanish at Trinity College. She sings as a soprano in the Choir of Clare College and is the Senior Choral Volunteer. Julia currently studies singing with Helen Groves, and she has loved exploring many different genres of music in her singing lessons. In choir, she has been so fortunate as to go on many worldwide tours, including the USA, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Malta and of course the UK to name a few. She has just spent a year in France, teaching English at a school, and loved introducing the students to as much English music as she could. Alongside choir, Julia is also part of the Cambridge A Capella group Cadenza, and she thoroughly enjoyed performing a 2-week run of sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 with this group.

    Julia spends the rest of her time in Cambridge playing in her college football team, and is also very optimistic for the future of the choir football team.

    Julia says: “I have really loved singing in Clare Choir. Before Cambridge, I had never sung in a chapel choir so I had no idea what to expect, but the number of amazing people I have met and had the privilege to sing gorgeous music with has been incredible. We perform different pieces in each service, and it has been fascinating to explore music I never thought I would get the opportunity to sing. From touring the world and meeting people I would never have dreamed of meeting to performing many times a week with some of my best friends, Clare Choir has been an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget.”

     

  • Choral Scholar

    Katie Care

     

     

    Katie is a third-year undergraduate at Clare studying Education, English, Drama, and the Arts. A chorister in Lincoln Cathedral from 2012-2015, she re-joined the ranks as an alto junior Choral Scholar for two years during 6thform after having a year in the Cathedral’s consort group. A soprano choral scholar in Clare Choir, Katie studies singing with Robert Rice.  She is a member of the Rodolfus Choir and has sung with the Raikes Consort, Beaufort Singers and other consort groups in and out of Cambridge. 

    Besides choir commitments and her degree, Katie enjoys performing in productions within Cambridge’s dramatic and operatic scene – recently directing and designing a staged adaption of Handel’s Semele.

    Katie says:

    “It was the choral scene at Cambridge that attracted me when applying for University, and Clare choir that sealed the deal when choosing a college. Having the structure of evening services with a group of likeminded and interesting people really helped me to feel at home in the first few weeks. From then on, I have made lasting friendships and grown as a performer and musician through the varied performances we give – both in our Cambridge chapel and around the world. One of my favourite memories must be singing Parry and Vaughan Williams in Mexico City alongside the Orquesta Sinfonia Nacional de Mexico; these one-in-a-lifetime experiences seem normal after completing two years in the choir, but I know I will treasure them looking back on my time at University.”

     

  • Choral Scholar

    Catilin Obee

    Caitlin is a second-year undergraduate reading Music at Clare where she sings Alto with the Chapel Choir. During her time in Sixth Form she was a choral scholar at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, in her home town of Norwich (2016-2018). Caitlin is a principal study flautist, learning with Emma Halnan, and has voice lessons with Helen Groves. Outside of choir, she enjoys organising the chapel's Monday Lunchtime Recital Series as the Vice President of CCMS, and also plays an active role in both the Bahá'í and Interfaith Societies.

    She says:

    "Before joining Clare Choir I had never been out of England, on a plane or ferry, stayed in a hotel, or had a singing lesson. 5 terms into my degree, (20 planes and 4 ferries later!) I can say my adventures with this choir have truly become the most defining part of my Cambridge experience. My eyes have been opened to so much exciting new music by singing each week, and it is a pleasure and privilege to share this across the world with a group of wonderful, like-minded people."