About the Choir
The Choir of Royal Holloway is considered to be one of the finest mixed-voice collegiate choirs in Britain. Their recordings on the Hyperion label have attracted top reviews from all major music publications. Equally at home on the concert platform, the choir gives around 40 concerts a year with a particular specialism in music from the late renaissance and contemporary music, especially from the Baltic States. Their most recent collaboration with Tim Garland and Acoustic Triangle sees an exciting crossover between contemporary choral music and jazz.
Created at the time of the foundation of Royal Holloway in 1886, the choir was originally only for women's voices. The mixed choir now comprises 24 Choral Scholars which are generously funded by Banco Santander as a part of the Santander Universities Scheme. These choral scholars undertake a busy schedule of weekly services, as well as concerts, international tours, recordings and broadcasts. In addition to these, Royal Holloway is also the only university that still maintains a tradition of daily sung morning services.
The choir records exclusively for Hyperion Records, having recorded five discs since 2009. It is through this relationship with Hyperion Records, and subsequent live performances, that the choir has developed a particular reputation for the performance of music from the Baltic region.
Many new works have been composed for the choir as it continues to enjoy close collaborations with living composers. Carson P. Cooman composed The Revelations of Divine Love, a large new oratorio, for the choir in 2009 and a live recording of the US premiÃ¨re has now been released by Albany Records in the USA. Other recent commisions include works from James MacMillan, Gabriel Jackson and Richard Rodney Bennett
Following the success of their east coast tour in 2009 the choir returned to the USA in 2011 performing across California. The choir has toured most European countries, appeared in Beijing and been broadcast on regional and national radio and television all over the world. In the UK the Choir regularly broadcasts for BBC Radio 3.
The choir enjoys regular work with different orchestras and instrumental ensembles including the Britten Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Florilegium and the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble. Recently they have developed a vibrant new association with jazz-inspired trio Acoustic Triangle resulting in new compositions from Tim Garland and a number of festival invitations. Other unusual projects have included working with Charles Hazlewood and an electric guitar orchestra frmed by Portishead lead guitarist Adrian Uttley.
Recent festival engagements include the Three Choirs Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Swaledale Festival, Windsor Festival, and a residency at the Presteigne Festival. During 2013 they will appear at the Cheltenham Festival with Felicity Lott.
Past singers of the College include the international soloists Dame Felicity Lott, Susan Bullock, Sarah Fox and many others who now sing with ensembles including the BBC singers, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort, The Tallis Scholars and Polyphony. Past organ scholars have attained prominent positions in many British cathedrals and public schools.
The choir is supported by two organ scholars, a choral administrator and full-time Director of Choral Music and College Organist, Rupert Gough.
For more information about other College choirs see www.rhul.ac.uk/choirs.