‘The elite university choral circuit is dominated by crack Oxbridge choirs, but here’s one from Aberdeen.’ (The Arts Desk, review of Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen, O Sacrum Convivium)
The Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen is made up of 18 choral scholars who sing at weekly services in King’s College Chapel on Wednesdays at 5:15 pm and at other special services, such as the popular Carol Service held each year in St Machar’s Cathedral. Repertoire ranges from plainchant and early polyphony to new works specially written for the choir by staff and postgraduate composers. The ecumenical nature of worship in Chapel enables the choir to sing music from many different traditions. The Chapel has an organ of international distinction by the French builder, Bernard Aubertin.
As well as services, the choir gives concerts and goes on tour. Following a highly successful tour to Hungary in summer 2013, we were invited back to Budapest in December 2014. We spent a week singing all the services in the magnificent setting of Canterbury Cathedral. Generally, we go on tour once each academic year. The choir has broadcast on Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio Scotland, and released its first CD in May 2016.
The choir’s critically acclaimed CD, O Sacrum Convivium, places contemporary choral works by members of the ‘Aberdeen School’ (Paul Mealor, Phillip Cooke, John F. Hudson and Thomas LaVoy) in the context of earlier repertoire.
‘Works by Tallis, Weelkes and Purcell are given exemplary readings – the latter’s anthem Hear my prayer especially involving.’ (The Arts Desk)
‘…the timbre of the current choir…finds gravitational sublimity and warmth in Victoria’s O magnum mysterium, yet never loses the cohesive simplicity of Purcell’s Thou knowest, Lord, or the ripened thrill of Stanford’s Justorum animae.’ (**** The Scotsman)
‘…works by living composers associated with the university, from Paul Mealor’s beautiful Locus iste and a mystical trilogy of motets by Phillip Cooke, to the Tavener-esque Ukrainian Carol of John F Hudson’ (**** The Scotsman)