About the Choir
Pembroke Choir consists of between twenty-five and thirty voices, made up of both undergraduates and post-graduates. The Choir not only welcomes students from Pembroke, but also those from other colleges.The Choir, directed by Anna Lapwood, offers the opportunity for regular liturgical singing, frequent tours, and CD recordings. Alongside regular commitments, the Choir places a considerable emphasis on outreach, working in local schools and churches, and organising Come and Sing workshops. Pembroke Choir offers the perfect compromise for keen singers who lead busy lives. The Choir sings Sunday Evensong every week, and Compline every other week, meaning that the overall commitment is significantly lower than many other Cambridge Choirs. For those who wish to sing more regularly, there is the option to sing Eucharist on Sunday mornings, or to apply for a choral exhibition and sing Evening prayer every other week. The commitment is therefore extremely flexible, ranging from 6 services a term to 20, depending on individual preference. The Choir also does two tours a year.
Pembroke does not make choral awards until students arrive in October. Auditions for places in the Choir (known as Choristerships) are held towards the end of freshers’ week every year. Choristers can expect to sing an average of two services a week, in return for which they receive free singing lessons and a free formal meal every Sunday.
Alongside regular Choristerships, the College appoints a small consort of Choral Exhibitioners each year. Exhibitioners sing all regular services, as well as Evening Prayer every other week, providing an opportunity to explore some more challenging consort repertoire. They are also expected to participate in the weekly Sunday Eucharist. Exhibitioners are encouraged to take the lead with the Choir’s extensive outreach work, both continuing existing projects and exploring means of expansion. In return, they receive the standard choir benefits alongside a small annual stipend.
The Organ Scholars at Pembroke work directly with the Director of Music, taking on responsibility for planning the music of the Chapel Services and for recruiting and training the Choir. The College sets considerable store on allowing the scholars the opportunity to shape the musical life of the Chapel, ensuring a degree of autonomy in making musical decisions and extensive experience in conducting.
Organ scholars are expected to attend all choral services, resulting in a commitment of three services a week.
Sunday Eucharist is entirely the responsibility of the organ scholars, who put together a choir of volunteers, rehearse the music and conduct the service.
To find out more about joining the choir, email the Director of Music, Anna Lapwood.
To see the music list for the current term, click here.