The Choir of Somerville College, Oxford, in its present form, was founded by Francis Knights (Director of Music) and Sam Bayliss (Organ Scholar) in 2001. Since 2007 the choir has been conducted by David Crown (Director of Music). He is assisted by Somerville’s two organ scholars, Douglas Knight and Robert Smith, and choir manager Stefan Schwarz. The choir sings at services and faith talks during term and performs in concerts organised by Somerville Music Society.
In recent years the choir has toured Germany and Italy and sung at Worcester, Southwark, Winchester, Blackburn, Wells and St Paul’s cathedrals.
Somerville Choir has also been involved in a number of high-profile concerts and opera productions. In 2010 the choir appeared in a memorial concert for Iris Murdoch and gave a performance of Tavener’s ‘Song for Athene’ in the presence of the composer. In 2011 Somerville Choir sang Bach’s St John Passion and recorded its first album ‘Requiem æternam’ featuring internationally acclaimed soloists Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), Mark Stone (baritone) and Guy Johnston (cello). In 2012 the choir performed in a concert with the Musicians of the Dreaming Spires, an Oxford-based professional chamber orchestra, and sang in a special service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. Somerville Choir is now increasingly coming to be seen as one of the best mixed-voice choirs in the university.
The CD can be purchased on amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Requiem-Aeternam-Christine-Rice/dp/B0090Z43O0/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1347477461&sr=1-1