The source and summit of the Christian life is found in the sacred liturgy, most especially the Eucharist. We strive to promote the spiritual life of the Catholic students and the whole University by the worthy celebration of the Mass and Divine Office.
Singing and music is integral to our liturgy, and the work of the Chaplaincy Choir is therefore central to our life as a Catholic student community.
The Chaplaincy Choir is flourishing and numbers over a dozen singers. Its repertoire is drawn both from a living tradition of Gregorian Chant (both in English and in Latin) as well as from more modern hymnody, English liturgical settings and a range of anthems. The choir sings at Sunday 6:30pm Masses during term and at occasional other services (e.g. All Saints’ Day, Ash Wednesday, Advent Carols). Music is chosen so as to allow the participation of the whole assembly in appropriate parts of the liturgy while allowing the choir to enjoy singing more challenging pieces.
If you can sing, do come along and add your voice to the songs of praise!
The choir rehearses on Saturdays 5:00pm-6:00pm and each Sunday from 5:00pm before the 6:30pm Student Mass. It also sings at occasional other celebrations, such as Holy Days during term.
For more information on the choir and music at the Chaplaincy, please contact:
- John Morris (St John’s), Director of Music
Recognising the importance of singing and music in our liturgy, the Chaplaincy has begun to make annual awards for choral, organ and music director scholarships.
- Choral Scholars (up to four) take a leading role in the Chaplaincy Choir, enriching the liturgical celebrations for all. Choral scholars are encouraged to help other members of the Choir develop their talents, for example by leading section rehearsals where appropriate.
- An Organ Scholar works with the Director(s) of Music in leading the choir and playing the organ, accompanying singing and playing voluntaries and/or improvisations.
- A Director of Music is responsible for the organisation of the musical aspects of the Chaplaincy’s liturgical life, directing the Chaplaincy Choir, working closely with the Choral Scholars and other members of the Choir and promoting the development of their talents.
A Choral Scholar receives a grant of £100 per annum, and an Organ Scholar/Director of Music receives between £150 and £250 depending on division of responsibilities. These grants are intended to assist students in their studies, and scholars are encouraged to use their awards to further their musical education (e.g. with singing/organ lessons).
These scholarships are open to all current students of Durham University; recent graduates might also be considered. Scholars need not be Catholics themselves, but will be expected to respect the Catholic nature of the Chaplaincy; it is hoped that they will feel a valued part of the wider Chaplaincy community.
The Director of Music and Organ Scholar(s) are usually appointed in Easter Term for the following academic year; Choral Scholars are appointed from the members of the choir in the course of each Michaelmas Term.