In the first of our Extended Reads, we take an in-depth look at the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.
It was announced last week that the Director of Music for the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury CBE will be retiring from his post in 2019. Since 1982, Stephen has been at the helm of one of the most accomplished and versatile choirs in the world, and one with a distinguished and colourful history.
For the last three years, Hayllar Music Tours has included a stay in Cambridge on its Opera & Theatre in London & the English Countryside tour. We have had the privilege of enjoying lunch with Stephen in the beautiful Saltmarsh Rooms overlooking the College courtyard. There we have been able to hear firsthand the history of the Choir and its role in College life in the 21st Century.
We have also attended private rehearsals of the Choir to find out more about how they achieve their heavenly sound. The whole experience has been enhanced with our attendance at Evensong in the stunning 15th Century Chapel, with the sun sending shafts of coloured light through the exquisite stained glass across the Adoration of the Magi (by Rubens) which hangs as the Chapel’s altarpiece.
Evensong services have been sung almost without exception by the Choir for over 500 years now. So how did the Choir get to this point, and where did it all begin?