Choir of Merton College, Oxford
In 2016 Merton College became the first College in Oxford University to admit girls into its Choral Foundation. The 24 girl choristers attend many different schools across Oxford and beyond, and rehearse at Merton on Mondays and Wednesdays during school term-time. Receiving specialist musical training from the College’s professional musicians, they sing Choral Vespers each Monday and Choral Evensong each Wednesday during the University term, often joined on Wednesdays by professional adult singers who sing the lower parts. In addition, the choristers undertake several concerts and other activities each year, including performing in the Passiontide at Merton festival. Recent performances have included Elgar’s The Apostles with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Merton College Choir and Florilegium. The choristers recorded their debut CD with Delphian Records in 2021 and can be heard on two recordings with Merton College Choir. They have premiered new compositions by Gabriel Jackson, Nico Muhly and Neil Cox, and in November will give the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s Merton Girls Service.
The Merton College Girl Choristers are associate members of the Choir Schools’ Association which represents schools attached to cathedrals, churches and college chapels in Great Britain and elsewhere. The Association supports and promotes choral music in the Christian tradition, promotes the values of choir school education, supports choir schools and their heads, and promotes singing locally, nationally and internationally.