Merton College Girl Choristers Join CSA!

We are delighted to welcome Benjamin Nicholas, director of Merton College Girl Choristers, into CSA membership. Merton College may be several centuries old but its choir of girl choristers has been going for less than five years. 

Merton College Girl Choristers join the CSA
Merton College Girl Choristers

The College was the first in Oxford University to admit girls into its Choral Foundation. The 24 girls come from many schools across Oxford and beyond and sing Choral Evensong on Wednesdays during the University Term. They join as probationers in Year 4 and sing up to the end of Year 11, although some opt to continue as sixth formers.

Ben says: “I am thrilled that the Merton College Girl Choristers have been elected to Associate Membership. As the choir begins its fifth year, in an institution which is 756 years old, I am grateful that we will be able to draw on the expertise and support on offer at the CSA. I remember how invaluable that wisdom was when I was at Tewkesbury Abbey as founding Director of the Schola Cantorum.”

The girls work alongside 30 undergraduate and graduate students in Merton College Choir and have carried out a number of high profile engagements and two residential trips. In 2018 they spent four days in the North East and sang Evensong in Durham Cathedral. The trip included concerts in College ‘Livings’ at Embleton and Ponteland. The latter was celebrating the 750th anniversary of its link with Merton College.

Last year the Girl Choristers enjoyed a three day residence at Chichester Cathedral. The girls sing on one track on the album ‘sleeper’s prayer’:

David Lang’s Sleeper’s prayer

They can also be heard singing Britten’s A New Year Carol on the College Choir’s You Tube channel:

We look forward to hearing lots more of them in the years to come!