The Choir of King’s College London is one of the leading university choirs in England, and has existed since its founding by William Henry Monk in the middle of the 19th century. The Choir today consists of some thirty Choral Scholars reading a variety of subjects. The Choir’s principal role at King’s is to provide music for Chapel worship, with weekly Eucharist and Evensong services offered during term, as well as various other services. Services from the College Chapel are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio. The Choir also frequently sings for worship outside the university, including at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
In addition, the Choir gives many concert performances. Recent festival appearances in England include the Barnes Music Festival, London Handel Festival, Oundle International Festival, St Albans International Organ Festival, Spitalfields Festival, and the Christmas and Holy Week Festivals at St. John’s Smith Square. In 2017 the Choir joined forces with Britten Sinfonia to give the UK premiere of Samuel Barber’s The Lovers (Chamber Version) at Kings Place, the performance described in The Times as ‘sung beautifully, the voices judiciously blended’. The Choir tours widely, with destinations including Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Nigeria and the USA. In 2017 it served as Choir-In-Residence for the northeast convention of American Guild of Organists and Royal Canadian College of Organists in Montreal.
The Choir has made many recordings, and enjoys an ongoing relationship with Delphian Records. Recent recordings include the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms in its 1872 English-language setting, praised as ‘utterly uplifting’ (Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musicale), ‘an intimate, highly charged performance’ (Stephen Pritchard, The Observer), and the Masses for Double Choir by Kenneth Leighton and Frank Martin, described as ‘a performance of astonishing intensity and musicality’ (Marc Rochester, Gramophone), and ‘a colourful performance . . . Joseph Fort’s superbly drilled Choir of King’s College London singing with shedloads of oomph’ (Graham Rickson, theartsdesk.com). More recent releases include Gustav Holst’s The Cloud Messenger, in a new chamber version by Joseph Fort.
Following some twenty years under the leadership of David Trendell, the Choir has been directed by Dr Joseph Fort since 2015.
Many choral scholars have gone on to pursue postgraduate vocal studies at a conservatoire. They have subsequently had successful professional careers as soloists or as members of prestigious ensembles such as Stile Antico, the Gabrieli Consort and Polyphony.
They include Benedict Hymas, Amy Payne, Jonathan McGovern, Thomas Hobbs and Anna Stéphany.