We are the world’s only specialist conservatoire with a collegiate chapel choir.
The extraordinary environment of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel and its esteemed director of music, Ralph Allwood MBE, provide an ideal springboard for those wishing to work in the UK’s cathedral or church choirs, or indeed follow other choral pathways.
About the Choir
The Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir (ORNC TLCC) has existed in its current format since 2001 when Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance took a principal role in the provision of music at the Chapel. Now regarded as one of the most outstanding sacred music ensembles in London, Trinity Laban is the only Conservatoire in the UK to support a collegiate Chapel Choir, and is unique amongst cathedral, church and collegiate choirs in the UK in that it has ready access to the wide range of musical resources at the Conservatoire. The Choir comprises of around 28 members drawn mainly from the Conservatoire and surrounding communities. All members of the choir are accomplished musicians, trained singers with the ability to blend and take significant solo roles.
Trinity Laban has long recognised the importance and value of training in choral traditions as part of a singer’s education. The extraordinary environment of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel and its highly regarded Director of Music, Dr Ralph Allwood MBE, provide an ideal springboard for those wishing to work in the UK’s cathedral or church choirs, or indeed follow other choral pathways. Collaboration with orchestral and jazz musicians, historical performers and composers is a particular feature of music in worship at the Chapel.
The choir gives approximately one hundred public performances each year. Its primary purpose is to enhance the liturgy and worship of the Chapel on Sundays and Monday evensong. The choir normally sings on All Souls day, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day and Ascension Day and at the Riverside Service on Remembrance Day. In addition, the full choir or choral scholars contribute to a series of concerts in the Chapel alongside a number of paid external engagements.
The regular weekly commitment is as follows (additional concerts, services, tours, recitals and recordings added throughout the year):
- Sundays: 09.45 rehearsal & 11.00 Choral Eucharist
- Mondays: 16.00 rehearsal, 17.30 Evensong, 19.00 rehearsal
- To view a full list for all services of the term, please visit the Chapel Services page.
The Old Royal Naval College Chapel Choir
Beati Quorum Via
The range of repertoire sung by the Choir is broad: from the finest renaissance works by composers such as Byrd and Tallis, through to the Masses of Haydn and Mozart, romantic works of the 19th and 20th Centuries and works of the 21st Century. The Choir performs several large-scale orchestral concerts each year, including Baroque works such as Handel’s Messiah, J.S. Bach’s St John Passion, and works such as Requiem settings of Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé.
The Choir tours abroad and in the UK annually. Past tours include Mumbai, India (2018), UK Tour – Gloucester Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral, Romsey Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral (2017) and Malta ( 2016).
Choral Scholarships are available to undergraduate and postgraduate students; many are first study vocal students but other students are eligible to apply if it is compatible with other commitments in the Faculty of Music.
The scholarships are awarded for outstanding performance ability, as demonstrated at audition. Successful candidates for scholarships will be accomplished musicians, trained singers with the ability both to blend and take significant solo roles. Good sight reading is essential, as the repertoire is broad, extensive and demanding whilst rehearsal time is limited. They will have a love of the sacred choral repertoire and want to be a member of a closely knit team. All candidates who audition are considered for a scholarship.
We currently offer 14 Choral Scholarships annually in conjunction with the Dame Susan Morden Trust and the trustees of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel.
In April 2017, the Choir recorded their debut album (on the Signum label) featuring works by British singer and composer Roderick Williams OBE, including a new piece, written by Roderick for the Choir. This CD was launched in December 2017 and is now available for purchase.
Auditions for choral scholarships and new choir members take place in the Spring Term. Candidates invited for audition will be asked to prepare two contrasting solo pieces. There will also be a test of sight-reading ability, as this is an essential skill for all members of the choir.
Auditions for September 2019 have now closed. If you want to find out about applying for 2020, please email Phillippa Scammell.
Ralph is always delighted to hear from prospective choir members, so please get in touch!