By Tiffany Walmlsey
A college choir is a great way to meet people from a variety of subjects and to experience more of your colleges’ traditions. Whether or not you have to audition for your choir is dependent on the college. At Jesus, there are a few auditioned parts, but the majority of the choir do not have to audition and so it attracts singers with a range of choral experiences. We rehearse every Thursday evening during term time, and on Sunday afternoons before the Evensong service in the chapel, which is livestreamed on Facebook each week.
Singing in a choir requires all of your attention: you have to read the notes and the words, listen to the other vocalists around you, whilst also singing your own part correctly at the correct time! Having time twice a week to completely disconnect from your research or lectures is more beneficial than I could have imagined. Its refreshing to do something I enjoy that uses my entire brain, doesn’t require a screen, and I come away with improved mental health and a happier outlook for the next day. I also notice my voice improving each week!
For those in the Jesus college choir, we are offered one-to-one singing lessons once or twice a term, which is something I had never done before being in the choir. On a Sunday evening after evensong, sherry is usually served before second hall dinner, which is a three-course, served meal in the college. Choir members who sing in evensong that day are offered to eat at second hall for free after the service!
Throughout the year, there are several one-off services that the choir is involved with, such as the Christmas service, Ascension Day, and St. David’s Day, which is sung in Welsh as Jesus college is the ‘Welsh college’.
At the end of Trinity term 2022, the chapel choir toured in Italy! We sang three services in Florence and one in Rome over a weeklong trip. It was an amazing way to end the term—the weather was incredible, and we were able to get to know each other so much better! I am truly grateful for the people I’ve met and the amazing experiences I’ve had in the chapel choir! It offers a way to engage with experience college traditions like no other!