Renowned Cambridge University Choir to Perform in Cleveland Heights

The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. Photo by Nick Rutter.

The Choir of Clare College at Cambridge University is coming to Cleveland! This small, not-to-be-missed choir of twenty-nine students enjoys a reputation as one of the top mixed voice collegiate choirs in the world. Selected by competitive auditions even before coming to Cambridge, these young talented musicians perform with the clear, moving sound that has made the British chapel choir tradition famous around the world. 

Dedicated and busy, the singers – known officially as “Choral Exhibitioners” – learn vast amounts of music each term, leading Choral Evensong services three times each week in the college chapel. They quickly become confident sight-readers, as rehearsals are brief and intense and there is little time for mistakes.

Clare College, founded in 1326, is the second oldest and now one of the most musically renowned of the 31 colleges that make up Cambridge University. Its now-famous choir was founded in 1971. Its second and most internationally recognized director, John Rutter, held the post a brief time before demand for his compositions became too great. Still actively involved, the kindly, supportive Mæstro Rutter often uses his discerning ears in the producer’s booth during recording sessions, and continues to compose especially for the choir – this USA tour will include the world premiere of Christ is the Morning Star. He was succeeded by Timothy Brown, a devilishly demanding character whose thirty-year tenure raised the choir to international standing. This tour marks the Choir’s first visit to the USA under Ross’ direction.

The tour’s purpose is to celebrate the release of a new CD, Veni Emmanuel, on the Harmonia Mundi USA label, the first in an ongoing series of music for the church year, which will include music for Passiontide and Christmas scheduled for release in 2014. The Veni Emmanuel concert program and CD feature music for Advent, that special period of time full of expectation and mystery leading up to Christmas, centered here around the great “O” plainchant antiphons and the traditional Advent hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel.

The choir will perform at the Fairmount Presbyterian Church, located at 2757 Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, on Saturday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more details about the performance, contact the church at 216-321-5800. To find out more about this prestigious group, visit


Margi Griebling-Haigh

 Margi Griebling-Haigh is a freelance composer, oboist and artist residing in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 11:07 AM, 12.06.2013