Wellington College enjoys a fine and rich musical tradition, of which all pupils are encouraged to be a part. Chapel services are enriched by enthusiastic congregational singing, and a fine Chapel Choir, which is supported by our superb Harrison & Harrison organ.
The Chapel Choir’s raison d’etre is to sing for the weekly services of Choral Evensong and Eucharist in Chapel. The choir also enjoys regular trips abroad (recent tours have included Leipzig and Dresden, Seville and Granada, Salamanca and Burgos, and Cologne), gives concerts at Wellington (often with Symphony Orchestra) and in London, and has lately sung Evensong at Christ Church, Oxford, Winchester Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, Trinity College, Cambridge, and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Recent collaborations have included performances with Stile Antico and the choirs of Eton College and Guildford Cathedral.. The choir’s latest CD recording, ‘Advent to Epiphany’ (available from the College Shop and for streaming on Spotify) was released in Winter 2019, and they have also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship, with a commissioned work by composer Alan Bullard. The choir is open to Music Scholars, Choral Award holders, and all other pupils by audition, and comprises 45 pupils and staff. It is a diverse and friendly group, and enjoys frequent social occasions, often open to parents.
Pupils are encouraged to take lessons with one of the College’s ten singing teachers, and masterclasses are organised frequently with leading practitioners, such as Roderick Williams and Louise Crane. Alumni of the choir are currently Choral Scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, and a number have become distinguished international soloists.
The College is fortunate to possess three pipe organs; two Skrabl tracker practice organs, and a fine three-manual Harrison & Harrison of 1921. In addition to the three College Organists (Mr Simon Williamson FRCO, Mr George de Voil FRCO, and Mr Sean Farrell FRCO), students who learn the instrument take a leading role in playing voluntaries and accompanying the choir. Recent masterclasses have been given by Daniel Moult and Wayne Marshall, and in the past few years, pupils have gone on to Organ Scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and a number of major Cathedrals.
Mr George de Voil, MA FRCO (Assistant Director of Music, Chapel & Choral), oversees the vocal and organ departments at Wellington, as well as running chapel music. He always very happy to hear from parents of prospective Choral Award holders and organists.
George is a prizewinning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists who also serves as Director of Music at St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens, W2. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, and Classic FM, and has recently given organ recitals at Westminster, Chester, Liverpool, Bristol, Edinburgh and Truro Cathedrals, as well as at many of London’s major churches. He holds a First Class degree from Exeter College, Oxford, where he held the Organ Scholarship, and was Director of Music at Pusey House.