Our Singers

Choir in chapel from organ loft

Most members of the choir are undergraduates at Caius who read a wide range of Subjects across the Arts and Sciences.

There are normally 24 singers balanced roughly as follows:

  • 8-9 Sopranos
  • 4-5 Altos (female and male)
  • 4-5 Tenors
  • 5-6 Basses

Occasionally individual singers change voice parts as their voices continue to develop with age. Some choir members have been singing from an early age, perhaps as a boy or girl chorister in a Cathedral, but others have taken up singing only recently.

Each singer’s background and experience is taken into account at the audition stage, as is explained under Choral Awards

You can read below interviews with two choral scholars who give their different perspectives on being in the choir at Caius.

Inigo (Bass) – studying Classics

Did you have a lot of singing experience when you auditioned?

I was a chorister at New College, Oxford: I certainly had a decent amount of background experience. I know this isn’t the case for everyone in choir though. Caius does a great job at bringing together people of all different levels of experience to produce music of an excellent standard. 

Why did you want to be a choral scholar?

I wanted something to do outside of my academic work: I knew that being a choral scholar meant that I would have commitments to choir most days of the weeks during term. It’s no bad thing, as you discipline yourself to get your work done so you can fit in choir! Singing is a welcome distraction from what can be a stressful academic process as a Cambridge undergraduate.

What attracted you to Caius, both College and Choir?

My knowledge of the choir came by hearsay: a fellow New College ex-chorister had been a choral scholar at Caius and had since become a professional singer. It appealed to me because it seemed a good balance of a high standard, but a fun and community-oriented group. I think the choir really influenced my choice of college upon application.

What sort of music do you enjoy outside of choir and are there other performance opportunities at Caius?

All kinds! I come from a musical family with a mother who is a professional cellist and founded an orchestra, as well as a brother who is extremely talented at the guitar and writes his own music, so I appreciate classical and non-classical equally. I’ve sung in operas and concerts that are put on at Caius as well as on a more university-wide level.

What has been your most memorable experience in the choir?

If I can count a whole tour as a memorable experience, I would say that the tour to the US really stands out. We visited all kinds of amazing places (New York, Princeton, Philadelphia, Atlanta) and produced some fantastic music together.

Sophie (Soprano) – studying Music

Did you have a lot of singing experience when you auditioned?

I did, although some of my friends didn’t – it’s definitely not essential. I was a girl chorister at Liverpool Cathedral for ten years until the age of 16, and after this I sang in various other local choirs, as well as being involved in bigger organisations such as the Rodolfus Choir. I also did some summer courses – I can recommend the Rodolfus Choral Courses as they are super fun and you can learn so much in just a week.

Why did you want to be a choral scholar?

Having been a chorister from a young age, I couldn’t really remember a time when I wasn’t involved in choral singing, and it is just something I love doing a lot – so I knew I really wanted to keep singing at university.

What attracted you to Caius?

Caius Choir was my main reason for choosing to apply to Caius! I knew I really wanted to be a choral scholar, so I picked Caius as it has a reputation for being one of the leading mixed-voice choirs in Cambridge. If you’re lucky enough to visit before applying, the ‘feeling’ you get as you walk into a College can often help make up your mind – Caius is so warm, welcoming, and really pretty so certainly convinced me that I wanted to apply there.

How easy has it been to adapt to the demands of being a choir member?

Surprisingly easy! Choir really can lift your mood and help switch off from the pressures of academic work.

What’s it like being a member of Caius Choir?

It’s like being part of a big musical family! Being in Caius Choir is very rewarding, both musically and socially: despite working hard as a choir to achieve high standards, we always have so much fun both making music together and socialising.

What has been your most memorable experience in the choir?

My most memorable experience in the choir has to be singing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in concerts on our tour to Romania.