About us

One of Oxford’s premier chamber choirs, the City of Oxford Choir was established in 1977 to host a visiting choir from Leiden in the Netherlands, one of Oxford’s twin cities.  Our thirty or so members are keen amateur singers from all walks of life in and around Oxford.  Performing an eclectic mix of modern, popular and classical choral works, the choir strives to maintain a very high standard and has earned itself a loyal audience and a unique place in the rich musical life of Oxford.  The choir is fortunate to have Duncan Aspden as its Director of Music and the renowned William Purefoy as its Voice Coach. We are a registered UK charity and all proceeds from ticket sales and fundraising are used to uphold and further the musical aims of the choir. 

Our concerts and repertoire

The choir gives four concerts each year, three of them in Oxford in some of the most beautiful of the city’s venues, including the Sheldonian Theatre, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and the college chapels of Exeter, Queen’s, Merton and Keble.  Our annual away day has taken us to historic locations in London, Windsor and Adderbury.

Our varied and innovative repertoire draws on music from the Renaissance to the present day from around the world. Recent concerts have included American Christmas music, Duruflé’s beautiful Requiem, Mozart’s sprightly Missa Brevis, the lovely and rarely performed Les nymphes des bois by Delibes, as well as pieces by Poulenc, Brahms, Schütz, Tavener and Bach, gospel music, and contemporary compositions by René Clausen, Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen.  Most of our repertoire is sung a cappella, but we often invite guest soloists and instrumentalists to perform with us.  We were delighted to welcome the accomplished pianist Anna Markland for our concert The Nature of Love in June 2016, and to sing with our own vocal coach, countertenor Billy Purefoy, in our October 2017 concert Gloriana.  The choir maintains a special relationship with Oxford composers, a number of whom have written music especially for the choir.

Our rehearsals and membership

We welcome good singers and sight readers who are able to commit to this high-quality chamber choir.  We hold weekly rehearsals on a Monday evening in North Oxford, directed by Duncan Aspden.  If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact our Secretary (secretary@oxfordchoir.org) and arrange to attend a rehearsal.  If you decide to apply, an audition can be arranged on the same night or another Monday. Find out more about joining the choir.