Pass through the Clare Hall Porters’ Lodge or common room on a Monday evening, and you will be met by the sound of the new college choir rehearsing in the dining hall. Amid the hard work of Cambridge research, the choir offers weekly light relief at Clare Hall through fun, relaxed, pressure-free music. Led by Ben de Souza, a Royal Academy of Music alumnus now studying towards an MMus in Choral Studies at Clare Hall, the choir currently numbers sixteen and comprises graduate students, Fellows and Visiting Fellows.
Since its inception at the end of October 2018 the choir, accompanied by MPhil pianist Stephen Ai on the college’s Steinway, has played an active role in the musical life of the College. Its inaugural performance came at the Christmas Formal in December 2018, featuring an American setting of O Little Town of Bethlehem and the folk-pop Christmas song My Favourite Time of Year, followed by the first sung ‘grace’ in the college’s fifty-two year history, composed specially for the choir by Ben de Souza.
Royal Academy of Music student Chloë Meade joined the choir on violin for the evening. Ben has provided occasional music reading and theory classes to the choir, and some of his MMus colleagues have provided vocal support. Engagements this term include a performance at ‘Sing’ at Magdalene on 4 March – a showcase of Cambridge’s non-auditioned college choirs – and a Clare Hall formal dinner at the end of the term.
Clare Hall choir is open to anyone affiliated with the College – students, Fellows, staff, and Life Members – as well as family members of the above – and meets every Monday at 7.20 pm in the dining hall. The choir is always looking for new members, and if you are interested in joining, please email Ben email@example.com. No previous singing or musical experience is necessary. The only requirement is that you want to sing and to enjoy it.
‘As long as we live, there is never enough singing’ – Martin Luther