Choral Music

Click here for the Schola Cantorum Programme of Events, 2014-15 

The Vaughan has a long tradition of fine choral singing both within the celebration of the liturgy and at public concerts. Today these standards are maintained in the School's three main choirs, the Schola Cantorum, the School Choir, and the Sixth Form Choir.

The Schola Cantorum is an auditioning boys choir, whose main responsibility lies in the provision of music for the School’s liturgy. Besides singing at the School's weekly Masses and Feast Day celebrations, the Schola performs widely around London and has traveled all over the world singing for audiences that have, on two occasions, included the Holy Father. The choir sings frequently at Westminster Cathedral. The Schola has recorded several CD recordings, including Praise to the Holiest, a collection of well-loved Catholic hymns, Sing In Exultation, a selection of Christmas music, and Mendelssohn's Lauda Sion. A new CD of Marian music, entitled In Honour of Our Lady, will be released in October 2013. Recent concert performances have included Bach's St John Passion, Monteverdi's Vespers and Durufle's Requiem. The Schola has led the Sunday Morning Worship programe on BBC Radio Four twice in recent years and has also appeared on BBC Songs of Praise. The Schola can also be heard on several film soundtracks including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and the Oscar-winning score for Life of Pi. Annual tours take place, with recent destinations including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Venice, Paris, Rome, Assisi, Vienna, Barcelona and Krakow. 

This video shows the Schola singing in a concert in Krakow during their Tour in 2013. 

In September 2010 boys from the Schola made their Proms debut when they appeared alongside the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner in a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers. This performance was followed by similar appearances at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford and Durham Cathedral.

The Schola's trebles frequently sing in professional contexts and have worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Bach Choir and The Choir of London. The School has firm links with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where boys have performed in many productions including Gloriana, Suor Angelica, Tannhäuser, Tosca, La Boheme, Billy Budd, the world premiere of Lorin Maazel's opera 1984 and Turandot. Boys also sing with English National Opera, most recently appearing in their productions of Billy Budd, Carmen and La Boheme. Boys have also performed with local opera company Opera Holland Park.  

Full details on the Schola's current activities can be found at

The School Choir offers choral opportunities for all boys and girls who wish to take part. The choir, numbering around one hundred and forty pupils, performs at the School’s major concerts throughout year. Recent repertoire has included JS Bach's B Minor Mass, St Matthew Passion, St John Passion, Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, Verdi's Requiem, Brahms', A German Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Orff's Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem and C minor Mass, Poulenc's Gloria and Puccini's Messe di Gloria. At the Vaughan's Gala Concert, at St John's Smith Square in October 2002, the choir sang with Sir Thomas Allen in a performance of Vaughan Williams's Five Mystical Songs. In March 2005 the choir performed Bach's St John Passion in Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square and in December 2006 performed Handel's Messiah. The soloists at these concerts included Michael Chance, Barry Banks, Patrizia Kwella and John Mark Ainsley.

This is the closing moments of the performance of the St Matthew Passion in March 2013.

The Choir undertook its first tour abroad in April 2004 when some eighty pupils traveled to Germany, performing in the towns of Boppard and Koblenz. Some ninety members of the School Choir toured the USA in February 2006, singing at Washington National Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. In March 2008 104 members of the choir traveled to Salzburg and Vienna, performing in the Stephensdom in Vienna and at Salzburg Cathedral. In April 2010 the choir and orchestra toured to Prague and the surrounding area giving three sold-out concerts to very welcoming audiences. In February 2012 the choir traveled to California, giving concerts in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. The School Choir traveled to Madrid in February 2014, siniging in the Cathedrals of Toledo, Segovia and Madrid.

The repertoire of the Sixth Form Choir, the School's mixed voice choir is varied, including music in more popular styles. The choir performs at the School's major concerts and provides music for the Sixth Form Masses and other services. The Choir sings regularly at St James’s, Spanish Place and has sung Choral Evensong at The Queen's College, Oxford.

Within the Sixth Form there are also several smaller singing ensembles, including a Girls Choir, the Chamber Choir and close harmony singing groups.

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