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From public concerts to student performances, and from choral scholarships to our community choirs, Worcester is a place brimming with music. With our thriving Music at Worcester programme, you can make music, try something new or just sit back and listen in.

Worcester is one of Oxford’s most musical colleges. Many students take part in music-making – whether they study Music or not – and our aim is for music to happen at every level and for all abilities. In any given week, musical events in College might include a student-run rave, orchestra rehearsal, choral evensong in Chapel or a recital by a world-renowned ensemble or soloist. Our students benefit from free or discounted tickets and the opportunity to work alongside professional composers, conductors and artists.

The College also has a reputation for musical excellence, from our current Professor of Composition Jennifer Walshe, to alumni and former tutors including Sholto Kynoch, Kenneth Leighton, Rachel Portman, Deborah Pritchard, Edmund Rubbra, Robert Saxton and Robert Sherlaw Johnson.

Choir & chapel music Choral & Organ Scholarships The Oxford Choral Experience

Choir rehearsal in the chapel

Meet our Director of College Music

Caius Lee read Music and was Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, during which time he founded the Florence International Singing Programme. Since 2019, he has been a trustee for Awards for Young Musicians, supporting talented young musicians from low-income families. He has worked with choirs, festivals and played solo recitals in Europe, Asia and South America. Returning to the Diocese of Leeds in 2021 as a Choral Director, Caius lead choirs in his native Bradford before joining Worcester in September 2023. His passion for community engagement and choral excellence has been recognised with a Royal Society of Arts Fellowship (FRSA).

Contact Caius

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From our opportunities for musical scholarships and practice to community music-making, find out more about Music at Worcester.

College Choir singing in Chapel

Choral, organ & instrumental scholarships

College Choir singing in Chapel

Choral, organ & instrumental scholarships

Worcester College offers several types of scholarships per year and scholars are expected to play a crucial role in musical life across the College.

Choral Scholars make up the College choir and receive free singing lessons, a generous honorarium and regular workshops with singers, teachers and conductors. They sing up to three Chapel services a week and benefit from two free formal dinners and one regular dinner each week.

Organ Scholars are appointed each year and receive hands-on training to lead our boy choristers’ morning rehearsals and conduct the choirs. They also benefit from organ, conducting and singing lessons.

Instrumental Scholarships are for musically talented players studying any subject. We encourage specialists on folk and ethnic instruments to apply, as well as mainstream classical instrumentalists. Instrumental Scholars receive a £200 award, with additional discretionary funds available to help with music-related costs, concerts, music purchase, instrumental hire, and courses.

Read more about Worcester’s music scholarships

Playing the piano

Student instrumental scheme

Playing the piano

Student instrumental scheme

Worcester’s instrumental scheme is a brand-new initiative and is the first of its kind in any Oxbridge College.

Piloted in 2024, the access scheme is chosen not on musical ability but instead given to those keen and passionate to learn. It aims to combat the decline of instrumental music-making in schools.

The College covers the cost, for 15 students per year, to learn an instrument from scratch. The College also considers and pays for instrument hire for students who have learnt an instrument at school but never owned their instrument so that they can continue making music at university.

Allsorts choir singing in Chapel

Allsorts Community Choir

Allsorts choir singing in Chapel

Allsorts Community Choir

Worcester’s community choir is a regular feature of the College’s social life, rehearsing every Thursday lunchtime in term time.

Open to everyone – students and staff from Worcester and beyond – there are no auditions and absolutely no expectation to read music. The aim is to make music, have fun and do something a bit different from work or study for 45 minutes each week.

The Allsorts typically perform an informal Christmas concert and join the College Choir for a summer performance in the gardens.

Email the Director of Music to find out more

Grand piano in front of window showing lake and trees

College Music facilities

Grand piano in front of window showing lake and trees

College Music facilities

Worcester boasts three grand pianos, including a Steinway and a Bosendorfer.

We have four music practice rooms on the main site and all BA Music students receive a keyboard in their room for the duration of their studies.

Students singing in the Chapel

The Oxford Choral Experience

The Oxford Choral Experience is a unique access programme offered free of charge to UK state school students looking to do ambitious singing at university. We’re delighted that the programme is supported by professional musicians and world-class practitioners who share their expertise with the participants.

We prioritise places for academically promising students from backgrounds under-represented at Oxford, offering them the opportunity to experience high-level music-making and make informed decisions about university applications.

Read more about the Oxford Choral Experience

Music society concert

Worcester College Music Society

All students at Worcester are invited to join the music society, whether they’re reading Music or not. We organise concerts once or twice a term, with each event being welcome to all. The Music Society strives to create relaxed environments in which instrumentalists and singers can perform with little pressure. Laid-back performing opportunities are important for musicians, especially in a place as demanding as Oxford.

At Worcester, we’re also determined to support our peers in musical endeavours both within College and outside. Each term, we make an effort to share dates on an interactive calendar, so that every student’s talents can be shared and celebrated. Our activities span the JCR, MCR and SCR, and there are regular points throughout term at which students can sign-up and get involved.

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Recent events

Students singing in the Chapel

Singing workshop at The Oxford Choral Experience

Audience at an outdoor concert

Concert of classical Indian ragas by sunset

The Teyber Trio stood on stage in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre

The Teyber Trio perform Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'

Choir and orchestra in the dining hall

Choir & orchestra perform Fauré's 'Requiem'

Experimental performance with meteorites in the Worcester Chapel

Music for Meteorites with Professor Jennifer Walshe

Vlad Waltham on stage in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre

Cellist Vladimir Waltham performs in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre

College choir singing carols on a staircase

Christmas concert in the Provost's Lodgings

Choir singing in parish church

Rehearsing for a service in a local parish church

La Scala quintet in the Worcester College Chapel

Quintet of La Scala Milan perform in the College Chapel

Students singing in the Chapel

Singing workshop at The Oxford Choral Experience

Audience at an outdoor concert

Concert of classical Indian ragas by sunset

The Teyber Trio stood on stage in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre

The Teyber Trio perform Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'

Choir and orchestra in the dining hall

Choir & orchestra perform Fauré's 'Requiem'

Experimental performance with meteorites in the Worcester Chapel

Music for Meteorites with Professor Jennifer Walshe

Vlad Waltham on stage in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre

Cellist Vladimir Waltham performs in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre

College choir singing carols on a staircase

Christmas concert in the Provost's Lodgings

Choir singing in parish church

Rehearsing for a service in a local parish church

La Scala quintet in the Worcester College Chapel

Quintet of La Scala Milan perform in the College Chapel

What’s happening?

Read news

Unique programme strikes a new chord for choral outreach

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