Choral Scholarships

The original foundation of Christ Church included one Organist (who also acted as Director) and eight Lay Clerks. Today, at any one time, the choir consists of approximately sixteen Choristers (boys), six Lay Clerks (professional singers), and six Academical Clerks (undergraduates) who are also known as Choral Scholars, in addition to the Director of Music (who has the official historic title of ‘Organist’), the Sub-Organist, and one or two Organ Scholars. 

Christ Church is unique amongst the collegiate choirs in its Cathedral role, and this is reflected in the considerable opportunities afforded for Choral Scholars to learn a vast musical repertoire and to participate in many concerts, recordings, broadcasts and tours. In addition to financial support, Choral Scholars receive singing lessons which are paid for by College, and are provided with pianos/keyboards in their rooms.

Choral Scholars are expected to commit fully to the Cathedral Choir, and to take part in the regular schedule of choral services sung by the Cathedral Choir in Christ Church Cathedral. Great care is taken to ensure that choral duties do not interfere with academic work and progress.

The normal weekly pattern of services for the Cathedral Choir is as follows:


9.45am Matins
11am Sung Eucharist
6pm Evensong (rehearsal 5pm)


6pm Evensong (Thursday: 6pm Sung Eucharist) (rehearsal 5pm)


6pm Evensong (rehearsal 4.45pm)

The 6pm service on Monday does not usually involve the Cathedral Choir.


There are vacancies for Academical Clerks (Choral Scholars) at Christ Church in 2021 and 2022, and these are open to both female and male applicants. Further details about the application process may be found on the University undergraduate admissions pages. At the choral trial, candidates are required to sing a prepared piece and to demonstrate musical aptitude through a few vocal exercises (scales and arpeggios), ear tests and reading at sight.

Choral Scholarships at Christ Church and all other Oxford colleges are awarded subject to candidates receiving an offer of an academic place to study at the University, and to candidates achieving the academic conditions of their offer.

If you wish to have an informal discussion about Choral Scholarships at Christ Church with the Director of Music, Steven Grahl, please contact his PA, Florence Maskell. Professor Grahl is glad to meet and hear prospective choral candidates informally throughout the year (except during the formal choral selection process which takes place in September, when he is unable to offer individual informal meetings with candidates).