Harvard University Choir

Harvard University Choir

Harvard University Choir

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The Harvard University Choir, more commonly referred to as the University Choir or simply UChoir, is Harvard University's oldest choir. It has provided choral music for the Harvard Memorial Church and its predecessor church for over 170 years, and is currently Harvard's only professional choir. Each year, a select group of choristers also make up the Harvard Choral Fellows, who sing at the church's daily Morning Prayers service in Appleton Chapel.

The University Choir is the only professional choir on campus. Singers are paid a significant stipend each year. The Choir is currently directed by Edward Elwyn Jones, the Gund University Organist and Choirmaster at Memorial Church. In fall 2009, UChoir will be performing in the 100th Carols Services, the oldest carols service in the country, and in the spring, UChoir will be performing J.S. Bach's St. John's Passion.

History of the University Choir

While the first mention of choral performance at Harvard comes from the eighteenth century, a formal constitution of the University Choir was not seen until 1834; the constitution makes it clear, however, that the choir had existed prior to this date. One of the attractions of joining the choir at the time was the lack of supervision during compulsory Morning Prayers services.

The Choir sat in the Gallery and were left alone until it was time to sing; often they would sleep or read, paying little attention to the service. After the appointment of John Knowles Paine as the first...
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