St Salvator’s Chapel Choir is the flagship choir of the University of St Andrews, Scotland. A mixed voice ensemble of around 30 students, its history extends back to the founding of the University in the early fifteenth century, when students were obliged to sing in the University’s chapel. These choristers were referred to as the ‘Choristi Sanctiandree’.
Today, under the direction of Claire Innes-Hopkins, the choir performs a broad repertoire spanning the six centuries of the University’s history. In addition to three sung services per week and extensive ceremonial duties, the choir enjoys a busy schedule of concerts, international tours, broadcasts on radio and TV, as well as appearances at international festivals including, most recently, the Thueringer Bachwochen (Germany) and the Haarlem Koorbiennale (The Netherlands). Other recent tours have featured performances at Washington National Cathedral and Princeton University (USA) and with renowned baritone Peter Harvey in Sweden.
Recordings on the University’s own internationally distributed CD label have included Salvator Mundi charting 100 years of English church music after Purcell, Ca’ the Yowes, featuring British folk song arrangements and Bach and the Stile Antico, charting the evolution of the Credo from Bach’s Mass in B minor via works known to, and performed by, Bach during its composition.
Committed to the performance of new music, St Salvator’s Chapel Choir regularly commissions and performs works for both liturgical and secular contexts. In recent years the choir has been privileged to work with musicians such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir James MacMillan, Paul Mealor, Arvo Pärt and Dame Emma Kirkby.
There are many other choirs at the University of St Andrews; for more information on singing and music generally at the University, please click here.
With Peter Harvey
Concerts with Dame Emma Kirkby in the Thüringer Bachwochen and with the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra in the Thomaskirche, Leipzig
Performances at prestigious venues in New York City and at Washington National Cathedral
‘[A] spectacular performance of ground-breaking choral music’ The Herald
‘[In Palestrina’s Missa sine nomine] the intertwining polyphonic lines are superbly traced, the choir showing a real sensitivity towards the style as well as a lovely blend of tone and exemplary diction.’ Music Web International
‘Assured performances … impeccable diction’ Early Music Review
‘Sitting in the organ loft of the Chapel, it was sometimes hard to believe I was witnessing a choir of students … [Bach’s Mass in B Minor] calls for stamina, vocal expertise and vibrancy of expression. This splendid ensemble has all of that in spades. Their natural talent has been nurtured by director Tom Wilkinson and the end result is a choir who could hold their own in any august company, professional or amateur.’ Dundee Courier
‘They demonstrate a fresh, bright sounding tone and fine blend with clear diction; also communicating a real sense of commitment, engagement and relish in all that they do…’ Console
‘Wilkinson’s red-robed choristers are immaculately disciplined’ The Scotsman