Choir-related documents in the College Archives

Documents in the Choir Archive

We are gradually populating this section with articles, documents, features, letters and other interesting snippets about the life and history of the Choir. You can help! If you come across any interesting material – either in the national press or at the bottom of your own wardrobe – that you feel could be either shared here, linked to electronically, or lodged in the official College Archives, then please do get in touch.

Index of items, arranged chronologically by year to which the item relates

1875: Governing Body vote to establish a boarding house for choristers
Minutes of the Governing Body’s vote, on 30 November 1875, to establish – potentially in collaboration with Trinity College and others – a boarding house to allow the recruitment of choristers whose parents did not live in Cambridge. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. KCGB-4-1-1-8.

1880: Rules for the choristers
The rules for choristers as they stood in 1880, including that boys must neither ‘receive any presents from Members of the University’ nor ‘loiter about the Courts of the College’. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. KCAR-8-3-49.

1887: Advertisement for choristers
An 1887 advertisement for choristerships, including instructions for how to apply, details of the education provided, and the arrangements for the next auditions. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. KCAR-8-3-49.

1887: Clothing and kit list for choristers
A list of clothing and other items that boys in 1887 were required to bring with them, which included three under waistcoats, one white flannel cricketing suit, and a sponge. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. KCAR-8-3-49.

1918: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
An order of service from the College’s first ever Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which took place in Chapel on Christmas Eve in 1918. Note, of course, that the BBC did not begin broadcasting this annual service until 1928. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. KCAR-3-1-2-4-7.

1921: Memorial Service for those who died during the First World War
The organ loft copy of an order of service for a Memorial Service that took place on 2 November 1921 to commemorate those members of the college and choir school communities who died on active service between 1914 and 1918. This document includes the organist’s handwritten instructions and annotations. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. CSV/50.

1951: Service of Remembrance and Dedication of the War Memorial in 1951
An order of service (from St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1951) which concludes with a list of the fellows, scholars, scholars elect, choral scholars, pensioners, choristers, boys at the choir school and college servants who died between 1939 and 1945. Ref: King’s College Library, Cambridge. CSV/18.

2000: King's College Choir Tour to the Far East and USA (Summer 2000)
A report by choral scholar Timothy Kiddell about one of the most ambitious tours the Choir has ever undertaken. First published in the KCCA Yearbook 2000-2001.

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