University College Durham

Director of Chapel Music


University College seeks to appoint a student Director of Music for the college chapels for the academic year 2016/17. The chapels of University College are home to one of the finest student choirs in the University. The choir’s primary role is to lead the worship of the chapel community, singing two regular weekly services during term-time – choral evensong on a Thursday, and a sung eucharist on a Sunday morning. Some choir members also sing compline on a Tuesday evening, usually four times a term. The chapel choir is fully auditioned, comprising students from Castle and across the University. The Director of Music conducts auditions for the choir and for organ scholars (in consultation with the chaplain) at the beginning of Michaelmas Term. The college offers a number of choral scholarships each year, and these are open to students from across the University. In addition to the regular chapel services, the choir frequently sings services in Durham and other cathedrals and performs regular concerts. The choir usually goes on tour during the summer vacation, both nationally and internationally – this summer to Krakow, and in recent years to Munich, Oxford and Milan. A Christmas CD was recorded in 2012, and we would warmly encourage a project to record a new CD to showcase the work of the chapel choir. The primary tasks of the Director of Music are as follows:


  • To work with the chaplain and other chapel officers to further the mission and worship of the college chapel.
  • To coordinate the running of the choir, specifically including the following:

o To set appropriate and sensitive liturgical music for the regular services (Thursday Evensong and Sunday Morning Eucharist) in discussion with the chaplain, and to work with her in planning special services.

o To take responsibility for the sung compline services, or to delegate that to another suitable member of the choir.

o To work with an organised approach, preparing music lists and copies in a timely manner.

o To develop their own skills in choral direction.

o To increase the profile of the choir and college in the region through arranging to sing services in local cathedrals and parish churches.

o To organise and build on the chapel’s music library.

  • To encourage good relationships within the choir, and between the choir and wider chapel community, and to build positive working relationships with the organist(s).
  • To work collaboratively with other members of the choir in planning and organising events.
  • To encourage the full integration of the chapel choir in the wider musical and cultural life of University College.
  • To participate in intercollegiate chapel choir events.
  • To enhance the profile of the choir, chapel and college the region and further afield.


The Director of Music receives a scholarship (this year 2015/16 worth £250). This post should be the conductor’s only significant musical responsibility in Durham. The post is renewable annually by the chaplain, following positive termly reviews. A letter outlining your interest in the post, and your experience and suitability for it, should be addressed to the chaplain, the Revd Dr Hannah Cleugh ([email protected]), to arrive by 5pm on Saturday 4th June. We aim to schedule auditions during the following week, subject to the commitments of shortlisted candidates. Please provide the name of someone in your academic department who can be contacted for assurance that they would support your application. Candidates from colleges other than Castle should also provide the name of a college officer (e.g. Chaplain, Student Support Officer, Mentor) who can be contacted for the same reason. Informal queries about the post can also be addressed to Hannah Cleugh prior to the application deadline.