The Wadham College Chapel Choir, a group made up of undergraduates, post-graduates, faculty, and friends of the University of Oxford’s Wadham College, kicks off its spring tour of the United States in Auburn with a program of sacred music by composers such as Gibbons, Ives, Greene, and Stanford, as well as arrangements of American spirituals and traditional English folk songs.
In England, the choir’s main responsibility is singing bi-weekly Evensong services in the candle-lit seventeenth-century chapel at Wadham College, but in addition it sings at special events, services, and concerts, as well as occasional excursions on the local river, punting and singing English madrigals. Over recent years the choir has undertaken tours to Copenhagen, Budapest, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, as well as Edinburgh, London, and other cities in the United Kingdom. Because its chief responsibility is to provide music in the Chapel, the choir’s repertoire is principally Anglican sacred music from the fifteenth century to the present day. The singers enjoy other music as well, and often expand into the realm of secular music.
The choir is led by Katharine Pardee, an esteemed musician with strong ties to the Worcester area. Ms. Pardee began her career in sacred music at Chestnut St. Congregational Church in Worcester, where she made many life-long friends whom she visits as often as possible. Pardee currently serves as Director of Chapel Music at Wadham College, as well as Betts Fellow in Organ Studies, and Lecturer in Music at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. Before moving to England in 2001, she served on the music faculties of Syracuse University and the Eastman School of Music in New York.
Pardee is active as a teacher and performer, has performed widely in the United States and in Europe, and has recorded twice on the Pro Organo label. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in organ performance and literature at the Eastman School, as well as a DPhil in musicology from the University of Oxford. She is currently combining a career as a performer with academic research into Bach in nineteenth-century England.
Before returning to Boston to continue their tour, the choir will sing for the 10:00 a.m. worship service at All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester on Sunday, April 3. Later that day, they will sing the Evensong service at Trinity Episcopal Church, Copley Square, Boston.
The April 2 concert in Auburn is free and open to the public and is underwritten by the Lillian Eldred Knowles Fund of Pakachoag Church for the Support of Sacred Music. For more information or to reserve priority seating, visit www.pakachoag.org or call 508-755-8718.
Pakachoag Church is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ, with a particular dedication to the arts and cultural understanding. The church holds non-traditional, intergenerational services at 10:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month.
For more information about Pakachoag Church, contact:
Dennis Knight, Minister
203 Pakachoag Street
Auburn, MA 01501