New Director of College Music

24 June 2022

Worcester College is delighted to be building on its long and distinguished musical history with the appointment of a new Director of College Music. This new post combines responsibility for promoting a flourishing musical environment in College in which all musical styles and genres will be represented together with leadership of both the choirs: the College Choir of undergraduate and postgraduate students joined by trebles, and the Worcester Allsorts community choir.

Helen Smee joins the College as the first holder of this position. Since 2011 Helen has been Director of Music in the south-west London parish of St Mary Merton, where her work included the considerable expansion of the choral and organ provision for young people in the local area. A talented choral trainer with strong interests in widening representation and participation in music, Helen is also director of the Frideswide Voices of Christ Church, the resident girls’ choir in the cathedral, which had its beginnings in Worcester College Chapel in 2014 and which sang here for several years. Helen studied at Cambridge and at the Royal Academy of Music, at which she has recently been made Associate. She has also worked with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and co-founded the Voices of London Festival in 2013.

The Provost of Worcester, David Isaac CBE, said, ‘With this appointment of Helen Smee, Worcester College is building on the historic foundations of music-making in the Chapel and College but also embracing the musical vision of the College to be inclusive and forward-looking and representing the musical interests of everyone in our community. I am especially grateful to Daniel Mathieson, who directed the choir last year and who has worked with the Chapel community for some time.  His contribution to bringing Chapel music back after pandemic restrictions was hugely significant.

Helen Smee will take up her post on 1st July. A programme of diverse and engaging musical events is planned for the forthcoming academic year, to which all members of College and the public will be warmly welcomed.