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Gonville & Caius Chapel Choir under Peter Tranchell

Under Peter's leadership the Caius Choir developed from Tenors and Basses in the 1960s to ATB in the 70s, then admitted sopranos from 1982, in which state the current choir remains.

This article will be enhanced through time as more information becomes available.


One broadcast is known from the BBC's Genome project:

19.45, Sunday 15 December 1968. CHORAL AND ORCHESTRAL CONCERT
GÛNTER REICH (baritone) ROBERT TEAR (tenor)
Director of Music, Peter Tranchell
Conducted by GARY BERTINI


1974: A Recital in Gloucester Cathedral by The Boys' Choir of The Blue Coat School Birmingham with The Mens' Choir of Gonville & Caius College Cambridge

Music from Caius


Year Location/venue(s)
1962 Peter Marchbank remembers "In 1962, the Caius Choir toured to Norwich, Lavenham and Terrington (Edmund Gonville’s church)."
1966 26th June Evensong, Blofield; see MS.Tranchell.4.227(2).

Chelmsford Cathedral "to give a recital of 20th Century church music".
25th June, Mattins, The Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Beachampton (see MS.Tranchell.4.227(3))


St Margaret’s Westminster
Bristol Cathedral
Bratton Fleming (Devon)
23rd June, Mattins, Chawleigh (Devon), see MS.Tranchell.4.227(5) 
26th June, Mattins, Denver.


Norwich Cathedral
+ two parishes in Norfolk.
26th June: St Margaret’s, Westminster, a Recital

1970 No choir tour, due to College overspend, "but we did visit a church in Kettering and give a recital there. (They (the church) gave the coach-fare, and I paid for the chaps’ supper. So the College bore no expense). And we nipped over to Ely and sang Evensong in the Cathedral"

Bincombe-cum-Broadwey, Dorset
Cley, Norfolk
St George's Chapel, Windsor

1973 "Several College livings, – Hockwold and Weeting near Thetford, and Long Stratton near Norwich, and Lavenham in Suffolk. We also made a return visit to Cley-next-the-Sea in north Norfolk"

From a letter home on 9 August 1974 "This year, as an experiment, it was arranged that our Caian choir of men should join forces with the boys’ choir of the Birmingham Blue Coat School, to give a couple of recitals, one in Gloucester Cathedral, & one in Birmingham Cathedral. This school is not unlike the Dragon School, – being a kind of prep-school where there are both boarders & day-boys, and also both boys & girls, – including a boarding-house for girls. It has no academic tradition to compare with the Dragons, but it is very strong on athletics. Many of its pupils are not local Birmingham boys, just as with the Dragon School, but the recruitment area covers wide and far including Commonwealth countries.

"Well, I was to conduct. This made several trips to Birmingham to take the boys. There were some 50 of them, aged from about 7 to 13. They didn’t sing with undue finesse, but they certainly vociferated. It took me some effort to get them to do musical effects such as ‘ritardando’ and ‘diminuendo’; but I managed. It was quite an experience having to deal with such zing and panache. Their musical director comes of a musical family in Cambridge. He didn’t read music as an undergraduate. He certainly gets them singing, even if it is “ff ” all the time!

"We gave (our combined choirs) two excellent recitals. It meant a lot of work for the Caius men, as they had to learn a complete tithe of music which we never normally sing, being a male-voice choir. I was amused at Birmingham. The local music critic wrote a quite appreciative piece in the local rag about us. But I happen to know that he had slipped out at the back, and spent most of our recital in the bar of the Grand Hotel with the Cathedral Organist!"
1975 June 1975 in Saint Mark’s Church, Harrogate, and in York Minster, again with Birmingham Blue Coat School
1986 "Peter took the Choir to Ashwell in 1986 at the invitation of Ursula (nee Grotrian) at whose request Paddy Hadley had composed My beloved spake in 1936. Her husband was the Vicar of Ashwell and the concert was given to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary." (Peter Marchbank, pers.comm. 12 September 2021)
1988 Denmark: Odense, 
1989 Winchester

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