The Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School sings at the London Oratory every Saturday evening in term time and on major feast days for School Mass throughout the year. Founded in 1996, the choir gives Catholic boys the opportunity of a choral education within the state education system from age 7 to 18.
As well as its liturgical role, the Schola has recorded numerous soundtracks, including the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films, as well as CDs and programmes for television and radio. The choir has also toured widely abroad, performing throughout the USA and Europe. In 2013 the Schola sang at High Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and was the first visiting choir in history to sing at Vespers there.
In 2015 the Schola toured Spain, singing a programme of Spanish renaissance polyphony at the Cathedrals of Madrid, Segovia and Toledo as well as the Monastery of San Lorenzo el Real in El Escorial. The tour received extensive coverage on Spanish TV and Radio. Earlier this year the Schola sang at a choral festival in Bavaria with the Tölzer Knabenchor before travelling to Venice to sing Mass at St Mark’s and a concert at the Church of San Salvador.
The Schola is closely associated with Aid to the Church in Need, singing for services and events to help the Charity’s work in providing support to persecuted Christians, most particularly in Syria and Iraq. The Trebles have also sung for a number of the Royal Ballet’s productions at the Royal Opera House including The Dream, Connectome and Nutcracker.
Recent performances by the Schola include J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the London Oratory with evangelist Nicholas Mulroy, Victoria’s Requiem, Monteverdi’s Vespers with the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, and a joint performance of J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass with Westminster Cathedral Choir.
Since 2012 the Schola has been directed by Charles Cole who began his musical training as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral. He went on to win a major music scholarships to Ampleforth College, Exeter College, Oxford and Westminster Cathedral. He is Assistant Director of Music at the London Oratory where he also directs the London Oratory Junior Choir.