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Somerville Choir India Tour

A project by: Somerville Choir


WE RAISED £11,694

from 92 donors

This project received pledges on Fri 30 Nov 2018
Help the Choir travel to India!


Somerville College Choir is a highly regarded and talented mixed voice choir from within the University of Oxford. Formed in 2001, the choir has made several recordings, and has recently given concerts in Italy, Germany, and the United States of America (the latter in both 2014 and 2016). The College Choir has, in a short period of time, established itself to be one of the very best choirs in one of the foremost choral cities on the planet.

This academic year is a busy and exciting one for the choir. In October members of the choir organised a 24-hour music marathon in our college chapel to kickstart our fundraising campaign for the India tour. Our live-streamed footage of the event (all 24 hours' worth!) can be found on our Facebook page. In November we will be joining other Oxford choirs in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Sheldonian Theatre. We will also be putting on concerts of our own, including a recital centered around the theme of water, as well as a pre-tour concert in December performing a host of works for Christmas at the Church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford. Plans for after Christmas include a concert of jazz influenced spirituals and hymns together with the Basin Street Brawlers.

Why we are going

This will be the first visit to India by a choir from Oxford University and is an incredible opportunity for the members of the choir to visit such a culturally rich part of the world. The College has exceptionally strong and meaningful links to India, with distinguished alumnae that include Indira Gandhi, India's first woman Prime Minister and Cornelia Sorabji, the first Indian woman at Oxford in 1889, and the first Indian woman lawyer to practice in both the UK and India. We are also the home of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development which advances India’s sustainable development by bringing different academic disciplines and sectors together.  The Centre develops future leaders by offering scholarships to exceptional Indian students to study at Oxford. As a result, we view this as a wonderful chance to explore and develop our existing links with this great country.

Plans for the tour

We will be visiting India in December 2018, to perform concerts and run workshops in Mumbai and Goa. The choir will run several workshops during our visit, and we are looking forward to taking part in activities with the Mumbai based charity Songbound. Established in 2012, Songbound is an outreach initiative that brings the transformative power of music to some of India’s poorest and most marginalised children. After the tour, to raise money for the children of Songbound, the choir will be embarking upon a grade-1-athon challenge, which will involve each member learning a new musical instrument from scratch and then taking a Grade 1 exam.

We will also be running educational workshops with students of The Karta Initiative, a social mobility mission which aims to widen access to world-class higher education and opportunity for brilliant low income students from developing and emerging countries. This will involve members of the choir talking to the students about their own subjects, different pathways and university life in general.

In addition to these workshops, we are thrilled to have an invitation to perform in the National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai), and we will give several other performances during our visit including at the Mehboob Film Studios as part of the Times Literary Festival, and the Church of St Francis of Assisi in Goa.

how you can help

We would be extremely grateful for any donation, big or small, which will help us get to India. Our aim in this campaign is to make the tour more affordable to members of the choir regardless of background or financial circumstances. We already have raised a substantial amount towards the tour, including from choir contributions, support from Somerville College, generous external donations and our modest fundraising activities.  By raising this amount of £10,000, we are able to bridge the final funding gap to make this tour financially possible for all members. 

However, money isn’t everything. If you feel you would like to help in other ways, you could help us promote our crowdfunding page to friends, family, and online, so that we reach as many people as possible. Maybe you could share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or even just tell someone about us. Every little helps!


If you make a donation, we will show our thanks by sending you a personal sign of our appreciation. Check out our tiered reward system on the right hand side.

Please note that the rewards are accumulative. For example, donating £75 would enable you to receive the reward of photos in addition to the two rewards listed above.

more about us

If you would like to know more about Somerville Choir, check out the links below for more information and regular updates:



Director of Chapel Music (Will Dawes)


If you would like to make a gift, please click the 'Sponsor' button where we can accept both credit and debit card donations. 

Thank you for taking the time to visit our page. We greatly appreciate any support you are able to provide!