Tab Week: Choral Scholar

Choral scholar ROBBIE JACOBS shares his week and tells us why singing at King’s is like playing at Wembley.

Choral Scholar Dizzee Rascal helena izzett King's Laura Dennehy Robbie Jacobs Tab Week Wembley

Robbie Jacobs is a third year music student at King’s and the senior Choral Scholar.

In our words, this is his week.

Monday.  This is my one day off a week from choir so the day feels strangely empty. I use the free time to get some work done and then spend the evening in the bar with friends.

Tuesday. Back to normal routine of daily services. We have rehearsal every day (apart from Monday) at 4.15 and then service at 5.30. I tend to get there a bit earlier, about 3.30 to set everything up. The service finishes at 6.15 and I go to meet an old friend for dinner at Pizza Express, he is an old member of the choir and left two years ago, but we keep in touch.

Wednesday. We have a football match against John’s Choral scholars today, I think it’s important for us to do social things together as a choir; we all get so close spending so much time together anyway. We may not be quite as impressive on the pitch as we are in chapel, but it’s good fun. It’s also fun to have a bit of friendly rivalry between us and John’s choir. Naturally, we win the game, 3-2.

Thursday. I’m tired today, stayed up late last night to finish an essay and don’t feel up to singing. That all changes when I get into the chapel though; being part of a choir is a team effort and you always give 100% in the end. I have to make a good impression on the rest of the choir, especially the choristers, the youngest of whom are only 7. It’s weird going from a supervision where I am being taught, to choir where I am senior to the choristers and they all call me “Mr Jacobs”.

Friday. Spend the morning listening to carols on spotify in preparation for our big Christmas season.My neighbours are pretty used to hearing music pour out of my room all times of the day and luckily don’t complain. I used to have to spend a much longer time learning music when I was a fresher but now I know most of the music we sing pretty well. I sing along as I prepare for a supervision.

Saturday. Get up early to drive to a Concert in Hampshire with our close harmony group – Collegium Regale. As the senior Choral Scholar, I am musical director of the group and get to choose our music. It’s fun as it is a chance to sing more contemporary music, a group of us even got to sing as principal backing vocalists for Dizzee Rascal last year. Today is a slightly less exciting concert in Hampshire, though we are singing one of my favourite pieces, an arrangement of Stacey’s Mom.

Sunday. My busiest day as we have two services, one at 10.30 and another at 3.30. I have to be very organised with my work as I never get anything done on Sundays. In between services we all go for Roast at King’s : all the singing is hungry work. The 3.30 service is a popular one for tourists and we have an even bigger crowd than normal, about 500 people. It gets busier in the run up to Christmas up until our big broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve, which millions of people worldwide tune into. It’s great to be part of something recognised worldwide, this term already we have already been on tour to Germany, Amsterdam and China and will be going to Holland in a couple of weeks.

To see Robbie singing with King’s College Choir go along to their free concert of Christmas music on 2nd December in King’s Hall.

Illustration by Helena Izett