Murray Edwards Music Society
The Murray Edwards Music Society seeks to support all college musicians and give everyone an opportunity to participate in college musical life. All musical styles and standards are welcome.
We run a range of ensembles and event series, with performances ranging from concerts in the Dome and FDR, to relaxed events in the bar and garden.
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See below for information on:
- Musical Ensembles at Murray Edwards
- Practice Facilities in College
- Music Scholarships and Awards
Musical Ensembles at Murray Edwards College
‘Inter Alios’ is the joint ‘chapel’ choir for the ‘Humanist Happenings’ Series at Murray Edwards College and the (Christian) Chapel at Churchill College. A typical term sees Inter Alios alternate between Sundays at Churchill and Murray Edwards, as well as undertaking the occasional concert performances in Cambridge and beyond. Highlights include annual performances at the world-famous venue of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, with professional soloists and orchestra. Inter Alios’ repertoire is also distinctive in that it cultivates twin specialities in contemporary music, and music by female composers.
The Hill Chorus is a community choir run by the music societies of Murray Edwards College, Churchill College, and our ‘hill college’ neighbours. It is open to the whole, extended community: staff, students, fellows, friends, and locals! We sing one, relaxed, informal concert per term featuring a variety of short items both sacred and secular, ancient and modern. There are no auditions, so come and join in whether you’re pitch perfect or tone deaf!
The ‘Orchestra on the Hill’ (‘OotH’) is the joint orchestra for Murray Edwards and our neighbouring ‘hill’ colleges. The repertoire ranges from classical symphonies to film music and new works. The standard is about Grade 8 and new members are always welcome: especially strings and brass! OotH is a very friendly, social group and so it’s a great way to meet musicians in other colleges. OotH also provides great opportunities for budding conductors and soloists.
World Music, folk, and jazz: We want our college musical life to be as varied and inclusive as possible, so do let us know your activity and interests. In keeping with other strongly international drives in the college, we are especially interested in promoting all forms of global music.
Chamber music and bands: If you are interesting in forming a new band or chamber group, we will be happy to help you find other like-minded musicians and performance opportunities. New groups form every year.
The Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) offers central university orchestras, and there many other music societies listed here which cater for a diverse range of tastes, interests and performance levels
Practice facilities in College
The Music Room is located through the external double doors behind the Porters' Lodge and contains a Danemann Upright Piano and a Kawai Electric Upright Piano. Students can ask the Porters for the key. This room is primarily for music, but is also used as a supervision room and for mock exams, so it may not be available at all times. Advance booking is recommended via the Events and Catering Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Coach House, a recently-renovated building located between the Kaetsu Centre and the Tennis Courts, is a dedicated space for students which includes music practice rooms with pianos. The main door has a punch lock; students can ask the Porters for the access code.
The ‘Fellows’ Dining Room’ (FDR) has a fine Steinway Grand Piano which is available for use by pianists of Grade 8 or above (or equivalent). To make use of this, contact the Director of Music to be added to the ‘Steinway list’ (or approved users) which is held in the Porters' Lodge. Once on the list, you can ask the Porters for the keys. The FDR is primarily a Fellows’ room so you will need to vacate the room should a Fellow need to use it, but at other times you are welcome to practice there. If you wish to book a time in advance, you can do so by contacting the Director of Music. While first priority will be given to pianists wishing to use the Steinway, performers of other instruments of Grade 8 standard or above (or equivalent) who wish to use the FDR as a practice space may also ask to be added to the list.
We run two flagship year-round series of events:
‘Medwards Monday Music’ is a series of free, short, high-quality, informal performances on your door step. We showcase a range of talent from the college, the university and beyond with a particular focus on promoting women musicians. At least 50% of our artists are women, and we seek whenever possible to include one work by a women in included in every programme.
‘Humanist Happenings’ are peaceful events featuring music, poetry, and a short address from a fellow all organised around a topical theme. They take place fortnightly on Sundays at 6.00pm in term time in the Fellows’ Drawing Room at Murray Edwards College. Everyone is welcome.
We also provide music for Christmas, Burns night, International Women’s Day and for a great number of ad hoc events.
Music Scholarships and Awards
The annual Murray Edwards College Music Scholarship Competition takes place on the last Friday in January. It is open to all undergraduates and postgraduates in any subject and all instruments and styles of music are very welcome. Two scholarships of £400 each will be awarded, to be spent on instrumental/vocal tuition. The applicants will be judged on a short recital performance and a short informal interview with the judges to discuss their proposed contribution to college music. For more information, contact Dr Chloe Valenti. Deadline for application is two weeks prior to the recital.
The College offers four or five Choral Awards each year, of £100 each (the standard University rate), for undergraduate and postgraduate students in any subject committed to singing in chapel choirs in Cambridge. The awards are intended to offer Murray Edwards students participating in chapel choirs the same level of support offered by Colleges with a chapel choir tradition. Applicants are judged on a paper application and are asked to provide a personal statement and a supporting statement from their Choir Director. There is no audition and singers of all levels of experience are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are expected to have joined their chosen choir by the end of Michaelmas Term and remain committed to the choir for the rest of the academic year. The application form is circulated via email in Michaelmas Term and the deadline is in early Lent Term.
Students reading Music are provided with a digital piano in their own room. Additionally, students taking the Music tripos are eligible for funding towards instrumental/vocal lessons and may also apply via an Academic Needs form for other course-related expenses. For further information, please contact the Director of Studies in Music, Dr Chloe Valenti.
The University Instrumental Awards for Chamber Music scheme was set up to enable gifted players of any subject to reach a high standard of performance in chamber music. Players of the following instruments are invited to apply: Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and French horn. A Distinction at Grade VIII of the Associated Board, or other equivalent qualification, should be considered a minimum standard for application for an Instrumental Award. Further information, including an application form and information sheet, may be found on the University of Cambridge website.