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 gardens.
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Musical Ensembles at Murray Edwards College
Inter Alios is the joint choir of Murray Edwards College and Churchill College. The choir sing alternate Sundays at each College, serving as the Chapel Choir to the ecumenical Chapel at Churchill, and hosting a unique 'Music and Words' event in Murray Edwards, which combines choral music, poetry and a short address on a topic pertinent to the human experience. This musical alternation introduces the choir to probably the broadest and most diverse repertoire of any Cambridge College choir.
The title, 'Inter Alios', literally translates as 'among others' and speaks to the collective spirit. We are proudly inter-faith, inter-collegiate and international in our make-up. On top of that, we seek to juxtapose well-known choral works with contemporary repertoire, and particularly music by female composers. We have premiered a number of pieces including works by Erollyn Wallen, Stef Conner, Anna Semple and a host of student composers.
The choir's annual schedule increasingly includes trips outside of Cambridge to perform in cathedrals such as Ely, Rochester and Canterbury. We are regular contributors to the Brandenburg Choral Festival, in venues such as St Martins in the Fields. The choir use the Churchill College recording studio and have made recordings a cappella and in collaboration with the Orchestra on the Hill.
Term time schedule
Thursdays, 18:30-19:30, The Chapel at Churchill (Rehearsal)
Sundays, 16:00-17:30, alternating between the Colleges (Rehearsal)
Sundays, 17:45-18:30, alternating between the Colleges (Performance)
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.
Other ensembles, groups and bands: if you are interested in forming a new music group involving members of the College, the Music Society will be happy to help support your activities in whatever way we can. We want to encourage all music-making in College, wherever it originates. Past ensembles have included chamber music groups, jazz bands, folk groups, and rock bands. Previous support has included performance opportunities, rehearsal space and financial help.
The Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) offers central university orchestras, and there are 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 email@example.com.
The Coach House, a recently-renovated building located between Paula Browne House 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’ Drawing 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, Ewan Campbell, to be added to the ‘Steinway list’ of 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 but is often available during the day and you are welcome to practice there when it is not in use. 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 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. Both series are typically held in the FDR and are free with refreshments provided:
Monday Music Recitals are a series of free, short, high-quality, informal performances on your door step. We showcase a range of talent from the College and the University, and our termly recital series usually includes one external professional performer. At least 50% of our artists are women, and we have a tradition of including one work by a woman in every programme.
Music and Words 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 17:45 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.
Murray Edwards College runs an annual Music Awards competition. It is open to all undergraduates and postgraduates in any subject, and all instruments and styles of music are very welcome. Up to five scholarships (up to a maximum combined value of £800) will be awarded each year, to be spent on instrumental/vocal tuition. The applicants will be judged on a short recital performance and a short informal interview at which we discuss their music-making and proposed contribution to the College’s musical life. For more information, please contact the Director of Music, Ewan Campbell.
Music Society Committee
The best way to impact the musical life of the College is to join our Music Society Committee. Any student is welcome to join regardless of their musical interests, their subject or level of study. If you would like to join the committee, please contact the Director of Music, Ewan Campbell.