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Music

The music course at Cambridge accommodates and encourages a wide range of disciplines, from composition and performance to analysis, history and musical sociology. The Faculty also has a strong Music and Science department.

Faculty website: www.mus.cam.ac.uk

St Catharine's College has a strong musical tradition, with a wide variety of musical activities - classical, jazz, choral, instrumental and 'world' - taking place throughout the year. For those reading Music and taking performance options, the College will pay for instrumental tuition fees up to a current annual limit of between £420 and £700 depending on which year they are in; students are also entitled to a keyboard instrument in their room to help with their studies (a piano or electric piano). Practice facilities are also available in College.

For further details about College Music, including information about Music Awards, the Choir, the Music Society and facilities for Music, please visit the Music pages.

While it is usual for Music students to play a musical instrument and/or sing, it is equally important to have a commitment to studying music as an academic subject. Music as studied at Cambridge today entails a wide variety of sub-disciplines, and we will consider candidates with a science background just as seriously as those with a background in arts subjects.

Please also note that an A Level in Music is no longer a specific requirement for reading music at Cambridge; we will also accept ABRSM Grade 8 theory as an alternative.

For interview, candidates to St Catharine's are usually invited to submit two pieces of written work in advance. Applicants to St Catharine’s will have two interviews, covering technical aspects such as aural skills, analytical acumen and more general musical knowledge and interests. At interview candidates will be given aural tests, comment on (1) some musical extracts and (2) a passage of musicological literature - these extracts/passages will be given to you half an hour in advance of the interview - and discuss in details their musical experiences and creative work. Each interview will take 30 minutes.

St Catharine’s offered me an incredible wealth of opportunity and support in both a practical and an academic sense. I was able to tailor my time at St Catharine’s in my own way, involving myself in a huge range of musical activities provided by both the college and university. In particular as a choral scholar I was able to perform in a variety of venues all over the world as well as singing on several CDs recorded by the chapel choir. Opportunities such as this paved the way for my postgraduate Musical Theatre studies in London.

Joe Beighton (2014), Scholarship winner at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

As a music student and choral scholar, St Catharine’s has enabled me to explore music on new levels. From being President of the Music Society to a founding member of two Catz-based chamber ensembles, I have been able to expand my interests and skills in ways I could never have imagined. Catz's inclusive environment, within a vibrant University music scene, provides opportunities and support for musicians of all subjects. Playing and singing alongside my college friends, staging concerts, and hearing world-class musicians in our very own Chapel are just some of the highlights of my experience.

Frances Leith (2012), Scholarship winner at Royal Academy of Music

 I have been amazed by the range and variety of opportunity that has been available to me as a music student at St Catharine’s: much more than I could ever have expected. As well as the demands of an extremely rewarding three years as Organ Scholar, I have been able to develop my musicianship in other areas, particularly in chamber and contemporary music.

Freddie Brown (2008), Welsh National Opera

Music is integral to the St Catharine’s community. A wide variety of ensembles and styles of music are available to explore, providing an immersive environment which is open to students of all abilities and subjects. As a Kellaway Instrumental Scholar, I was able to gain much performing experience through the various recital opportunities that annually occur in College. What makes Catz special, though, is its dedication to helping students pursue their individual interests. I was fully supported in all the musical activities that I wished to engage in throughout my degree, whether these occurred within College or outside of the University.  

Megan Wheeler (2016), scholarship to Trinity College of Music