Cambridge is unrivalled for the quality and diversity of the musical activities that take place within it, ranging from choral, instrumental, chamber and orchestral music to folk, pop, rock and world music. Undergraduate and postgraduate students at Murray Edwards College play important and varied roles in this rich musical culture.

In addition to CUMS (Cambridge University Musical Society), the Students’ Union lists around 80-90 music societies which cater for a diverse range of tastes, interests and performance levels.

Most of the Colleges have Chapel Choirs and student-run music societies that organise innumerable formal and informal College concerts in which students from a mixture of Colleges frequently participate.

Murray Edwards Music Society

Murray Edwards Music Society seeks to support all college musicians, undergraduates, postgraduates, staff and Fellows, and give everyone an opportunity to participate in college musical life. Performances in college range from concerts in the Dome and the FDR, to relaxed events in the bar and garden.

The Murray Edwards Music Society Committee works with the College’s Director of Music (Dr Chloe Valenti) to organise musical events in College. The Director of Music and the Music Society Committee deal with the publicity, book venues, buy or organise refreshments for the interval, make the programmes, set up the room and generally oversee the concert on the day. The Committee has meetings each term to discuss how the Music Society can improve and promote music in the College.

Find out more information about Download a PDF readerMusic at Murray Edwards and keep up-to-date about Music Society events, sign up to receive emails here. New members are always welcome. If you are interested in taking an active part in College music, whether as a performer or organiser, please contact the Music Society on

Murray Edwards Choir

The student-run Murray Edwards Choir rehearses each Monday in the Fellows Drawing Room and performs regularly in College. As well as concerts each term, the choir sings carols in the Dome at the Christmas Superformals, songs by Robert Burns at the Burns Night Dinner and regularly take part in events in College and more widely in the University. Open to music of any style, including classical, folk and a capella, this friendly and inclusive group welcomes singers of all levels who can read music. For more information, contact Freya Pentz (fp317).

The Orchestra on the Hill

The Orchestra on the Hill (OOTH) is an orchestra made up of players from the ‘hill colleges’, including Murray Edwards. Their typical repertoire ranges from classical symphonies to film music and new commissions. In Michaelmas Term they generally perform at Churchill College and in Lent Term they perform in the Dome at Murray Edwards, and in Easter Term they perform at Fitzwilliam College. The standard is about Grade VIII and new members are always welcome. We are particularly keen to recruit strings and brass! A very friendly group with lots of socials, this is an ideal way to meet musicians in other colleges.

Music practice facilities in College

The Coach House

The Coach House, a recently-renovated building between the Kaetsu Centre and the tennis courts, is an ideal space for music practice. Two rooms on the ground floor have pianos: a Bechstein grand and a Reid-Sohn upright. The front door has a punch lock and students can ask the Porters for the access code.

The Music Room

The Music Room is located through the external double doors behind the Porters’ Lodge and contains a Danemann upright and a Kawai electric upright. Students can ask the Porters for the key. This room is also used as a supervision room and for exams, so it may not be available at all times. Advance booking is recommended via the Events Office at

The Steinway Piano

Pianists of Grade VIII upwards or equivalent may use the Steinway Model ‘B’ grand piano in the Fellows’ Drawing Room. Contact the Director of Music, Dr Chloe Valenti, to be added to the Steinway list in the Porters’ Lodge. Once you are 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 via the Director of Music.

Music Scholarships and Awards

Murray Edwards College Music Scholarship Competition

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.

Choral Awards

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.

College Assistance for Students Reading Music

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.

University Instrumental Awards

The 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.