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The Chamber Music Scheme is a unique idea, and one which makes Girton the best place for music-making in Cambridge. The students are keen, talented and eager to learn, and it has been a joy getting to know the singers and pianists I've worked with, and to watch them grow in confidence as we explore repertoire together. I wish there had been an opportunity like this when I was an undergraduate!
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Andrew Kennedy, tenor

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It was wonderful to be involved in such an exciting and well-organised scheme to provide high-level chamber music coaching for undergraduates at Girton. The scheme is an excellent opportunity for Girton students to learn from and establish connections with teachers from the music conservatoires.quotes right blue

Simon Lepper, pianist

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As an old Girtonian myself, I always enjoy working with musicians at Girton, and I particularly welcome the opportunity to offer them advice, and help guide their development over their three years here. The College attracts some fabulous players, but it is especially rewarding to work with musicians at every level; their enthusiasm is infectious.
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Shelly Organ, bassoonist

Chamber Music Scheme

The Chamber Music Scheme was established in 2010 by Dr Kate Kennedy, and becomes more ambitious every year. Girton is proud to be the only college that hosts such a scheme, which is open to all musicians, both graduates and undergraduates. It offers the opportunity for everyone who is interested in performance to be linked up with other musicians, from first-year undergraduates to fellows, and offers advice on repertoire, coaching with professional musicians, and performance opportunities. The scheme benefits both singers and instrumentalists.

Recent projects have included:

  • A residential weekend at the start of Lent Term 2011, for 40 musicians
  • String coaching (individual and in ensembles) with Margaret Faultless
  • Piano masterclasses with Ian Jones, Deputy Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music in London
  • Accompanist classes and vocal masterclasses with Cardiff Singer of the World accompanist Simon Lepper and Girton Musician in Residence Andrew Kennedy
  • Close Harmony coaching with Andrew Kennedy and Girton's Director of Chapel Music Nicholas Mulroy
  • Coaching for strings and wind players, and individual lessons with players from London-based professional chamber orchestra Southbank Sinfonia
  • Composition workshops with Tim Watts
  • Pilates for musicians, addressing problems of tension and posture

The Chamber Music Scheme showcases the results of its work each term in at least one chamber-music concert. Open mike Jazz Nights have been a recent addition by popular demand. The beauty of the Scheme is that whilst long-standing relationships are fostered with eminent musicians in the profession, the projects the Scheme undertakes – and the coaches engaged – are all influenced by the interests and needs of the students.

Future projects (in addition to regular coaching and concerts) include:

  • January 2013: A song and accompanist weekend of coaching and masterclasses
  • February 2013: A concert of music from Venice, featuring members of His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
  • November 2013: A Britten weekend, playing side by side with the Britten Sinfonia, being trained to run education workshops alongside professional musicians and animateurs, and performing in Britten's War Requiem in Ely Cathedral.

Ensembles and individuals with which the Scheme has an on-going relationship include: