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Launch of the Susan J. Smith Fund for Music Performance

Four College musicians including the Mistress with brass instruments standing in the grounds

Girton College is pleased to announce that a new music fund has been established. It is named after Professor Susan J. Smith in recognition of her term as Mistress (2009 – 2022) as well as her significant contribution to, and promotion of, all forms of music in the College. The musical life of the College has been much enriched by her passionate support for its musical achievements, and also by her own occasional lively and accomplished contributions. Few who were present will forget the sight of Susan moving effortlessly from presiding at an event to performing on the euphonium.

This fund will be used to support the performance of music at every level by the widest possible range of College members. The first priority will be to support music making by and for undergraduate and postgraduate students at Girton. Other priorities will be to enable high-profile musicians, in particular alumni, to perform for members of the College, and to support the activities of the College’s Musicians in Residence. This will both build on Girton’s strong tradition of music-making at the highest level and allow all Girtonians with a musical avocation to continue to grow as performers. We hope the fund will enable many more students to make music a central part of their College life, as Susan did.

Dr Martin Ennis, Director of Music at Girton:

“With its very active music society and prize-winning choir, Girton has a long tradition of high-level music making. What’s more, many alumni have gone on to make significant careers in opera, concert music, church music and musical theatre (as well as in academia, teaching, arts administration and broadcasting). The primary aim of the new fund will be to support this tradition while allowing new initiatives to take root and flourish. With three Official Fellows and two Bye-Fellows in Music and our three Musicians in Residence, Girton is already one of the most important Colleges for music in the University. With your help, we can secure and build on this glorious tradition. It is difficult to think of a more fitting way to celebrate all that Susan has done for the College over the last thirteen years.”

Professor Susan J. Smith, Mistress:

"Girton is already a great place to study because there is so much music in the air. However, the Fund for Music Performance will add new opportunities for people – like me, like many – for whom listening is not enough; whose whole lives are enriched by the fun, the challenge, the sheer joy, of creating and making music of all kinds."

The College hopes to raise £250,000 in initial support for the fund, which will enable it to enrich the student experience, support well-being, and encourage students of all levels and kinds of experience to embrace and appreciate music performance.

  • The Susan J. Smith Fund for Music Performance is one of the fundraising initiatives featured in the 2022 Giving Day which runs from 10 to 11 October 2022.
  • You can support this fund in advance of the Giving Day online here: Susan J. Smith Fund for Music Performance