Newnham Music Funds
The College has several music funds, used to provide the College’s contribution to the University Instrumental Award Scheme, to support the College’s own music awards, described below, and to provide choral scholarships for Newnham students.
The Leslie Betts Fund provides a small number of grants (normally not more than £90 each) for musical purposes, e.g. music lessons, active participation in the performance of music, or travel expenses for the latter. Any resident undergraduate or postgraduate student of Newnham College who is NOT reading the Music Tripos is eligible to apply to the Betts Fund.
Newnham appoints Music Organisers to be responsible for organising College concerts in collaboration with the Senior Music Advisors and the Raleigh Music Society. Duties include organising: the lunchtime recital series; occasional orchestral or choral concerts; Music at Advent; and sung grace for the College Feast. Each year, the College seeks to appoint a Junior Music Organiser and a Senior Music Organiser. The appointments commence in January and run for one year, with the possibility, for the Junior, of renewal for a further year as the Senior. An honorarium of £100 is paid, plus an allowance of £80 towards music lessons. Both undergraduates and postgraduates are eligible, except those in their final year or on one-year courses. Intercollegiate Instrumental Award and Choral Award holders are eligible, but if both awards are held, only the honorarium will be paid.
The College also offers a number of Instrumental/Vocal awards of £150 each towards music lessons. These are awarded early in the Michaelmas Term. Both undergraduates and postgraduates are eligible, except those holding Intercollegiate Instrumental Awards or College choral awards. Forms are circulated from the Tutorial Office in Michaelmas Term, and awards are by audition.
University Choral Awards
Newnham College does not have a chapel (our co-founder, Henry Sidgwick, wanted the College to be open to students of all faiths and none), so our Choral Scholars sing in the choir at Selwyn College, just across the road.
Choral Award holders (known as Choral Scholars) receive a small financial award each year, currently £100. At Newnham, as in most Colleges, Choral Scholars also receive a subsidy towards singing lessons (currently £350 per year). They also get: a free meal at Selwyn on Sundays, 50% off the cost of Selwyn Formal Halls after Evensong on weekdays, free accommodation if they are in College out of termtime on choir duties, subsidised choir tours, and free day trips for concerts around the country.
Every year there are University Open Days for prospective Choral Award applicants. These normally take place in the first week of May, and if you are interested, it’s a good idea to try and attend. You can find information about how to apply for the University Choral Awards and the next Choral Award Open Day on the University website. Choral Scholars do not have to be reading Music for their degree; however, the choir will take up a fair proportion of your time, so it’s important to be realistic about the demands of your course. That’s why we recommend that prospective Choral Award applicants attend an academic Open Day, either the University days, or a College event.
Information about the Choral Award scheme and the application process can be found on the University website. Applications are received after offers are made in late January with the application deadline in February and auditions in March.
University Instrumental Awards
University Instrumental Awards are intended to enable gifted players to reach a high standard of performance in chamber music playing. These are organised by the University.
Award holders are expected to give priority to rehearsals (about 6 hours per week) with their ensemble. Professional coaching is provided for all ensembles free of charge.
In addition to the Award itself, the Scheme is normally able to offer Award-holders modest subsidies towards the cost of individual instrumental lessons. Instrumental Awards are open to performers on any of the following: violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, piano. (Instrumentalists who play double bass and harp may also apply.) The Awards are intended for candidates who are qualified to read the subject of their choice and have outstanding ability as instrumental performers; a Distinction at Grade VIII of the Associated Board may be regarded as the minimum level of achievement. Holders of organ or choral awards are ineligible.
Inform about applying for the Instrumental Award Scheme can be found on the University website. Applications are received after offers are made in late January with the application deadline in February. Auditions will be held at the beginning of October, just before the start of your first term.