Director of Music
Newnham’s Director of Music is Delphine Mordey. Delphine helps the Raleigh Music Society Committee members with their duties, hopes to foster different kinds of music-making in College, and provides a focal point and vision for musical activities in Newnham. She is also the person to ask if you have any questions about use of pianos, borrowing or hiring music, finding other players or singers, finding music teachers, applying for music awards, etc. Delphine is always happy to hear from College musicians, and from prospective students who want to know more about the musical life of the college. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application for Choral Awards (undergraduate students only) is through the University Choral Award scheme. Newnham College Choral Scholars join the mixed Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, across the road from Newnham.
Musical ensembles at Newnham
Voices of Newnham
Newnham has its very own a cappella group, Voices of Newnham, which performs at all the college concerts, as well as at special events throughout the year. Recent repertoire has included Vaughan William’s Linden Lea, Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek, Berlioz’s, ‘Shepherd’s Farewell’ from L’Enfance du Christ, and a James Bond medley! The ensemble is student run, and many of the musical arrangements are created by members of the group. Membership is by a short, friendly audition.
Newnham College Orchestra
The non-auditioning college orchestra is open to all college musicians. Rehearsals take place in the week before the termly College Concert; recent works performed by the orchestra have included Fauré’s Pavane, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Vaughan Williams’ Dives and Lazarus, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, selections from Dvorák’s Slavonic Dances, and Carl Davis’s music for the BBC series Pride and Prejudice.
Established in October 2022, Newnham Brass is a non-auditioning ensemble, open to all brass players in the college, of any level. Coached by our very own Bursar and brass specialist, Christopher Lawrence, the ensemble performs in the three main college concerts (Music for the Festive Season, the Lent Term Concert and the May Week Concert), following just a couple of rehearsals. This is a great way to meet other brass players in college, play some really fun music, and receive expert guidance.
College Music Awards
Newnham College runs its own music award scheme, with two types of award:
Music Organiser awards: Music Organisers, appointed each January for a calendar year, take responsibility for certain College musical events and for the general organisation and encouragement of music in the College. They are awarded £100 per year, with an additional sum towards music lessons if they do not hold University Instrumental Awards or a Newnham Choral Scholarship.
Instrumental and vocal awards: these are awarded by audition during the Michaelmas Term each year, and are worth £150. Holders are expected to play a full part in College musical life and to be prepared to perform in College concerts. University Instrumental Award-holders and Newnham Choral Scholars are not eligible for these college awards.
Raleigh Music Society
The Newnham Raleigh Society, founded in the very early days of the College, organises the regular termly concerts, and the lunchtime concerts that take place on most Wednesdays in Full Term. For more information, please see our Facebook page and the Events section of this website; we are also active on Instagram (@raleighsociety) and Twitter (@RaleighSociety). Our events are free to attend and are open to the public. Other occasional musical events such as master classes are organised in the Old Labs: in recent years we have had master classes given by Alexander Boyd (piano), and the Anna Tilbrook trio (piano, violin, cello).