Skip to main content

Selwyn College Music Society (SCMS)


CURRENT TERM CARD (details of Sunday evening concerts)

ORGAN RECITAL SERIES (Thursday lunchtime recitals)

For up-to-date information, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

General Information

SCMS presents recitals in the college on most Sunday evenings during Full Term. Details of this term’s concerts can be found on the Term Card (see link above). Performers include Selwyn instrumentalists and singers, musicians from other colleges, and occasionally young professionals from London and elsewhere. The Society is run by a Junior Committee of annually elected students. A Senior Secretary and a Senior Treasurer, normally both Fellows of the college, oversee the Society’s activities. SCMS membership is free and open to all. Admission to most Sunday recitals is free. All members are welcome to the Annual General Meeting held at the beginning of each Easter Term. The Society holds a black tie dinner from time to time, to which all members are invited. Please feel free to contact any of the current committee if you have any questions about SCMS.

Junior Committee (2023-24)

  • Junior Secretary – Amy Bolster (acb225)
  • Junior Treasurer – Marcus Budack (mnb38)
  • Organ Recital Manager – Adam Field (acf65)
  • Orchestral Manager – Jess Ellis (je461)
  • Publicity Officer & Programme Publisher – Stefan Wilkinson-Hill (srw75)

Senior Committee

  • President - The Master, Mr Roger Mosey
  • Senior Secretary - Ms Sarah MacDonald (seam100)
  • Senior Treasurer - Dr Alan Howard (adh29)

A Brief History

The College has had a musical society since very early in its foundation: by the early 1890s its existence was noted in college publications, and as early as 1895 the Society was providing an annual report for the college calendar. The regular routine consisted of fortnightly Sunday evening “smoking concerts” (!), enhanced by one bigger concert each term (a 1950s Lent Term concert consisted of an (unstaged) performance of Handel’s Alcina), and rounded off annually with a May Week Concert. After the Second World War, the then Organ Scholar, Frederick Rimmer, began inviting former servicemen to restart their musical careers in Selwyn’s Hall, a space somewhat less formidable than most London concert venues. Selwyn’s tradition of presenting recitals given by young professionals was ahead of its time in Cambridge, and as the concert series grew in prominence and reputation over the decades, the college became well known in both Town and Gown circles for its Sunday recitals. Indeed, in the 1970s, SCMS was even voted “best musical bargain in town” in a Varsity survey. A quick trawl through the college calendar reveals an extraordinary list of performers, many of whom are now household names, as well as, of course, many Selwyn students who performed in Sunday recitals, and who have also gone on to professional careers (they are asterisked in the following list). Performers in Selwyn’s Sunday recital series have included singers Robert Tear, Rosemary Joshua, Emma Kirkby, Alfred Deller, Mark Padmore, and Benjamin Luxon; pianists Roy Howat, Robin Wood, Tom Poster, Joanna MacGregor, and Lynn Carter*; harpists Andrew Lawrence-King*, Osian Ellis, and Tanya Houghton*; classical guitarist Julian Bream; harpsichordist and scholar Thurston Dart; violinists Sydney Humphreys and Alexandra Wood*; conductors Raymond Leppard, Neville Marriner, David Willcocks, Boris Ord; horn player Barry Tuckwell; composers Grayston Ives* and Kenneth Leighton; the Medici String Quartet; organists David Lumsden*, Gerald Hendrie*, and John Harper*.

Photos Of Selwyn College Orchestra

Bass Orchestra James