All of our ensembles, with the exception of the Chapel Choir, are non-auditioned, and generally speaking meet once a week, with the potential exception of extra rehearsals prior to concerts.
Aside from the groups below, RCMS also has several other ensembles which have been set up by students, such as our very own rock band.
Robinson College Orchestra (RCO)
Robinson College Orchestra is comprised of players from all parts of college life. We feel that classical music should be fun and accessible which is what the orchestra aims to do. Last term we worked on more lighthearted repertoire like “How to Train your Dragon” and other film favourites, and this term we will be looking at the “Sound of Music”. We rehearse on Saturdays, between 17:00 and 18:00.
Our Chapel Choir is comprised of both Choral Scholars and volunteers, from the student body as well as the college community (including staff and alumni). They provide two services a week as well as concerts throughout the year, and make occasional visits to cathedrals, exchanges with other choirs, radio broadcasts and summer tours. They recently recorded a CD consisting of music composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. For more information visit the college’s website: either the Chapel Choir page or the Choir’s CD page.
If you would like to audition for the choir, please contact the Director of Chapel Music, Simon Brown.
Red Brick Jazz
Red Brick Jazz is the name of Robinson’s Jazz ensemble. They perform a variety of music which has often been arranged by the students themselves, and the ensemble makes use of combining both score reading with improvisation. Jazz is a wonderful way to free yourself from the confines of academia and the musicians very much enjoy the relief and joy that it brings.
Robinson also has several smaller chamber ensembles which range from a bassoon ensemble to piano trio and string quartet. If you would like to put together your own ensemble, get in touch here. Students at Robinson are very willing to make music together.
Vocal Chords is Robinson’s relaxed ‘choir’ in which students come together to sing through pop songs and other classics. The music is learnt aurally, so no experience or music reading ability required!
Our Fantastic Facilities
The Chapel: Chapel Organs, Steinway Grand and Harpsichord
There are many spaces in the College well suited for performance and practice of music. The beautiful Chapel is a central part of musical performance and listening in the College. Being one of the largest chapels in Cambridge, it has a perfect acoustic for chamber music, and, given the flexible lighting and seating plans, the space can be used inventively, ranging from close and intimate settings to a large concert-hall type ambience. It contains one of the finest organs in Cambridge, a Frobenius, a brand new Chamber organ, a superb Steinway grand piano, and a double manual Rubio harpsichord. The Chapel is used for regular recitals as well as larger concerts, such as the annual Christmas and May Week concerts.
The Music Block: Music Room, Music Practice Room and Hifi Room
The Music Block at the end of High Court is an important centre for music-making and rehearsal. The Music Room, which is home to a Yamaha grand piano, a drum kit, microphones and amplifiers, and a set of steel pan drums, is a large space perfect for ensemble rehearsals or smaller concerts with space for an audience of up to 40 plus 12 in the balcony. The Music Practice Room is slightly smaller and houses an upright piano, perfect for smaller chamber music or private practice. This room is home to the RCMS music library which includes a wide range of music, including many Bach Cantatas. Upstairs, in the large Hifi Room there lies a Broadwood antique grand piano; this room works well for ensemble music-making. Robinson has recently placed its musical booking system online, if you (a student of the university) would like to book a room, please click here.
The Music Block: Our CD library and vinyl collection
As well as the three practice rooms mentioned above, the music block hosts an impressive vinyl/CD collection where weary students may drop in and listen to a vinyl of their choice with an impressive sound system. If you are interested in being part of this burgeoning aspect of Robinson’s musical life, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, if there are any records you are desperately eager to hear, we may be able to help. We’d love to hear from you.
The Auditorium and 'Basement'
The ‘Basement’ is the party room which is installed with professional sound and lighting equipment, suitable for DJ sets. These can be used upon contacting the RCSA Ents Officer. We are very lucky to have the Auditorium which is a fully equipped purpose-built theatre, an ideal venue for productions and shows produced and directed entirely by students, such as Jesus Christ Superstar! Robinson is also home to the only outdoors theatre in Cambridge which can be used for a wide range of musical events.
As well as specific music rooms, several college rooms have a piano, including all music students’ rooms.
RCMS has a state of the art set of audio and visual recording equipment which can be used for any musical event.