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College Music

We warmly invite our whole community to get involved…singing, playing, supporting, enjoying…

Hughes Hall is a diverse academic and social community, and this is reflected in the wide variety of musical activities and events that take place over the course of the academic year. Music should be entertaining, stimulating, rewarding and, above all, enjoyable and, with this in mind, Hughes’ Music aims to programme concerts and events that cater to a wide range of tastes and interests, encouraging both performers and listeners alike. From informal student events to professional recitals, college members are always warmly welcome, and ideas and suggestions for future programming are genuinely encouraged.

You can read a message from Dr Nigel Yandell, our Director of Music, welcoming all our students to music at Hughes for the coming academic year, and inviting everyone to get involved: www.hughes.cam.ac.uk/about/news/music-at-hughes-in-full-swing.

Dr Nigel Yandell is the college Director of Music and Fellow, and welcomes all our students to music at Hughes.

The college’s usual musical activities include:

  • Hughes Hall concert series
  • Stradivari Trust recitals and related events
  • Weekly college choir rehearsals
  • Informal and welcoming ‘music cafés’
  • Cambridge Graduate Orchestra rehearsals
  • Music related events which support welfare and wellbeing

Information about forthcoming events throughout the year are listed in the calendar and events coming up soon are available here.

College Music is overseen by the Honorary Director of Music and College Fellow Nigel Yandell, whose responsibilities include programming the Hughes Hall music calendar, with the support of Amy Klohr, Corinne Roughley, Aga Iwasiewicz-Wabnig, Alison Nicholson and Naoki Toyomura.

  • The Stradivari Trust, founded by the late Nigel Brown OBE, who was a City Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the College, hosts concerts during the year. These events attract a wide-ranging and highly appreciative audience, and are performed by some of Britain’s leading young string players.
  • We are also proud to host recitals by recipients of the University’s Instrumental Awards for Chamber Music scheme. Details of the scheme, which is open to all Cambridge students, can be found here.
  • In 2023 we also launched an exciting new Festival of International Young Artists (FIYA) featuring inspirational concerts by talented young artists, with all proceeds supporting their burgeoning careers. FIYA was conceived by Naoki Toyomura, with support from Dr Nigel Yandell. An alumnus and now By-Fellow of Hughes Hall, Naoki is a passionate supporter of aspiring musicians and brings together young artists at the cusp of widespread international recognition.

There are opportunities for Hughes students to take part in concerts and to organise performances. The term time non audition College Choir (Tuesdays @ 6.15 pm, Pavilion Rm) is led by Choir Director and Senior Member Amy Klohr and embodies the egalitarian values of the college, welcoming students, seniors, alumni and staff; in recent years students have also taken turns at conducting the choir. Hughes Hall also hosts the Cambridge Graduate Orchestra which rehearses regularly. If you are interested in joining, please contact Alex Reid who will be happy to hear from you.

The College’s main performance space is the Pavilion Room, a friendly and informal setting with a Steinway Piano. The Steinway piano is strictly reserved for concert performances and college-led music events.

We are aware that many of our students play an instrument, or sing, and wish to maintain practice. The college allows music in its accommodation, in accordance with the ‘quiet hours’ guidelines (11pm-7am), outlined on our Accommodation page. Please be sensitive to your neighbours with regards to levels of volume.

An upright practice piano is located in the Maletin Room. No booking is required, and access is available when the room is not being used for college purposes. This piano should generally be used for silent practice so as not to disturb studying residents – details of how to play silently are on display. You will need to provide your own headphones.

The College is also trialling the use of a small music room, with a digital keyboard, which can be used for private practice. This is located on the 2nd floor in Gresham Court. To apply for access (via your student card), please email music@hughes.cam.ac.uk giving details of the instrument you play. No booking is required and access is available between 9.00 am and 9.00 pm daily.

For further information, to be added to the mailing list, or for anything else related to music at Hughes Hall, please contact music@hughes.cam.ac.uk. If you sing, play an instrument or enjoy listening to music, and have recently joined the college, we would love to hear from you. Please email music@hughes.cam.ac.uk and request to be added to the Music Teams site.