Clare College Cambridge

Instrumental Awards

There are opportunities for musicians of every standard and type at Clare College, but to encourage the tradition of excellence, awards are available to instrumental players. These musicians must aspire to the highest standards of musicianship and performance, while also reaching the academic standards required for their chosen course.

In addition to providing Choral and Organ Scholarships, Clare College participates in the inter-collegiate Instrumental Award Scheme run by a committee of music lecturers. The purpose of the Instrumental Awards Scheme is to enable gifted players to reach a high standard of performance in chamber music playing.

Instrumental Awards are open to performers on any of the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, piano. 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 may be regarded as the minimum level of achievement.

Award-holders are expected to give priority to rehearsals (about six hours a week) with their ensemble.

Only if you are offered an academic place at Clare College, and expressed an interest in applying for an Instrumental Award will you be sent a further form on which to apply. This form must be returned to Clare College by the application deadline, which will be soon after academic offers are made in January.

Auditions, which you must attend, will be held the last week in September, shortly before university term starts. At the auditions, the examiners will select candidates who reach the requisite standard on their instrument, demonstrate a genuine commitment to chamber music, and show evidence of being able to work within an ensemble. In addition, they will seek only to elect Award-holders to whom they can offer a definite place in a complete ensemble; hence the impossibility of predicting precise numbers of awards on offer in any one year.

In addition to the Award itself (£75 per annum), the scheme is normally able to offer Award-holders modest subsidies towards the cost of individual instrumental lessons. Award-holders also benefit from professional chamber music coaching from established professional musicians (eg Endellion Quartet). A number of practice rooms are available in Clare College for the benefit of all students.

The demands made on Award-holders can be high, but the experience gained is correspondingly stimulating and rewarding.

If you have some questions about the Scheme please contact:

Katie Lewis
Administrator of the Instrumental Awards for Chamber Music Scheme