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HomeSearchGetRecordSelwyn College Music Society programmes

Collection Description

Collection Title
Selwyn College Music Society programmes
Unique Identifier
Selwyn College has had a musical society since very early in its foundation: by 1895 the Society was providing an annual report for the college calendar. Events consisted of fortnightly Sunday evening “smoking concerts”, enhanced by one bigger concert each term and a May Week Concert. After the Second World War, the then Organ Scholar, Frederick Rimmer, invited former servicemen to restart their musical careers in Selwyn’s Hall. The College'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. Concerts generally take place in Selwyn College Hall with occasional events in the College Chapel, Selwyn Diamond, the Guildhall, Great Saint Mary’s and Senate House.

The collection of almost 600 programmes covers the date ranges 1887, 1895-1924, 1932-1935, 1938, 1947-1969, 1975-80, 1982-97, 2000, 2008-2009 incomplete, and Easter 2010. Some early programmes have been pasted into small, scrapbook-style collections; later programmes have been pasted into large scrapbooks.

They are contained in three boxes in 21 separate folders or scrapbooks as follows:

SECS/8/1/1: 1887, 1895-1906.
These 48 programmes are for Smoking Concerts held in Selwyn College Hall and May Week concerts. The majority of the programmes are tipped in to an exercise book and some are accompanied by handwritten unsigned notes on the concert, together with names of the officers of the Society. Music for the Smoking concerts consisted for the most part of Glees, popular songs of the day and piano solos.

SECS/8/1/2: 1907 – 1911
36 Smoking Concert and May Week programmes tipped in to an exercise book, some with notes on the concert, as in SECS/8/1/1.

SECS/8/1/3: 1912 – 1914; 1920 – 1924; 1932 – 1935; 1938
These are incomplete runs of programmes and for 1920 – 1935 only the May Week concert programmes are included. Amongst the names of performers are found Arthur Bliss (Smoking Concert Feb 12th, 1912) and Deryck Cooke (13th November 1938).

SECS/8/1/4: 1947 – 1943
The gap in programmes between 1938 and 1947 is almost certainly a result of the Second World War. This bundle contains 25 items the majority of which are term cards for Music Society concerts, some individual programmes are undated. Many well-known names appear in the lists of performers including, John Alldis, Hugh Bean, Gerald English, Raymond Leppard and Neville Marriner.

SECS/8/1/5: 1954 – 1964
A mix of Term Cards and individual programmes for Music Society Sunday and May Week concerts which have been pasted into a scrap book. Many are now loose in the volume. Amongst the internationally-renowned performers are Julian Bream, Alfred Deller, Osian Ellis, John Eliot Gardiner, Leon Goossens, Gerald Moore, David Munrow and Barry Tuckwell.

SECS/8/1/6: 1964 – 1969
19 items pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn College Music Society 1964-1969"; although a note inside explains that records from 1966 have been lost. There are a mix of Sunday Concert term cards and individual programmes including performances by, David Atherton, the Cambridge University Madrigal Society, Andrew Davis, John Eliot Gardner and Robert Tear. Two programmes are of particular interest: that of 31st January 1965 which features an early appearance of the group who would become the King’s Singers, and that on 24th April 1966 which was a 70th birthday concert for Roberto Gerhard (see also the entry for Cambridge University Library) at which he conducted his work “Hymnody”.

SECS/8/1/7: 1966 – 1969; 1975 – 1978
This bundle contains approximately 75 items consisting of a mix of Term Cards for Sunday Concerts, individual programmes and associated typescript notes, newspapers cuttings, tickets and typescript reviews. Many have been damaged by damp. The items covering 1966 – 1969 cover events which have been lost from the scrapbook in SECS/8/1/6. Performers include, the Gabrieli String Quartet, Anthony Hopkins, Benjamin Luxon, Roger Vignoles, and John Williams. Of note also is the concert given on 10th February 1969 by Raymond Leppard, which was his last before leaving Cambridge.

SECS/8/1/8: 1969 – 1971
53 programmes and Term Cards have been pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn Music Society 1969-70 1970-71", together with some newspaper clippings. Performers include James Bowman, Mark Elder, Eric Fenby, the Fitzwilliam Quartet and Roger Smalley.

SECS/8/1/9: 1971 - 1972
29 items including programmes, notes and Term Cards have been pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn Music Society 1971-1972". Performers include Richard Rodney Bennett, the Chilingirian Quartet, Marisa Robles and Kathron Sturrock. Of particular interest is the Radio 3 Invitation Concert given on 6th February 1972 by David Atherton and the London Sinfonietta featuring three works by Roberto Gerhard: Gemini, Libra and Concert for eight.

SECS/8/1/10: 1972 – 1973
35 items including programmes, Term Cards, tickets, and a poster have been pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn Music Society 1972-1973". Performers include Janet Craxton, the Medici Quartet Alexander Skeaping and Moray Welsh, together with a recital by John Lill in Senate House.

/8/1/11: 1974 – 1975
Some 30 items pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn Music Society 1974-1975" including Term Cards and individual programmes and associated notes. Performers include Marilyn Minns, Jane Ryan, the Virtuosi of London and Timothy Walker. A further BBC Radio 3 Invitation Concert was held on 9th February 1975 given by the Vesuvius Ensemble (additional material for this is also in SECS/8/1/12).

SECS/8/1/12: 1975 - 1976
26 items pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn Music Society 1975-1976" including Term Cards, individual programmes, tickets, invitations and newspaper cuttings. Of note is the concert given on 2 February 1975 to celebrate Gordon Jacob's 80th birthday, He attended the concert. Other performers in this period include Douglas Cummings, Frances Kelly, Susi Jeans, William Matthias and Yitkin Seow.

SECS/8/1/13: 1976 - 1977
22 items pasted into a scrapbook entitled "A record of the Selwyn College Music Society 1976-1977", including term cards, programmes a poster and a newspaper cutting. Performers include Neil Black, the Coull Quartet, Anthony Hopkins and Juan Martin.

SECS/8/1/14: 1977 - 1978
14 term pcards and programmes pasted into a scrapbook entitled " Selwyn College Music Society 1977-1978". Jack Brymer, the Coull Quartet, James Ledward and the Medici Quartet are amongst the performers.

SECS/8/1/15: 1978 - 1979
21 items pasted into a scrapbook entitled " Selwyn College Music Society 1978-1979", including term cards, programmes and newspaper cuttings. Performers include the Danish Wind Quintet, Frances Kelly, Denis Matthews and Susan Tomes.

SECS/8/1/16: 1979 - 1981
Programmes and term cards pasted into a scrapbook entitled " Selwyn College Music Society 1979-1980", although the coverage also includes the academic year 1980 - 81. Performers include the Alberni Quartet, Clifford Benson, Paul Daniel, Malcolm Martineau and Ian and Jennifer Partridge.

SECS/8/1/17: 1982 - 1987
One envelope containing term cards for the academic years 82/83 to 86/87 and seven programmes. Concerts are now presented as two separate series: a subscription or professional series and undergraduate concerts. Performers in this period include Ian Burnside, Christopher Bunting, Richard Egarr, Gerald Finley, Emma Kirkby, Joanna MacGregor, Andrew Manze and Yonti Solomon.

SECS/8/1/18: 1988 - 2000
One folder containing 10 term cards (92/93 missing) and 85 other items mostly SCMS programmes but also including handbills and programme books of wider Cambridge events such as the Mozart Festival in 1991, the Elgar Festival in 1994 and the Schubert Festival in 1997. Performers in this period include Thomas Ades, Cambridge Handel Opera Group, Christopher Maltman, David Pyatt, Richard Van Allen, Roger Vignoles, and Huw Watkins. Of particular interest is the concert given on 30 October 1994 to celebrate Robin Orr's 85th birthday at which the world premiere of his "Rondeau des Oiseaux" for recorder was given by John Turner.

SECS/8/1/18a: 2000 - 2008
SECS/8/1/19: 2009 - 2010
SECS/8/1/20: 2010 - 2011

Three envelopes containing 64 items including programmes, term cards and handbills. During this decade there is a greater concentration on college musicians including recitals given by prizewinners of the Williamson Prize for Music Performance and the continuing association with the Cambridge Handel Opera Group. Also of note is the Percy Young 90th birthday concert given on 24th November 2002. Performers in this period include James Bowman, The Doric Quartet, Andrew Kennedy, Stephen Layton and Huw Watkins.

Date range of collection
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations
Details also available

Location Details

University of Cambridge, Selwyn College
Grange Road Cambridge CB3 9DQ
Open Map
01223 762014
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council