Michaelmas term 2019 saw the introduction of the College Music Awards, whereby the recipients are contracted to participate in college music, and these musicians participated in recitals and showcases through the two in-college terms. On 19 November, MCMS hosted its Music Showcase in the TS Eliot Theatre. The evening featured a varied programme from college musicians and College Music Award recipients, including ensembles and solo performances, followed by a wine reception. The Showcase is a staple of the MCMS Michaelmas programme and was well attended. There was an attempt to advertise for the college orchestra, Fidelio, with a social held in Mob 1 in fourth week of Michaelmas, but although this was advertised, the event was poorly attended. There are ongoing efforts to revive the college orchestra. Through Michaelmas term there were organ recitals on the Chapel’s Dobson organ on Tuesday lunchtimes, including a performance by our Director of Music. The final event of Michaelmas term was the Kodály Choir Christmas Showcase, where the open-to-all college choir performed at the end of a term’s work in the Chapel.
Hilary term’s main event for MCMS was the musical soirée on 13 February in the TS Eliot Theatre. This was a new addition to the year’s programme. Participation was open to all college performers, including performers from the MCR, as an informal evening of music-making. The concert was preceded by a wine reception. The evening was well attended, and featured an extremely varied programme of instruments, ensembles and performance modes that reflected the rich music-making in College.
There were lunchtime recitals in the TS Eliot Theatre throughout the year, varying in instruments and performers. These recitals continue to be a cornerstone of college music-making, and offer the opportunity for public performance for Merton musicians and students from other colleges. The final recital of the Hilary term recital series was the performance of one of our third-year music students of her finals’ recital programme, and late-Hilary recitals continue to be a useful opportunity for music students to perform their exam programmes in College.
Plans for Trinity term included a continuation of the recital series, as well as an all-female production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. This performance would have taken place in the Chapel on Friday and Saturday of fourth week, and would have been the first opera production for both Merton and MCMS. This production has been postponed indefinitely.
Áine Smith (2018)
MCMS President 2019-20