For many students at Cambridge, music plays an integral part of their lives. At Downing, this manifests itself as an active and inclusive music society (DCMS – Downing College Music Society).

The society caters to all musical tastes, providing a regular series of classical concerts alongside more informal bar nights, which showcase some of Cambridge’s best student bands and jazz ensembles.

There is always a chance to get involved with music at Downing, regardless of standard – whether it be joining the college orchestra, big band or performing one of your favourite songs at an open mic night. We would love you to get involved.

You can get more information about music in college through our Facebook page. Please also subscribe to our mailing list for updates about upcoming events in college; to join, email James Moore (DCMS Publicity Officer) at [email protected].

Chapel Choir

The Downing Chapel Choir is an auditioned choir formed of 20-25 singers; it rehearses weekly on Thursdays and before any service. Choral Evensong takes place in Downing College Chapel on every Sunday evening during Full Term, providing the main focus for the work of the Choir. The service is followed by Formal Hall, a candlelit dinner at which the Choir and the Chaplain eat together along with other undergraduates- this serves as a great social time for the choir. The Choir sings the College Grace at the start of the dinner. The Choir also sings the late evening service of Compline on two Thursdays each term at 10 pm. The Choir is involved in other events during the year which are significant occasions in the life of the whole College. The two most popular services are the Advent Carol Service and the Commemoration of Benefactors. Finally, the Choir always embarks on an annual international tour at the start of July; recent destinations have included Canada, Hungary and Scandinavia. You can find out more about the choir by emailing the organ scholar, Dominic Remedios (djr81), or finding the Choir’s Facebook page; enthusiastic singers are encouraged to get in contact to arrange an audition.

DCMS Concerts

DCMS puts on a regular series of concerts throughout the term, with music from a wide range of contributors, including Downing students and fellows. The concerts are in a wide variety of genres, from classical to modern, and we try to make sure there’s something for everyone.

During Michaelmas, there is the opportunity for Freshers’ to perform in the Freshers’ Concert. If you’re starting here at Downing in Michaelmas 2016, and you’re interested in performing, please email James Watkins (DCMS President) at [email protected] - he’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Contact James Watkins (DCMS President) at [email protected], or Harry Bradford (DCMS Concert Manager) at [email protected] if you’d like to play in a concert at Downing. Contributors from all colleges are welcome.

Jazz Band

The Downing College Jazz Band is an informal ensemble that meets once a week and plays a variety of jazz numbers from the 1930s right up to the modern day. The band has recently performed at summer May Balls and performs gigs in the Downing College Bar and for dinner receptions. We are always looking for new players especially in wind or brass. Get involved by contacting Richard Gotts, Rudi Brujin-Yard or Dominic Remedios.

Music in the Bar

Throughout the year a range of free music events take place in the bar, including open mics, karaoke nights and full performances from a variety of musicians. We welcome all sorts of performers - in the past we've had everything from Barbershop groups to singer-songwriters to funk and rock bands. These events are organized by the DCMS Bar Nights Officer, who helps arrange the event with the bar and the performers, as well as being on hand to deal with the PA system and the equipment.

If a performer/band needs to borrow some instruments or equipment this should be no problem - we probably have whatever you need and can help out! So if you fancy performing, whether you've done it before or not, please get in touch! We love having as many performers as possible and can help with organization, gear, and even performers' taxi fares. If you'd rather not have a full gig to yourself, that's also no problem; we can set up the perfect open-mic slot for you.

Please email Daniel Duffy (DCMS Bar Nights Officer) at [email protected] if you’d like to play at Downing bar, or if you’d like more information about the events that take place at Downing bar; he’ll be happy to help out.

PPDO (Pembroke, Peterhouse, Downing Orchestra)

The PPDO is the joint orchestra of Pembroke, Peterhouse and Downing. The orchestra isn’t auditioned, so anyone is more than welcome to come and give it a go. Our repertoire includes both classical and modern music, and we give concerts at the end of each term. There is also an exciting social calendar associated with the orchestra.

Rehearsals are at 7pm every other Friday, at St. Columba’s Church on Downing Street. There is no charge. Look out for more information during Freshers’ Week!

Please contact Harry Bradford (DCMS Concert Manager) at [email protected] for further information. You can also be added to the orchestra mailing list – just email Harry and ask.

Committee Contacts

The DCMS committee are here to listen to your comments, questions, queries and concerns regarding music in college. If you have any questions, feel free to contact any of our committee members:

Trumpington Street Orchestra

Founded as a joint Downing-Pembroke-Peterhouse-Catz project, TSO is a casual, non-audition, low-commitment orchestra which welcomes instrumentalists of a wide range of abilities. We normally work towards a concert near the end of Michaelmas and Lent terms with weekly rehearsals on Tuesday evenings.

This year, we aim to work on manageable and fun repertoire, including those from underrepresented composers. Use this form to sign up: 

Contact Adrian (what2) for any questions!