Independent School, London
My decision to apply to Clare College was made on the spur of the moment – I had heard that it was known as the ‘musical’ college and had the most beautiful bridge over the River Cam. I was sold! When I arrived on 1st October it soon became clear that I was going to be very happy here. Clare is not known as the ‘friendly’ college for nothing and I was immediately introduced to my second year ‘parents’ and inducted into the camaraderie of the staircase where I would live for the year. It also seems that Clare College, nestled alongside King’s Chapel and sprawling across the river to the beautiful Fellows’ Garden, occupies the ideal location in Cambridge. The unbelievable proximity to the music faculty building on West Road makes it possible to roll out of bed at 8:55 and still make it to a 9 o’clock lecture. It is also the perfect distance from Sainsbury’s – a pleasant walk even when you are weighed down with shopping bags. An added bonus is the five-minute walk to the athletics track and other sports fields where I spend most of my time!
Returning to music, Clare attracts many high-level musicians both to its illustrious choir and the music society which holds termly concerts in West Road Concert Hall. Of course the best players from the rest of the university are always clamouring to join our orchestra and Clare players are often called upon to boost the orchestras of other colleges. As for the degree, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year. The course is refreshingly diverse, developing a variety of core skills to support the choices we make for second and third year. I have learnt such a lot about types of music I would not have thought to investigate before and this knowledge is feeding into the most important part of my musical life, which is performing. In fact, that is one of the best things about reading music at Clare. It is a real education and thus an ideal preparation for careers in academia, performance and everything in between.