St Catherine’s has one of the larger college Music departments, with an intake of around four new students per year. College teaching is given by the Music tutor, Professor Laura Tunbridge, who is usually supported by two college lecturers. Class teaching linked to some subjects is offered by the Music Faculty; in other areas, tutors come in as required to help with other more specialised topics.
The College has its own Music house: a small purpose-built recital room with two grand pianos and a harpsichord, which doubles as a practice-room for College. All Music students at St Catherine’s also have an electronic keyboard in their room, for use with headphones.
St Catherine’s offers a Repetiteur Scholarship designed for pianists interested in accompanying and conducting; the duties are split between assisting with practical music in the college and acting as repetiteur with the Oxford-based ‘New Chamber Opera’ company. More information about the Repetiteur Scholarship can be found here.
St Catherine’s also offers a Leask Music Scholarship giving financial assistance in instrumental tuition.
St Catherine’s has a flourishing Music Society which puts on concerts and arranges small ensembles of various kinds.
The Cameron Mackintosh Chair of Contemporary Theatre is based at the College, holders of which have included Stephen Fry, Diana Rigg, Tim Rice, Patrick Stewart, and Michael Frayn. Thanks to this the College has exceptional links with contemporary theatre; many of our students take an active part in acting, writing, and directing in Oxford and beyond.
Although St Catherine’s is a 20-minute walk away from the Music Faculty, the walk is nothing if not beautiful; a bicycle speeds things up considerably. The College is actually situated very close to the Holywell Music Room, one of the first purpose-built concert halls in the country (Haydn was one of the earliest of many major composers who have performed there), which functions as the Faculty’s main public performance venue. The walk to the Faculty through the centre of town takes you past the Bodleian Library (10 minutes from the College) and the city-centre shops, including all the bookshops and Blackwells Music Bookshop (CDs, scores and text books).
St Catherine’s has one of the larger college libraries in the university, a convenient place to work as well as borrow books, open until midnight on weekdays during term.