Centre for Music Performance launches Advanced Popular Performance Scheme

The Centre for Music Performance is delighted to announce the launch of the Advanced Popular Performance Scheme – a new initiative through which the University of Cambridge will foster excellence in popular music.

Up to four outstanding student bands and four exceptional vocalists will be selected for participation in the scheme in 2023–24. This initial cohort will benefit from coaching from industry professionals and performing opportunities from the Centre for Music Performance. The Scheme is open to musicians across a broad spectrum of popular music, and it complements both the long-established Instrumental Awards for Chamber Music Scheme (which supports exceptionally talented classical instrumentalists) and the University Lieder Scheme.

Simon Fairclough, Director of the Centre for Music Performance, commented ‘We are incredibly proud of Cambridge’s exceptional young musicians, who collectively perform and explore an incredibly wide range of music. Professional mentoring and support has long been on offer for classical instrumentalists and singers at Cambridge, and the Advanced Popular Performance Scheme will allow us to extend similar provision to students engaged with popular music-making at a high level. This is just one of many initiatives from the Centre for Music Performance which aim to enable students of all levels of musical experience to make music of all genres a part of their lives at the University’.

The launch of the Advanced Popular Performance Scheme builds on the success of the University’s inaugural band competition, Take it to the Bridge, which took place in April 2023. The winning band, the Daniel Daley Sextet, had the opportunity to perform for an audience of thousands on the main stage of the Cambridge Club Festival as part of a Festival lineup which also included the likes of Lionel Richie, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Kool & The Gang.

Auditions for vocalists take place on Monday 9 October.

Applications from bands are warmly invited until 8 November.