JCMS vs Covid

It will come as no surprise that the measures put in place to tackle the spread of COVID-19 have had a huge effect on the way the JCMS Committee has been able to plan for the year ahead. Nevertheless, we are working to create an exciting programme that deals dynamically with the restrictions holding us back, and we think that out of the rubble we might yet be able to foster some extremely exciting music-making. Keep your eyes peeled for the following:


We are lucky enough to be able to host a Recital series in our beautiful College Chapel, on Saturday evenings at 8pm, beginning on the 10th October with a solo piano recital. You will be able to find a Term Card for Michaelmas 2020 on the JCMS Website: https://jcms.jesus.cam.ac.uk, under the ‘Term Cards’ tab. This creates some continuity with previous years although very sadly (in order to accord with College Rules) we are only able to accommodate College members in the Chapel itself.

If you are a College member, you will be able to book any of our Recitals on our Eventbrite page – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–cambridge//jcms/. If several people in your household are coming, please try to book together so we can seat you appropriately. Please also use your Cambridge email when confirming tickets. We can accommodate a maximum of 30 people in the Chapel, so if you are looking to see a friend perform or enjoy a chilled night of music on a cold winter weekend, get on to booking now!

If you are not a College member, you will be able to catch any of our Recitals via live-stream on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jesuscollegemus. If you are not available at the time itself, these Recitals will then be available both on Facebook and on Youtube (or, if you are a College member, the Virtual Jesus platform). We are extremely excited to be offering our Recitals both in-person and online and hope you enjoy engaging in this new way!


In order to capitalise on the necessity for an increased online profile, we are going to be showcasing as broad an array of College talent as possible by publicising 10-minute clips of Jesuans playing their favourite pieces. The timing of these videos is likely to correspond with the Music Festival being administrated by the Virtual Jesus team, but keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook and Instagram pages where you will see lots of familiar faces from Week 5 onwards. Interest so far has included a JCSU Committee Member hoping to put together a 10-minute DJ set, as well as College Fellow hoping to flex his jazz muscles on the Sax. We are looking forward to sharing all of this with you and developing a series of musical snapshots of our vibrant College.


During Michaelmas we are releasing up to 6 podcast-style audio clips of a Committee member chatting to another Jesuan about their favourite music. These will be loosely modelled on the Desert Islands Discs concept although the discussions will be slightly more informal and therefore less specific when it comes to particular tracks. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to hear about the diversity of musical tastes and passions within the College Community – we kick this off with Dean of College and Fellow in Law, Julius Grower, in conversation with JCMS Junior President Jason. You will be able to access these clips on the JCMS Facebook (see above), the JCMS Website, and if you are a College member the Virtual Jesus platform. Look out for Episode 1 in Week 2!


We are running the highly popular Chapel Sessions yet again this year, with the Freshers’ set taking place on the 6th October, and the Week 5 set on the 13th November. As with our Recitals, up to 30 Jesuans will be able to attend in person, with booking taking place on the Eventbrite page (see above). Everyone else is welcome to follow our livestream on the JCMS Facebook page. As always, Blues and Chill will be a great opportunity to switch off and slow down in what will undoubtedly be at times an intense and challenging term. If you are keen to perform at a Blues and Chill, get in touch with Lucy Bell (Chapel Sessions Manager) or Jason (Junior President) at jcms-chapel-sessions@jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk and jcms-president@jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk respectively.


One of the centrepieces of the JCMS programme in recent years has been the process of regularly meeting as an Orchestra to rehearse and prepare a programme of music for our termly concert. It has been the social glue of our society, offered opportunities to all sorts of enthusiastic Jesuans to get involved as soloists, conductors and ensemble members, and most of all has produced some exciting collective results which tend to feel like the culmination of our busy and inclusive programme. This year, we are committed to continuing this experience and will be holding weekly socially-distanced rehearsals in anticipation of a concert on the 21st November.

The music we have chosen is both exciting and sufficiently flexible to accommodate smaller, spaced-out groups. This includes: the Toccata from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo; Parry’s gorgeous Lady Radnor’s Suite; Delius’ On Hearing the First Cuckoo of Spring; Danzi’s Wind Quintet in D Minor, Op.68; the Allegro from Brandenburg Concerto No.5, BWV 1050. We are hoping that Jesuans of all standards will come along on Mondays between 20:00 and 22:00 to enjoy the rare opportunity to meet in small groups and make music together in real time. If you are a Jesuan and at ALL interested in bringing your instrument along to rehearsals on Mondays (starting on the 12th October), WE WANT YOU! Get in touch with Megan Robinson (jcms-orch-manager@jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk) or Jason (see above) to register your interest – do also feel free to simply private message one of us on any of our social media platforms. We will then release more practical details once we have developed a picture of who’s getting involved. This will undoubtedly prove to be both a distinctive and a socially rewarding process, and we are committed to getting Jesuans involved regardless of ability.

Jason Richards
JCMS President