Selwyn College's chapel, where many of SCMS's concerts take placeDaniel Hilton with permission for Varsity

With the number of events it puts on, the Selwyn College Music Society, affectionately known as SCMS, is quickly rising in the ranks among the many music-related societies in Cambridge. I was lucky enough to get the chance to speak to the outreach and membership officer, Medomfo Owusu, about her role in the society and all that the space offers.

There are a range of genres on show from classical to jazz within the weekly Sunday evening concerts. Exhibiting a plethora of performances, including singing and instrumental, as well as new compositions.

I had the privilege of attending a concert in the middle of term for Black History Month, a concert which saw black students from across Cambridge gather for 40 minutes of pure talent. There were piano covers, a poetry reading from the show organiser herself and a cover of classics from Mahalia Nesbeth-Bain, including Etta James’ “At Last”. The atmosphere was just as gorgeous as the show, with members of the Selwyn choir rising out of the audience to close out the show located in the college’s illustrious dining hall.

“Owusu reaffirms the value and importance of audio representation in Black History Month”

Owusu tells me about the importance of the show, and the reason as to why the society put it on to begin with: “The show was a really good way of creating a safe space for black and minority ethnic students, as well as serving as a reminder that they are creative outside of their degrees. This is something that they should celebrate”. As for everyone who watches, Owusu reaffirms the value and importance of audio representation as much as visual representation, especially in a month that highlights black heritage in music, and reminds us of the duty shows like these have in making black students across Cambridge seen and heard.

The main question I had for her, with all the work that she does for the society, was how she possibly manages it all with a degree?

Owusu tells me that it is fairly manageable, especially given the relatively small size of the society. What’s more, “being a music student, the role was not too shellshocking given that I had the experience of being in the society in my first year.”


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That said, even in spite of the small size of the society, it does seek to expand with the increased number of events it looks to put on. Owusu tells me that the society recently started a new edition of concerts known as the organ recital series, happening every Thursday in the Selwyn college chapel. In addition to further activities on a Friday evening, being spearheaded by Katherine Mann and Belinda Harrison, as well as Orchestral manager Catriona Stewart.

The outreach work from Owusu herself also points towards future growth for the society. Whether it’s manning stalls with the intention of recruiting new members, engaging with freshers in as many ways as possible, giving assistance to other members within the committee and organising new campaigns such as, ‘Christmas Carolling Crackers’. It is clear that the society is planning well ahead for the future, and it truly does look like the only way is up for the SCMS.