Guitar Lessons: How Tough Is It To Be Accepted Into Fitzwilliam College At Cambridge?

I want to either major in English or in some form of Music.
1. I’m a sophomore in high school
2. I’ve been in my school’s English club for the past two years (and I’m an officer this year)
3. I’ve won 4/4 awards possible at our state competition.
4. I skipped a grade (if that is considered good).
5. I’m in CAP and AP classes. CAP is one level up. Right now, I should be taking some form of English II but because i’m in CAP i’m in English with the juniors and i’m in AP English III.

I’ve been playing tuba for 5 years
Guitar for a little while but i’ve gotten fairly good pretty quickly.
I won outstanding freshman last year.
I have a 1 streak from my solo performances (6th grade 1+, 7th 1, 8th 1+, didn’t go 9th, 10th 1-)
I went to band camp 4 times.
I’m in my town’s local orchestral band.
I was chosen to be in the 8th grade band when I was in 7th grade.
I took piano for 2 1/2 years.
I am in AP Music Theory right now and my lowest grade has been a 94 (I got an A on the past semester final).
The instruments I can play well:
Tuba, piano, guitar
Drums (about a year of lessons), Euphonium
A very small amount:
Clarinet, cornet/trumpet, trombone
My gpa is currently about a 3.5 (but will soon be higher).
I’m in CAP for English AND Math (those are our only available choices) and i’ll have taken two calculus classes by the time I graduate.

I’m from the USA. How tough would it be for me to be accepted?

(My resume is much larger than this. I’ve been working in science as well, and i’ve been to my state science fair twice and won 1st and 3rd, along with a few other science related things)
And figuratively, lets say money isn’t an issue. I’m not poor but i’d like to get a few scholarships, including the Gates Cambridge scholarships and a few local scholarships.


  1. Breathe. says:

    If it’s got Cambridge tagged onto it then it’s up there with all the Ivy’s. Harder to get into than Harvard.

  2. Chris says:

    Hi, I’m a 3rd year student at Fitz, and although I’m studying physics I do a reasonable amount of music around the place so might be able to help you out a bit. There are a few things in your post, however, that I find hard to identify with. I’ve just looked up sophomore on wikipedia, but there are harder things for me as well. For instance, I’m afraid I’ve got no idea what a state competition is. (Don’t let my ignorance put you off coming to Fitz btw!) The practical limitation of this is that I can describe Fitz to you, but am largely unable to compare it with the music and studying that you already do. I’ll try and add as much explanation and context as possible!

    Music probably divides fairly naturally into two categories of “classical/formal” and “contemporary/informal”. I’m not sure where your interests lie, so I’ll try to describe both:

    Cambridge as a whole is remarkably fond of “classical music” and in comparison Fitz is quite refreshing. I sing in the chapel choir (a commitment of about 5-6 hours a week as opposed to basically your whole life at some of the more traditional colleges) which is very relaxed and sociable. There are also some very high standard close harmony vocal groups here including “Fitz Barbershop” ( ) and the “Sirens” who are the female counterpart. I’m pretty sure that there are some chamber instrumental groups too, though I’m not sure what they’re up to atm. The “Fitzwilliam College Music Society” organises a series of concerts/recitals each term with a large range of performers, from students to the renowned Fitzwilliam String Quartet ( ), a professional quartet who play here each year. If you play tuba, you might want to check out the university orchestra (CUMS 1) or the smaller scale “orchestra on the hill” ( )

    For want of a better word, “contemporary” music includes everything from rock bands to folk music – all of which happen here. A few times a term, we have “Fitz Sessions” in the bar. This is a place for anyone to perform more or less anything to a friendly audience. Twice a year, we have a big disco (called Soundcheck) and student live acts/DJs provide a lot of the entertainment. I think “contemporary music” tends to be a bit less structured in terms of organisation than “classical music”. For instance, I sing in a small Folk Band which is completely different to the chapel choir. We rehearse when we feel like it and set our own agenda – in chapel, we have to have 3 new pieces of sacred music rehearsed each week.

    As far as the music tripos (degree course) is concerned, I can only give 2nd hand info. (I’m reading physics – would you call that a physics major?). I think that the music course here is quite focused on the theory/composition side of things. I’ve got a feeling that the primary occupation of a music student might well be writing essays.

    “How tough is it to be excepted into Fitzwilliam College Cambridge?”. Only one way to find out – give it a try!