Fundraising Priority: the JdP

The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building (JdP) is a beautiful, modern, and intimate music venue specifically built for chamber music performance and dedicated to the memory of the extraordinary cellist Jacqueline du Pré who was an Honorary Fellow of the College. The JdP Music Building is located within the lovely grounds of St Hilda’s College on the banks of the River Cherwell. The College is committed to sustaining and developing it as a centre for the learning, teaching, performance, and experience of music at all levels, at all ages, and for people from all backgrounds. Unusual in Oxford, the JdP offers disabled access.

With its world-class music facilities, the JdP is not only a benefit and a draw within the College and University for talented music students and those who appreciate music and other performance arts, but it hosts a range of activities including: professional concert series, regular lunchtime recitals by students and a wide range of other university events, theatrical productions, art exhibitions and conferences. The JdP hosts research forums such as DANSOX, a leading forum for dance scholarship in Europe, prompting dialogue between prominent academic disciplines and the words of dance theory and practice.

The JdP also provides a valuable link between the College and the surrounding communities.  In addition to access to the varied performances (many of which are open to the public), the community series includes the popular Cushion Concerts for the young family. Through its Livestream facilities, the JdP can now share performances and lectures globally.

More details of the JdP’s varied programme and distinguished performers and speakers are available on the JdP website.

Founded on philanthropy

A joint fundraising campaign by St Hilda’s College and the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund raised over £1 million with the support of a wide range of institutions, trusts, and very many private individuals. The JdP was opened in September 1995 with a gala concert given by the Medici Quartet and the English Chamber Orchestra, in the presence of HRH the Duchess of Kent. Acclaimed cellist, Steven Isserlis, became the JdP patron in 1998 and regularly performs to a packed Edward Boyle Auditorium.

Since the founding of the JdP, the College has worked closely with alumnae and supporters who care about access to music and musical education to develop and improve the building, install high specification recording facilities, maintain the Steinway concert pianos, and gain funding for innovative programmes in composition and performance. 

Securing the future of the JdP

As with so many concert venues, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown from late March 2020 forced the College to close the JdP until the restrictions on public gatherings eased. During this difficult time, we provided an excellent online offering of concerts and lectures to share with our supporters.

It is more important than ever before to nurture the performing arts and to extend the vital role that the JdP plays at the heart of the music and international dance scholarship community and to extend these benefits to a global audience. We are asking our JdP Music Circle and DANSOX members to continue their support to us during this challenging time.

Our most urgent priorities:

Funding world-leading interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the performing arts by distinguished academics at St Hilda’s

DANSOX: Dance Scholarship Oxford, directed by Professor Susan Jones, has hosted major interdisciplinary events at the Jacqueline du Pré Building, attracting high profile dance artists, choreographers, and experts in other disciplines to show the collaborative nature of performance dance, theory and practice. Inspired by St Hilda’s hosting of a packed-out celebration of the centenary (2013) of the Rite of Spring (1913), DANSOX continues to host interdisciplinary projects with Music at St Hilda’s on major choreographic workshops and would welcome funding to support a choreographer and composer series of events and symposia to further the work of young composers and dance makers at the University.

A gift of £25,000 would support DANSOX to deliver a three-year programme, including performances, events and masterclasses with leading choreographers and composers, as well as a scholarship for a young postgraduate student or visiting scholar to come to St Hilda's to carry out research into a dance-related subject (for example, to work on the archive of material from Sir Kenneth MacMillan).

Endowment of £250,000 would secure the future of DANSOX and allow for longer-term planning for this major forum for dance scholarship in Europe.

You can find out more about the DANSOX programme on this brochure and make a gift here

Sponsorship for our acclaimed international concert series

To enable the JdP to attract and retain leading international performers, we offer donors the chance to sponsor a named concert by one of our distinguished visiting performers, who include the JdP Artistic Patron, Steven Isserlis the acclaimed cellist.  These concerts are important for giving our students and the wider community the opportunity to listen to performers of this calibre, as well as to maintain the JdP’s profile within the increasingly competitive environment in Oxford.

Individual concerts may be sponsored for an annual gift of £4,000 and these may be named for the donor.

A contribution of £25,000 would support a series of concerts and master classes (named in honour of the donor) over a five-year period and allow the JdP Artistic Director to secure major international performers or groups to the JdP, while keeping ticket prices within the reach of a wide local audience. Students gain important experience from exposure to performances by accomplished artists and master classes.

An endowed fund of £115,000 would support an annual concert (named in honour of the donor) and masterclass at this level.

Sponsorship for our Family Cushion Concerts (Family and Education). A gift of £1000 - £2000 would help to support our Cushion Concert Series for a season.

Renewing and upgrading our professional facilities and livestream capability

A comprehensive upgrade of our lighting and recording desks, to improve the quality and smooth running of our auditorium will enhance the recording and online sharing of livestreamed performances. These facilities are also widely used by young musicians to make high quality recordings of their compositions and concerts to help them with their performing careers and auditions. Costs of upgrading the equipment:

  • a sound desk £4,000
  • a lighting desk £4,000

Gifts between £500 – £1,500 would support the livestreaming of selected events or concerts.

Gifts between £1500-£5000 would help to improve equipment and support the livestream capabilities for a year.

The sponsor’s name will be included on the livestream page for the event.

Establishing named music scholarships at St Hilda’s College and a tour for the St Hilda’s choir and orchestra

Graduate and undergraduate scholarships in music / composition

Professor Martyn Harry, the John Bennett Lecturer in Music at St Hilda's College, is a contemporary classical composer specialising in instrumental music, opera and music theatre. Professor Harry was Executive Producer, New Music, at Sony Classical in the mid- nineties before coming to prominence as a composer. Under his artistic direction, the JdP has become a popular venue for talented students – graduate and undergraduate – to create and compose.

We seek support to establish well-funded undergraduate and graduate scholarships in Music/Composition to allow talented students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to come to St Hilda’s and work with our distinguished academics and benefit from the JdP and its professional facilities.

  • £16,000 would create a spend-down fund for a named graduate scholarship (£8,000 per year for a minimum of 2 years)
  • £3,750 would create a spend-down named undergraduate bursary (£1,250 per year for a minimum of 3 years).

Funding to support a tour – named for the donor – by the St Hilda’s College choir and orchestra.

When circumstances permit, the Director of College Music wishes to extend the performing experience of our students and share their compositions beyond Oxford. There are key constituencies of alumnae and friends in London, Edinburgh and New York whose support may also contribute to a successful tour.

Seed funding from £15,000 would support a College choir and orchestra tour.

Choral scholarships – in 2021 our choral scholarship programme will be available for naming.

  • £2,000 per year would create 8 named choral scholarships.

Over the last 25 years, the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building (the JdP) has secured its position as one of the finest venues in the country for chamber music, and as a hub of creativity contributing to the cultural life of both the University and Oxfordshire. We invite donations from those who care about access to music and musical education to work with us to benefit future generations of musicians and performers.

You can show your support to the JdP by making a single gift or joining the regular JdP Music Circle, which also entitles you to complimentary or discounted concert tickets and the Annual Livestream Pass.