Music at MIT Edit
You can get half class credit for MIT Wind Ensemble (MITWE), Festival Jazz Ensemble (FJE), Symphony Orchestra (MITSO), Chamber Chorus. These are all by audition and fairly competitive at the start of the year, about the same level as CUWO, CUMSCO, etc. though some will have auditions for spring semester available too. They are usually twice a week in the evenings for 2.5 hours each night. Either bring your instrument from the UK, or it's sometimes possible to borrow one, particularly if it's a larger instrument like Tuba. The other for-credit music groups are Rambax and Gamelan. Rambax is probably a pretty unique opportunity to be part of a large African drumming group and tons of fun, Gamelan is balinese and neither expect that you have much experience at the start. There are other opportunities for music too, particularly acapella groups, as well as other small ensembles. There are chamber music groups as well, and if you are very serious about your instrument you can try out for Emerson Scholars: MIT will fund half a year of lessons with a local teacher (often from one of the music colleges in Boston) but you have to pay for the other half.
Acapella is huge on the east coast of the US, and there are around a dozen different groups to choose from. They tend to all require some sort of audition, but these are normally fun and infomal and involve singing a song of your choosing. There are groups for a wide variety of music types:
- Logarhythms - An all male group who sing a wide variety of popular songs, and tend to have by far the biggest following. Much like Treblemakers from Pitch Perfect, these guys are superstars.
- Choralleries, Resonance - Both co-ed and also tend to sing popular music.
- Centrifugues - Co-ed, specializing particularly in mash-ups of popular music.
- Techiya - Jewish group
- Cross Products - Christian group
- Syncopasian - Tend to sing East/South Asian music
- Muses - All female group
- Asymptones - Describe themselves as informal, fun and nerdy
- MIT/Wellesley Toons - A group featuring students from MIT and Wellesley College
The only thing to consider when auditioning as a CME is that these groups tend to look for Freshers and people who will stick with the group in the long term, which may make you less desirable as you will only be at MIT for one year. Do give it a shot though if you fancy some singing as most groups are perfectly open to CMEs.
Solar Electric Vehicle Team (SEVT) Edit
This is the MIT equivalent of CUER. It’s small team with a small operation, but that just means you get to know everyone and everybody is able to make a significant contribution to the team. SEVT definitely makes you stand out from people in other student teams, such as FSAE. Often you get to showcase the car to the public and get reminded how cool people think solar powered cars are. It doesn’t matter what you’re majoring in, because lots of people are working on stuff outside their major anyway. Check out the website http://solar-cars.scripts.mit.edu/main/ .
The badminton club welcomes people of all abilities. The courts are located in the Rockwell Cage in Z-Center. After trials, you are split into intermediate and advanced groups, and will get training from the former Nepalese international player Pashupati Paneru. It’s a very friendly environment - no obligation to turn up to every practice session. There’s plenty of court time so you can still play recreationally if you don’t go to training. In the Fall there is a tournament between a few colleges in the Boston area that you could take part in. You can also take part in the Boston Open in the Spring semester, both as a player and as a line judge. Check out the website http://mitbadminton.com/ .
Very different from college rowing at Cambridge. It’s a lot of fun - you’ll get to row in a lot of cool races - but the schedule is very inflexible compared to what I was used to. For men’s heavyweight the standard is somewhere between the top colleges and Goldie. A 6:30 2k would probably get you into the top boat in the Fall term. They do an awesome trip to Florida in January where you stay next to Cape Canaveral, followed by two to three months where the river is frozen and you’ll do nothing but ergs and weights. Contact email@example.com for men’s heavyweight rowing.
MIT have a pretty nice setup for the cycling team, compared to Cambridge. They have their own dedicated space for storing bikes, complete with small workshop space, trainers and some big screens for training in the depths of winter. The road racing season starts around spring break, and is made up of 6 weekends of racing at different locations on the east coast. The catch is the cost, which is much more than Cambridge, but comes with a lot more benefits. Membership is $40 for the most basic membership, $140 for limited racing and $240 for unlimited racing. If you’re thinking of racing, get the $140 membership - you get access to the training plan, can go to the Fall training camp, and also get 3 weekends of racing paid for (a massive bargain, the only thing not covered is food!). Races are often pretty cold but are a lot of fun!
The club is mostly grad students with a few undergrads, but don’t let that put you off. More info can be found here: http://cycling.mit.edu/join/