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    So I was somewhat intent on applying for Music at Cambridge as I'm an aspiring composer who, while originally deciding between Oxford and Cambridge for music, found that the Cambridge course suits me slightly better. However I'm having a huge dilemma. There's many reasons for it, but the one at the forefront now is that Cambridge requires I travel there for interview/audition which I'm not sure I can do.

    I had been toying with applying to study music at Cambridge or Oxford next year, but also possibly History as I have an immense passion for history as well as music. After much research and email back and forths with both universities it seemed that Cambridge was more in tune with my interests musically, while Oxford provided more of a chance for me in terms of history due to their HAT test and my less than stellar academic past. Broadly, my musical interests are: composing (career goal), film music, early music, romantic music, musicology and world music, but most of all composing as creating music is my thing.

    However, I'm extremely timid about applying to Cambridge as I have a lack of a classical background. I've thought maybe instead pursuing a degree in history since I'm better at it academically is smarter, but I know music is my career goal and history is more of just a passion. I should probably give you a little further background information and explain how my music background is more rock/pop than classical.

    I'm American and grew up in Los Angeles. I learned guitar and piano when I was 11 and have been playing in bands ever since (mostly of a rock/pop/indie/experimental nature). After high school I took classes in Politics and German at a local community college before deciding to study in the UK. I applied to a more contemporary music school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where I completed a one year foundation diploma in Music and Sound Technology. Wanting to stay in the UK, I applied to read as an undergraduate in music at Goldsmiths, University of London. However after a very short time I found myself loathing the course, as it's primary focus was atonal/20th century classical music the likes of John Cage and serialism which I'm not a fan of. Furthermore there was a required classical performance element, which is not my forte as I'm mostly a non-classical performer. I do love classical music however, and when i compose it's more in that vein despite my lack of expertise in theory and all that. So after dropping out I was forced to move back to the states where I now work at a bookstore while trying to figure out what next.

    I know I want to do something because I'm very unhappy here. While going for music at Cambridge might seem logical, I fear my skills and theory are not good enough, and furthermore Cambridge have told me in order to interview/audition I'd have to fly to Cambridge which I'm not sure I can afford to do. So for that reason I am considering applying to read history at Oxford, but a part of me wonders what's the point if I want to be a musician. I'm in a bit of a rough place and have been tearing my hair out for a while. Naturally I wouldn't mind staying here if i was more active musically, but it seems like it will never happen in Los Angeles and I always have felt out of place here.

    P.S. I should probably add that aside from my foundation diploma and those classes at the community college, my academic past is not particularly impressive. However I feel I make up for it in drive and ambition. Of course I left this very late as the Oxbridge deadline is soon, but I thought it best to write anyways. I'm 23 also, older than most students would be I'm sure. Sorry for the length of this.
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