Our Music and Meditation Pavilion is in the gardens near the library. Our Pavilion can be used to play music or as a quiet place for meditation and houses a piano and a good range of books relating to all the major religions of the world.

The Ladies of Steel and the Lucy Cavendish Singers regularly meet there to practice and, on occasions, it is also used for formal College business.

History of the Pavilion

Our Pavilion was built following a generous donation to the College from Irene Sharaff (1910 - 1993) and her companion Mai Mai Sze (1909 - 1992). Mai Mai Sze was an actress, model, novelist Music Pavillionand translator of C17 Chinese texts (which are now housed in the college library); Irene Sharaff was a famous costume designer for Hollywood musicals, who won five Oscars for her work which included Meet Me in St Louis (1944), The King and I (1952), and West Side Story (1960).

The two ladies first heard about Lucy Cavendish College from an article, which appeared in the New York Times in October 1985 (read the original article). Following this, they met with Dame Anne Warburton, the College President at the time, and donated £1 million to Lucy Cavendish College.

As well as funding the Music and Meditation Pavilion, their generous donation also endowed two prestigious research fellowships - the Alice Tong Sze Research Fellowship (named after Mai Mai Sze's mother) and the Lu Gwei Djen Research Fellowship.

Sadly neither Mai Mai Sze nor Irene Sharaff were ever able to visit Lucy Cavendish College before their deaths in 1992 and 1993 (they died just a few months apart), but they still asked that their ashes be buried in the gardens of the college. Today, their ashes rest under two halves of the same memorial rock beside the entrance to the Pavilion, surrounded by the music and beauty they so enjoyed.