Director: Stuart Birnie
The Brass Band is a Music Society ensemble which gives two concerts per year, often joint with the Wind Band or Chamber Choirs. The band plays a wide variety of music, from traditional brass standards to film music and arrangements of pop classics. They are directed by leading tuba player and educator Stuart Birnie. This is an unadutioned group with no cap on membership - so expect between 40-55 players rather than a standard band format. Seating auditions are held at the start of each term in some sections to ensure that player are in the most suitable positions. The band compete in the annual Uni Brass competition and came 6th in the 2015 and 5th in 2016.
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 19.30-21.30
Director: Professor Andrew Kirkman
If you are interested in early music and would like to study on a period instrument or take vocal lessons with one of our specialist teachers, then you can join the activities of the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research. With a focus on period performance practice, CEMPR co-ordinates a number of ensembles (for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students) who receive coaching from some of the leading professional in the field, and give concerts in The Bramall and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. For details about tuition and how to get involved please contact Professor Andrew Kirkman.
CEMPR Ensembles include:
- Chamber Orchestra, Early Modern Vocal Ensemble, Baroque Flute Ensemble, Early Strings, Harmonie Band, Sackbutts and Cornetts, and Continuo Club.
- Professional CEMPR coaches include: Anneke Scott (horns), Andrew King and Mark Chambers (vocal)
Chamber Choirs (SATB & SSA)
The Music Society run two choirs – the mixed choir and the female choir. Both choirs are student led, with student conductors chosen by the choirs themselves. They perform a varied programme, this year looking at works by Brahms, Whitacre, Rutter, and Gjeilo, and in previous years they performed new works by Howard Goodall in a concert attended by the composer himself.
Chamber Choir is an un-auditioned ensemble, open to anyone interested in smaller choral works.
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 17:00 - 19:00
Chamber Ensembles Network
The Music Society's Chamber Ensembles Network is a key part of Univeristy Music. It has been set up to get like minded musicians together to form small chamber groups. Informal platform sessions are held throughout the year, in order for groups to gain constructive feedback from their peers. There is one Chamber Ensembles concert each year, usually near the start of the Spring Term.
For more information please contact Christina Hancock.
Creative Ensemble - New for 2016!
Creative Ensemble is a place for performers and composers to experiment, collaborate, and discover in an open contemporary music environment. The genre-crossing ensemble is dedicated to the performance of music written and formulated by members of the group and beyond, and can range from the traditionally notated to the totally improvised. Discussions, workshops, and rehearsals form the basis of the flexible collective, leading to exciting performances and concerts with wide-ranging approaches. Open to composers, performers or both.
New to 2016 this group will get together on Saturday mornings in The Dome. If you are interested in this group please contact Christina Hancock.
Student conducted / Professional coaching - Sandy Hay
The Music Society has created the Flute Choir in order to give the growing number of flautists on campus the opportunity to perform in an ensemble together. They give an annual concert and in 2016 they will be coached by the Director of the Birmingham Flute Choir, Sandy Hay. Please contact the Music Society for details, and sign up in Week 1.
Director: Dr Andy Channing
The Music Society Gamelan Ensemble is directed by leading Gamelan expert Andy Channing. The group rehearse at weekends and perform at a variety of University events. They also give a concert each spring as part of the Music Department's series of Monday lunchtime concerts.
Professional Coaches: Percy Pursglove & Jonathan Silk
The Music Society has seen a huge growth in the number of students interest in jazz in the last 5 years. As a result they now co-ordinate Jazz Collective - a pool of players and small bands that get together for workshop and coaching sessions in order to peform at various events and with the Big Band.
The Saxophone Choir is one of the liveliest ensembles, playing a wide variety of purposely arranged and composed music. This group gives two concerts per year, and includes over 30 sax players from the University and wider community.
Rehearsals: Fridays, 17.00-19.00.
Director: Julian Wilkins
University Chorus is a large choir of between 150 - 200 singers. They perform large works for chorus, including a recent performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana alongside the University Philharmonic Orchestra in Birmingham Town Hall. The University Chorus is conducted by Director, Julian Wilkins, and has Professor Simon Halsey, Director of Choral Activities, as its Artistic Director. Rehearsals for University Chorus also act as a platform for the MA Choral Conducting students, who will occasionally lead warm-ups or take sectional rehearsals.
University Chorus is an un-auditioned community choir, open to singers of all experience levels. At present, the majority of the choir is made up of members of the local community and staff from campus.
Rehearsals: Tuesdays, 19:00-21:30, Elgar Concert Hall.
University Staff Singers - New in 2016!
If you are a member of staff at the University and would like to get involved in music in your lucnh break then this new staff choir coudl be perfect for you. With no requirement for prior experience or the ability to read music this choir is a fun opportunity for you to give singing a try.
If you are interested and want to find out more please contact Gavin Allsop, G.email@example.com
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 12.30-13.30. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Student conducted / Professional coaching: Keith Allen and Birmingham Symphonic Winds
This Music Society band is a large ensemble of brass, woodwind and percussion players, who perform orginal works for wind band and wind orchestra alongside popular arrangements. With over 100 players this is the largest unauditioned instrumental ensembles.
Rehearsals: Mondays, 19.45-21.45.