Hello! My name is Holly, and I’m a 3rd-Year student at Vanbrugh College, reading for a BA in Music at the University of York. In this blog post, I’ll talk to you a little about the thriving Music community here at York, both in the School and across the wider University.
I’ll outline some of the opportunities that may be available to you during your time here. Plus, I’ll share some guidance on how to best throw yourself into being a musician at York!
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
Music is within the School of Arts and Creative Technologies (ACT), alongside theatre, film, television, interactive and emerging media. This means that students from each subject can come together more.
A big part of York’s musical community is our ensembles. Here are just a few examples of the groups you can get involved in:
- Symphony and Chamber Orchestras
- 24 Choir
- Chimera Ensemble
- Big Band 106
- Animas Choir
- Piano Ensemble
- Gamelan Ensemble
Being in an ensemble is not only a great way to enjoy music you love, but to try new things and meet people! For some ensembles, you don’t even have to be a Music student to get involved.
One way I contribute to the academic community is by chairing an undergraduate Musicology Forum, where we get to talk about our academic interests and debate them. There are also many other academic forums, like the Postgraduate Research group. There are already lots of groups and ensembles, but you can set up your own too!
The social side
As a tight-knit School, we also host social events to encourage a supportive and collaborative musical community. One of which is the ACT Mixer that is happening very soon!
The ACT Mixer will bring together students who have interests in film and game music to network and chat about their interests over some coffee and a slice of cake. The School of ACT is passionate about bringing students from different backgrounds together, and finding common interests is a great way to do this.
When we celebrated Chinese New Year, home and international students could bond over some music-making and drinks. Our School of ACT Winter Formal, ‘A Night of Stars’, was a great way to end the term, bringing students from across the School together in a more formal yet fun setting.
As Secretary of the Music Society, I’d love to tell you about the other ways musical communities are fostered across the University. The Music Society hosts lunchtime concerts in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and Rymer Auditorium during term time.
We also put on social events for MusicSoc members. A few highlights last term were our Winter Formal and Cosy Coffee social. Being in a society is a great way to meet people from all over the University, often studying many different subjects, and come together over a common interest.
There are also many other Music societies, such as CHMS (Central Hall Music Society) who mainly perform music theatre works. They’re currently putting on a production of ‘Sunshine on Leith’ at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Jazz and Big Band, Concert Orchestra, and Brass Band are also other examples of ensembles external to the School, but some get to use the famous Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall as a space to rehearse!
The Music community
Colleges also provide music-making spaces, such as the Derwent and Langwith Practice Rooms, and the Vanbrugh Studio. There are also many events and concerts in the wider city of York that are popular with students, and are great ways to see more of the city.
Overall, the musical community at York is thriving, supportive and creative with a love of music over anything else! It doesn’t really matter how ‘good’ you are at music or performing, as there are so many groups, you will inevitably find one that caters to your needs.
My biggest tip would be to get involved in as many things as you can. That way you can get the most out of your time here by meeting new people, trying new things, and performing music!
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