What we offer
Here at the University of Portsmouth music is playing an increasingly important part in our degree programmes. However, the Music Department is purely recreational, which means that every student is given the same opportunities to join one of our ensembles, attend performances and go on international tours. We aim to provide a positive musical experience to all who are interested, students, staff or members of the community, regardless of ability and experience.
The department is open from 8am to 8.30pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8am to 6pm on Fridays.
Listed below are the ensembles and a brief description of what they entail. If you would like to join one of these groups after reading this section, please go to our register here page. Full details of rehearsal times and venues are available on our news and events page.
In recent years, concerts have included works such as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Handel’s Messiah. We also collaborate with other choir’s including the Portsmouth Festival Choir. This year's repertoire will include works by Benjamin Britten and Leonard Bernstein.
The choir normally performs twice a year in a variety of local venues, including the two Portsmouth cathedrals, and in addition takes part in the University Carol Service.
Rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings from 5.30-8pm in Eldon Building Room EW 1.11.
The Orchestra performs a wide variety of repertoire with three programmes each year; the first usually a shared concert with the Big Band, and then for the second we turn into a pit orchestra for the Dramatic & Musical Society production (see below). The final programme either prepares music for our biennial international tour, or might provide an opportunity to perform with the choir or on our own. The orchestra plays music ranging from film music to Dvorak's New World Symphony to dance music. Players need to be a minimum of grade 5 standard, and wind players will usually be asked to audition due to a high demand for places. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm in the White Swan Building.
The Wind Band performs a light repertoire of music from the stage and screen, pop songs from various decades and well-known classical pieces and folksongs.
All woodwind and brass instruments are welcome, as well as string bass, drums and percussion. The recommended standard for members is Grade 3 minimum, although beginners are welcome to enhance their learning in a friendly, relaxed environment.
The Wind Band rehearses every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm-8.30pm in the White Swan Building.
Dramatic and Musical Society (DMS)
The Dramatic and Musical Society (DMS) performs a musical or light opera in a professional theatre in Portsmouth each year. Recent productions have included Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and Rodgers & Hammersteins' Allegro. The Society is always looking for talented people to come and join. We also welcome choreographers, musical helpers and people to fill production roles such as props, costume and set. No experience is necessary and all abilities are welcome.
From 8—10 March 2018, DMS will perform West Side Story at the New Theatre Royal.
Rehearsals are every Tuesday from 6.30-9.30pm in Eldon EW 1.10. Additional rehearsals are held for principals on Thursday evenings.
This is a full big band with saxophone, trombone, trumpet and rhythm sections. As well as jazz standards the band also plays funk, soul and blues. It plays in a wide variety of settings including local pubs, concerts and balls. Auditions are held for singers and sections that are over-subscribed.
Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm in the White Swan Building.
All students who wish to participate in musical activities or use the practice facilities must join the Music Society, which exists to promote concerts and organise social events. The Society also organises an overseas tour every two years; the first was to Poland in June 2004, and we have since been to Spain, Germany and Slovenia. In June 2016 we visited the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Music Department has limited practice facilities in the White Swan Building at the heart of the Guildhall campus.
An organ scholarship is available at St Mary's Church - please contact the Music Director for further details.
Register your interest
If you are interested in musical activities, please register here.