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Music Making and Concerts

Performance is central to the work of the Music Department at Sheffield, and there is every opportunity for you to get involved.

A constant theme of our teaching is the interaction between music as a subject for academic study and music as a 'practised' living art. Our aim is to foster a culture of active student involvement in all aspects of practical music-making.

The Department has a long tradition of high quality student performance. We promote a professional concert series (see below) featuring international artists, weekly lunchtime concerts, a Summer Music Festival and performance of opera and music theatre.

Music Department ensembles

Other opportunities

University Orchestra

Open to all students of the University, the Orchestra performs two major concerts a year.

SUSO website

Wind Orchestra (SUWO)

Open to all students, we perform two major concerts each year, take part in the National Concert Band Festival and go on European concert tours.
SUWO website

Clarinet and Flute Choirs

Regular weekly rehearsals are held from Week 2 onwards. All players of either flute or clarinet are invited to play.

Chamber Choir

An auditioned high quality vocal group with  performances through the year. We perform cutting-edge music from the traditional, secular and sacred repertoire.

Jessop Voices (First Year Choir)

All first year students participate in the First Year Choir, which gives a performance of a significant piece of choral music in the first semester as part of your Musicianship training.

New Music Ensemble

The New Music Ensembles is a flexible group that plays contemporary and avant-garde music in regular high profile concerts during the year.

World Music Performance Groups

Performance groups grow out of the vibrant world music scene in the Department and are a feature of the course. Course staff in ethnomusicology can be contacted with suggestions for activities.

Chamber music opportunities

All students are encouraged to form small ensembles. Small ensembles are encouraged to make use of the soundproofed rehearsal rooms in the Jessop Building.

And more opportunities accross the university...

Our award winning Students' Union is home to a plethora of student-run societies, giving you the chance to play or sing with more orchestras and groups, for musicals, shows or dancing.  Find out more.

tuos FolkOpen to all members of the university, TUOS Folk offer a variety of learning and performance opportunities for traditional musics from England and beyond. This includes both developed arrangements for concert performances and collaboration with ceilidhsoc for informal sessions. You will be able to take part in sessions, form self-directed small ensembles and join workshops led by some of the country’s leading folk musicians including Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney and Jon Boden.

Indian Music Ensemble

The Ensembles activities focus on

  • the learning, playing and study of traditional Indian music repertoire.
  • modal improvisation using the source material of Indian melodic modes (ragas), and rhythmic structures (talas), to initiate western music students into the techniques of improvisation.

Repertoire is played on a combination of students’ own primary instruments and traditional Indian instruments including tabla and santoor.

There will be performing opportunities for the Ensemble inside and outside of the Department and opportunities for students to be involved in education outreach work for those wanting to develop their music education profile.

In the sessions we

  • explore the rules and strategies of improvising within specific modes and rhythm cycles.
  • concentrate on melodic and rhythmic ear training exercises which are not usually a part of western music courses.
  • learning all of these skills by means of a fundamentally different system of music pedagogy: unwritten, aural tradition from the East.

The sessions are open to all Music Department students and all instruments are welcome.

Student-led ensembles

We host many student-led ensembles, including the Sheffield University Big Band (SUBB) and the newly formed SUpertones (A Cappella and beat box society)

These ensembles feature regularly in our lunchtime and rush hour concert series, as well as in bookings outside the Department. Details are made available at the start of the academic year. New players - and ideas for new ensembles - are always welcome!


The Concerts series

We support a full programme of evening and lunchtime concerts, designed to support the academic programme. Evening and lunchtime concerts are both held once a week during term time with attendance, performance and front of house duty an important part of the degree for all our undergraduates.

For more information see our Concerts website.

Outside University

Sheffield Cathedral hold lunchtime concerts twice a week during term time, while the Music in the Round concert series offers cheap tickets for chamber music concerts performed by our own Ensemble 360 and internationally renowned visiting artists via Sheffield International Venues.

To get involved with publicity and administration, contact Polly Ives.

Amateur music

Sheffield has a flourishing amateur music culture, to which our students often make a valuable contribution. There are a number of excellent venues around town, including within our own Students Union. The Sheffield Telegraph has listings for music-making and concerts in the city.