My career - Arts Education and Management

Alumni Profile Picture - Miriam McCombe
Miriam McCombe
BMus Music
Miriam studied the undergraduate BMus music course at The University of Sheffield and went onto produce education concerts and school programmes for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand.

Why did you study music at the University of Sheffield?

"I liked the music department and the course options available (good spread of subject areas). I liked the feel of the city and the Student's Union."

What career opportunities have you had following your course?

"I went onto be a singing teacher/ conductor (thanks to the new conducting course introduced to the degree when I was there), and now I run outreach programmes and produce education concerts for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand."

What advice would you give someone graduating from music now?

"Advice I'd give someone graduating now - really think about what you enjoy in your work, rather than what you THINK you should be doing in the eyes of other people. What are your true strengths, rather than the strengths you wish you had. And don't worry if you spend a couple of years working in a bar while you figure that out."

What does a typical day look like for you? 

"Typical day in my life now - working in an office, talking to musicians, going to concerts for free, talking to teachers/ other arts and charity organizations. Seeing the inner workings of arts management is really fascinating."

What opportunities did you get involved with?

"At Uni I was involved with the musical ensembles mostly, I just loved being a part of music-making. I sang as Eliza Doolittle in the Lost Songs of My Fair Lady concert. That was a highlight of my singing career!"

Picture of My Fair Lady Concert
Lost Songs of My Fair Lady concert

What did you enjoy about the teaching and research environment?

"The course helped me think about music in all of it's facets - artistically, historically, contemporary composition, business, psychology. I'm also so glad I took Dominic McHugh's musical theatre modules - I loved learning about the behind the scenes history, which I think led me to working in Arts management."

How did the course help you with your career and ambitions?

"One thing I wish I'd realized when I was younger - that I wasn't going to be a professional singer if I didn't go to a conservatoire. I don't regret anything - I've met friends for life in Sheffield, and I think it was important to live up North as a Southern Softie"

"Also shout out to Dorothy Kerr - we had a nice chat on the phone earlier this year as we had programmed one of her pieces in a concert celebrating women composers!"

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