2018/2019

Welcome

If you’re new to Swansea University, welcome! And a warm ‘welcome back’ to returning students. We don’t teach a music degree here, but there’s a lot of music going on in Swansea. Whatever your interests, and regardless of your level of skill or experience, you’ll find something to suit you.

This page details everything that’s going on and how to get involved. We’re sure you’ll have a lot of fun making music at Swansea – and that you’ll make friends from across the University in the process.

You can find representatives of the student societies, along with the Director of Music and details of our concert programme, at Freshers’ Fair during welcome week. Please come along and say hi!

Credits: Some of the photos on this page appear by kind permission of Rhian Cocker.

Great Hall Stage

The Music Service

The Swansea University Music Service exists to support and develop the musical life of Swansea University, in partnership with the Student Union and external groups such as the Welsh Sinfonia, Welsh National Opera, and others.

The Music Service…

  • Manages facilities, equipment and other resources (practice rooms, instruments, sheet music, etc);
  • Organises Great Hall concerts involving professionals and student groups;
  • Arranges workshops and masterclasses with external professionals;
  • Provides support to instrumental and vocal scholars;
  • Promotes the University’s musical opportunities to prospective students;
  • Provides advocacy and strategic planning for music at management level within the University.

The Music Service is led by the Director of Music, Dr Ian Rutt. He is based in the Cultural Institute, in the College of Arts and Humanities, and can be contacted by email: i.c.rutt@swansea.ac.uk. Ian is always happy to discuss new ideas and possibilities, and to hear your views on music at Swansea – contact him to arrange a meeting.

Information

Ensembles and Choirs

All the ensembles and choirs listed are organised by our student societies, with support from the Director of Music:

  • Big Band

The SU Big Band goes from strength to strength, playing classic swing, modern jazz, funk, and many other genres, at concerts and events throughout the year. Annual highlights are the Big Band Dinner Dance and the Great Hall Student Showcase. Starting this year, the Big Band will be professionally directed

  • Choral Society

SU Choral Society runs a dynamic, friendly, non-auditioning choir, directed by students, and singing a wide range of music. They perform regularly in Swansea – at concerts and events – and sing in the annual Student Showcase in the Great Hall. In 2018, they went international, singing at a gala concert at Carnegie Hall, NYC, in celebration of the Kings Singers 50th anniversary. 

  • Chamber Choir

The Choral Society also run a smaller Chamber Choir: membership is drawn from the main choir by audition/invitation. This rehearses on Wednesday afternoons; if you’re interested in singing in the Chamber Choir, speak to a member of the Choral Society committee.

  • Orchestra

SU Orchestra plays a wide range of music from the late classical period onwards, usually including some film music and one or two lesser-known gems. It’s conducted by the Director of Music, and supported by several experienced members of staff. Our collaboration with The Welsh Sinfonia gives players the opportunity to play alongside professional musicians and to further develop their own playing. The orchestra gives an annual concert in the Great Hall, and also performs in the Musicians’ Society’s Summer and Winter concerts. Strings are not auditioned, and new players are always welcome. Wind and brass players join by audition/invitation – auditions are held on the first Wednesday of the academic year.

  • Show Choir

An all-singing, all-dancing, award-winning Show Choir, performing a range of songs from pop and rock to musical theatre, with backing tracks, live music and even a capella. Along with two annual showcases, the highlight is national Masters of Show Choir competition, which SU Show Choir won in 2016.

  • Small ensembles

The Musicians’ Society organises a number of smaller ensembles, depending on who’s interested – usually a Flute Choir, Brass Group and Sax Group, and sometimes others. Contact the Society if you’re interested.

  • Wind Band

SU Wind Band is a large, ambitious, non-auditioned band, with an impressive recent history. Highlights have included prize-winning performances at the National Concert Band Festival, and collaborations with Choral Society in the Great Hall. From this year, Wind Band will be professionally conducted, and is sure to continue developing. Repertoire focusses on good quality original wind music, alongside some crowd-pleasing film and show music.

Student Societies

Music at Swansea is largely organised by our student societies. More information about all of them can be found on the Union website, at Freshers’ Fair, and on social media:

Music Practice Rooms

Music practice rooms, all of which are equipped with pianos, are available on both Singleton and Bay campuses:

  • Singleton Campus. The rooms are located on the top floor of Fulton House, at the back of the building, and can be accessed from any of the rear staircases, or the lift. To access them, you will need to have your student card programmed – contact music@swansea.ac.uk to arrange this.
  • Bay Campus. The practice rooms are located in the same accommodation building as the Student Union and sports facilities, and are accessed from the Tallachan staircase, next to the sport centre. To get access to these rooms, it is necessary to complete an induction session. Inductions are available regularly during term time. Contact music@swansea.ac.uk for information.

The music practice rooms can all be booked in advance, if desired.

Venues & Performances

Great Hall and Taliesin Performances

At Taliesin Arts Centre The Great Hall, students can enjoy a wide choice of cultural events from just £5!

Taliesin, situated on Singleton, offers fantastic discounts to the students on a programme of mainstream and specialist films (£6), live drama, dance and music (£5*). There are last-minute student deals on live broadcasts from famous venues across the UK (£5 on the door).

The Great Hall on Bay Campus is also home to a broad programme of live concerts and literary events. Most student tickets at this venue are priced at £5 and bookings can be made at either Taliesin or Great Hall box offices.

As a Swansea University student, you can call in to Taliesin and sign up for a free membership card which entitles you to your first 3 live events absolutely free!**

www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk


* Except for private hire events.

** This special offer is subject to availability.

Other local venues

There are many other places to hear music in Swansea…

  • The Brangwyn Hall, located in the historic Guildhall, is one of the UK’s most memorable concert halls, featuring the almost psychedelic British Empire Panels by Frank Brangywn. The hall regularly hosts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (cheap student tickets available), and features regular lunchtime organ concerts (free entry). Details of events in the Brangywn Hall are on the Swansea Council Website: www.swansea.gov.uk/brangwynevents
  • Swansea Jazzland, in Uplands, regularly hosts outstanding musicians from the UK and further afield. www.swanseajazzland.co.uk
  • There are loads of small venues hosting gigs of all kinds in the city centre, Uplands and Brynmill. Check social media for the latest information:

Scholarships

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Music Scholarships are available to both singers and instrumentalists, and are designed to enable talented musicians to continue to develop their skill and musicianship in a supportive environment. These scholarships are open to all enrolled undergraduates (whether new or returning students), and are tenable for the duration of the scholar's undergraduate degree.

Three kinds of music scholarships are available:

  • University Instrumental Scholarships
  • University Choral Scholarships
  • Joint Choral Scholarships, held in conjunction with St Mary’s Church

The scholarships have a nominal value of £1000 per year, comprising:

  • Regular individual lessons in the scholar’s instrument or voice
  • A bursary of £300 per year, to support purchase of sheet music, exam fees, etc.

Scholars are expected to play a full part in the musical life of the University by committing to one or more University ensembles or choirs, and to play or sing in the annual Chancellor’s Concert.

The application requirements given here are guidelines, and are flexible – if you are uncertain about your eligibility for a scholarship, please speak to the Director of Music.

University Instrumental Scholarships

These scholarships are offered to talented instrumentalists, with a particular emphasis on helping scholars develop as rounded musicians and ensemble players:

  • Scholarships are available to players of any instrument;
  • Applicants should typically have gained a merit or distinction at Grade 8 (or equivalent) on their instrument;
  • Scholars will be expected to commit to playing in one or more of the ensembles run by the student societies;

Application forms are available here: Instrumental Scholarships Formand Referee Form ‌- or from the Director of Music

In addition to the forms, you will need to submit:

  • Copies of certificates and marks sheets for Grade 8 and any higher qualifications in your instrument;
  • Video performances of two contrasting pieces, not exceeding 7 minutes’ duration in total.
  • Details of how to submit your video performance are given on the application form.

The scholarship application deadline for current students is 15th October. In selecting scholars, preference will be given to applicants who are judged to have the potential to participate most fully in the musical life of the University.

Choral Scholarships

Choral scholarships are available in two forms:

  • University Scholarships, where the singer is a member of the University Choral Society.
  • Joint Scholarships, where the singer is a member of St Mary’s Church Choir. St Mary’s Church is located in the city centre; the choir is an ambitious mixed-voice choir singing a broad cathedral-style repertoire for two choral services every Sunday, as well as other services.

Applicants for both types of scholarship should be experienced choral singers with good aural skills and sight singing ability. Scholars are expected to commit fully to the choir's rehearsals, and performances. There is no formal requirement for singing qualification, but these will be considered in awarding scholarships.

As with Instrumental Scholarships, the deadline for applications is 15th October. Application forms are available here:  Choral Scholarships Form and Referee Form ‌- or from the Director of Music

or from the Director of Music.

In addition to the forms, you will need to submit copies of certificates and marks sheets for any singing qualifications you hold (e.g. singing exams). Awards will be made on the basis of the application and an audition.