Music at Oxford is an exciting activity to keep up with! There are a number of events and opportunities one can get involved in. As a non music student, music has always played an important part in my life. It has always been a fun, easy way to unwind for me and this was want I was looking for here at Oxford when I first came.
I was initially scared that music groups would be extremely advanced and that I would not be able to match up to that level of practice and playing. However, I soon discovered that no matter what level you are at, there are always people who are willing to get involved and that you can easily find people at the same level as you are in order to team up!
In order to encourage students to keep up with music, most colleges offer instrumental and choral awards to students that entail a short audition. As part of the award, the individual is expected to promote and expand the musical community within college. This is a good way to get involved with music at a college level!
A number of colleges dedicate an entire week to the arts and put on a number of shows. There is no restriction as to the kind of music one can play at these concerts during Arts Week and the ones put on during term time. A mix of jazz, classical and pop music, among others are often found at these concerts. A few colleges have weekly Organ concerts and lunch time concerts which last for about half an hour!
Auditions for university run groups are held frequently and this allows you to find a group or an orchestra of your choice based on the amount of time you would like to dedicate to it. So this can range from being a lighthearted, fun music group to a more serious, competitive one depending how much you would like to commit to.
If you are not one for public performances but would like to keep up with practice, the chapel is equipped with a piano and is an easy space to book for practice. Several college can even provide you with a digital piano or keyboard in your room if you don’t want to leave the comforts of your own room!
If you are someone who love listening to music, you are spoilt for choice with the number of concerts on every week in Oxford. Almost every other Thursday, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra puts on a concert at the Sheldonian with world famous lead musicians from the likes of Maxim Vengerov to Khatia Buniatishvili. Student tickets are only five pounds and I would highly recommend these concerts!