University College Music Society

The University College Music Society (UCMS), founded more than 80 years ago, is a student-led society responsible for putting on concerts and other events in College throughout the year.

Events are being planned in our North Oxford site, 'Stavertonia', which now houses a fine Bösendorfer baby grand, on long-term loan from William Fforde (1975), a former organ scholar. Open Mic nights are regularly held in the College Bar, and showcase the enormous amount of diverse talent among the student body. A newly refurbished chamber music venue, in No. 10 Merton Street, is being planned for completion in time for the 2016/17 academic year; visit the Univ News and Events pages here or follow Univ on Twitter for news on these developments.

The College itself has a variety of performing spaces which can be used to suit the type and scale of the music being performed. The intimate setting of the Master's Lodgings lends itself to small-scale chamber or solo concerts, whilst the Hall  can be used for recitals and larger groups. The Chapel  is ideal for choirs and medium-sized chamber orchestras, and has two organs – you can read more about them here

UCMS holds an annual dinner at which distinguished music industry figures are invited to speak; these have included Paul Gambaccini (1970, PPE) and Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It also has a fruitful relationship with the Merton College Music Society; the two colleges frequently hold larger-scale events featuring The Kodaly Choir and Fidelio Orchestra, which have both been run by Univ musicians in recent years.

Visiting professional musicians, including old members, give concerts in college on a regular basis. The concert pianist, Chisato Kusunoki (1998), and the organist, William Whitehead (1990) have both been recent visitors. Other guests have included the cellist, Richard Tunnicliffe who performed the complete Bach Cello Suites in 2016, and the pianists Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown, who gave a recital of piano duet music in 2015.

Musicians in Univ are also invited to perform at college occasions, such as weddings, Alumni events and Gaudys.

Picture: Chisato Kusunoki by Patrick Poh.