The musical world is your oyster when studying in Oxford. From classical to jazz, through indie, rock, drum 'n' bass, grime, folk and electric, all the styles of music you could dream of (and then some) are represented. Whether you want to sing, perform, DJ, or just listen, you will find what you are looking for here.
There is a wealth of opportunity for classical music lovers. Many colleges have their own choirs, orchestras and bands. Opportunities to participate in classical recitals are numerous. Lunchtime and evening concerts abound, often taking place in spectacular settings such as the Sheldonian Theatre or the Holywell Music Room.
Oxford Philomusica, the University’s orchestra in residence, offers all sorts of opportunities in performances, recitals, masterclasses and coaching. At the top end of musical ability, the University boasts student orchestras of professional calibre – the Oxford University Orchestra and Oxford University Philharmonia – and the renowned choirs of Christ Church, Magdalen and New College, along with Schola Cantorum.
For those looking for a formal role in the musical life of the University, many colleges offer choral and organ scholarships, with a number also offering instrumental scholarships or repetiteur scholarships.
If you are looking for more contemporary styles of music, Oxford truly punches above its weight. Venues such as the city’s O2 Academy and New Theatre regularly draw both national and international acts. Many smaller venues hold regular jam sessions and ‘open mic’ nights for the more aspiring among us, and there is a well-established weekly series of both jazz and blues concerts. If you fancying DJ-ing you could always start out at college parties, or try the student club nights that run open decks.
Oxford University Music Society (OUMS) - the musical hub of Oxford
OUMS aims to encourage participation in music. As well as co-ordinating many auditioned ensembles, including the flagship Oxford University Orchestra, the society runs two non-auditioning ensembles – the Chorus and the University Brass Band. In addition, OUMS is looking to play a big part in improving and increasing the provision of college music so that everyone, whatever their skill, can get involved. They also maintain a 'performers' register' enabling musicians to get in touch with one another and collaborate.
Vocalists also have an astounding array of opportunities in groups as diverse as traditional college choirs, a cappella groups, and non-auditioned vocal ensembles. Musical theatre and opera are also popular, with frequent productions in the large college theatres and city centre venues.