We are committed to high quality, ambitious and innovative performance. Many of our graduates have achieved a professional career as performers.
New students are introduced to the Department at the start of the academic year with Music Week: an intensive programme of rehearsals and creative workshops that culminate in the opening performances of the season. In 2019, we hosted Music Week in the marquee on the College Green, with live music from 1st and 2nd-year Popular Music students, the Sinfonia, Jazz Ensembles, Keyboard Collective and Choir. This year, we were back in Goldsmiths Great Hall with a 5 hour festival of music created over the week (still up on www.youtube.com/goldsmithsmusic)
Most of our ensembles are open to non-Music students, so if you play an instrument or sing and want to be involved, please contact Events Manager Imogen Burman. We actively support student initiatives to set up their own groups, so please get in touch.
Please note, whilst we are unable to predict the Covid future, we are hoping some of our ensembles will take place in 2021/22 and include:
- Chamber Choir
- Contemporary Music Ensemble
- Creative Jazz Ensemble and Workshop
- Dzenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
- Electronic Music Studios
- Goldsmiths Keyboard Collective
- Improvisors' Collective
- Laptop Ensemble
- Simon Says
- String Workshop
Plus student-led ensembles and workshops.
Rehearses on Wednesdays 4pm – 6pm in the Council Chamber, Deptford Town Hall.
The Chamber Choir is an auditioning ensemble directed by Jamie Sperling, which performs at the Goldsmiths Christmas Concert and other events during the year. Repertoire focuses on unaccompanied choral music for SATB choir, with a wide stylistic base, from early and baroque musics to fresh-off-the-page contemporary works. Auditions were held during Enrolment Week.
Chamber Music Ensembles
We support a variety of ensembles, and some are integrated with our degree programmes. Students are encouraged to form their own ensembles. Ensembles are welcome to book rehearsal spaces. We provide an extensive collection of chamber music parts and vocal scores, and it is often possible to hire or buy requested other works.
Contemporary Music Ensemble
Rehearses on Wednesdays 6pm – 8pm in The Great Hall / George Wood Theatre
Directed by violinist Mira Benjamin, the CME reflects the Department’s acknowledged expertise in contemporary music studies and has given a number of world premieres. It has a wide stylistic base, recently performing works by Eastman, Fitkin, Muhly, Caitlin Smith, Zappa, Ligeti, Monk, Reich, Cardew, Riley, Rzewski, Glass, Feldman and Andriessen.
Creative Jazz Ensemble (CJE)
Rehearses on Tuesdays, 6pm – 8.30pm in RHB 167.
Directed by saxophonist Paul Bartholomew, the Creative Jazz Ensemble for 2021/22 will focus on smaller ensembles such as saxes and rhythm section, little big band, trumpets and rhythm section, voices and rhythm section and possibly strings and rhythm section.
CJE encourages the use of student arrangements and hopes to cover a broad range of music from a diverse range of composer/arrangers to fit in with the Department's approach to diversity.
2015-16 was the inaugural year for the ensemble and was based on an all-comers approach. Due to the strong interest in the ensemble and Jazz repertoire by a significant number of the student body, priority is now given to players who have a significant interest in (Jazz) performance, arranging and composition, allowing them to augment their studies in these areas and to provide a performance platform and showcase for this departmental ensemble. Entry is usually by audition in induction week.
Creative Jazz Workshop (CJW)
Meets on Mondays 6pm – 8pm in RHB 167.
The main aim of CJW is to encourage and develop the improvising skills of students who have chosen to include Jazz or improvised music in their performance options (and instrumental lessons) as well as students who are embarking on a serious exploration of improvisation. Led by a diverse range of exciting tutors CJW is supportive of a mixed range of experience and explores repertoire from the blues, standard, modal and more contemporary repertoire. No diagnostics needed - but please register interest via the sign-up sheet in the lower music corridor during Enrolment Week and for more information, see the CJE pages on learn.gold
Djenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
Meeting on Thursdays, 6pm in RHB 280 from March - May 2022
The Dzenjuzu Mbira Ensemble is an exciting opportunity to play and learn about Zimbabwean Mbira music. Led by master Mbira player Linos Wengara, the programme will introduce students to Mbira, the traditional instrument. Studying Mbira will involve new ways of hearing melodies and polyrhythms, and Linos will discuss the spiritual meanings and culture of Mbira music. As well as performing traditional pieces, the Ensemble will play ‘chimurenga’ music, which combines Mbira with western instruments.
Electronic Music Studios
EMS concerts provide opportunities for students to have studio-based work performed, including work involving performers. Keep an eye on the noticeboards for info.
Goldsmiths Keyboard Collective (GKC)
Rehearses on Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm in RHB 279.
Leading contemporary pianist Andrew Zolinsky leads this auditioned ensemble in 20th and 21st century works for four or more keyboards, with a focus on minimalist repertoire. Recent composers have included Glass, Reich, Gardiner, Fitkin, Nunn and Zev Gordon plus student compositions. The GKC gives concerts throughout the year, including at the PureGold Festival.
Meets on Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm in RHB 167.
The Improvisers’ Collective brings together Goldsmiths students and staff from various musical backgrounds and level of study, from 1st year Undergraduates and Masters to PhD students. Approaches range from open graphic/text scores and structures to completely free improvisation. It features all manners of instruments / technologies / voices / crisp packets. The line-up is flexible and it is open to all with no audition. Led by Iris Garrelfs
Meets on Tuesdays 6pm - 8pm in RHB 274.
Led by Jenn Kirby, the laptop ensemble provides an opportunity for computer musicians to compose, programme, perform and improvise in an ensemble context. The ensemble makes use of controllers and sensors, explores digital instrument design and live electronics, and collaborates with other musicians/ensembles/art forms.
Curated by students on the BMus in Popular Music and featuring students from the Department of Music, this regular open mic night has tunes from solo sets of singer/songwriters to bands. In addition to offering a phenomenal viewing spectacle, in true Goldsmiths tradition there are often additional slots available if you wish to take part. For more information, email email@example.com
Womxn in Jazz Workshops
Meets fortnightly on Thursdays, 6pm - 8pm, in RHB 164
This student-led group (by women who are already involved and familiar with jazz language, techniques, and repertoire) is for female musicians who want to learn and be involved in Jazz within a safe space but have different musical training. This will involve creating workshops on paraphrasing melodies in Jazz; soloing and improvising (call and response); rhythm section workshops (comping patterns; comping in Swing, Latin, Bossa etc).
Contact Maria on firstname.lastname@example.org