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, this year, we are ringing the changes by hosting Music Week in the marquee on the back field, with live music from 1st and 2nd year Popular Music students, the Sinfonia, Jazz Ensembles, Keyboard Collective and Choir. This is a free event, come and join us!
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 or call 020 7919 7645. We actively support student initiatives to setup their own groups, so please get in touch.
Our ensembles include:
- Goldsmiths Sinfonia
- Chamber Choir
- Composers Collective
- Contemporary Music Ensemble
- Creative Jazz Ensemble and Workshop
- Dzenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
- Electronic Music Studios
- Keyboard Collective
- Lunchtime & Evening Recitals
- Simon Says
- Music Collective
- Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
- plus student-led ensembles
Rehearses on Wednesdays 2pm – 5pm in The Great Hall/George Wood Theatre
The Goldsmiths Sinfonia is an auditioning ensemble has gained a reputation for the quality of their performances under the direction of professional conductors. The Sinfonia in Term 1 will be conducted by Roger Redgate, with the concert on Friday 6 December 2019 in St John's Waterloo. Rehearsals start on Wednesday 9 October and we’re always on the look out for new players - do look at the notice-board in the main Music Corridor (ground floor of RHB) for rehearsal information. Auditions will be held on Friday 27 September morning. Bring a piece to play and there will be some sight-reading.
Recent works performed include Roy Harris Symphony No.3; John Adams Tromba Lontana; Prokofiev Classical Symphony, Colin McPhee Tabuh-Tabuhan, Doreen Carwithen Bishop Rock; Stravinsky’s Firebird and Symphony in 3 Movements. The most advanced performers in the department can audition to perform a concerto with the Sinfonia at the end of Term 3 for the following academic year, recent concerti include Mimi Jasson & Francis Devine performing Graham Fitkin’s Circuit for two pianos; Tom Pickles performing Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1 and Ksenjia Laskova performing Dorothy Howell's Piano Concerto.
Our policy of promoting twentieth-century and contemporary music has entailed many premières and performances of works by living composers such as Errollyn Wallen, Nicola Lefanu, Giles Swayne, Edwin Roxburgh, Edward Gregson and Sadie Harrison.
Rehearses on Mondays 6pm – 8pm 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. Recent concerts have included the launch event for the new OUP volume Russian Sacred Music for Choirs (ed. Noëlle Mann) and at the Ivashkin Memorial Concert, conducted by Mark Shanahan at the Royal Festival Hall. Auditions will be held on Friday 27 September in the afternoon.
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 in Term 1 and leading contemporary pianist Andrew Zolinsky in Term 2, 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
Rehearses on Thursdays, 4pm - 6pm in RHB 167
Directed by saxophonist Paul Bartholomew, the main aim is to explore a broad range of repertoire for the larger jazz ensemble and to develop good ensemble technique, reading and improvisational skills. Composers such as Duke Ellington, Chick Corea, Charlie Mingus, Carla Bley, Kenny Wheeler, Lennie Niehaus and Gil Evans have all been featured as well as student arrangements. CJE is supportive of a mixed range of jazz experience from both Popular Music and BMus Music and for 2019/20 welcomes the interest of non-jazz players in woodwind, brass, strings and voice. New interested students including rhythm section players should sign up for a slot on the CJE jazz diagnostics afternoon on Thursday 26 September via the sign-up sheet in the lower music corridor.
Creative Jazz Workshop
Rehearses on Mondays 6pm – 8pm in RHB 280
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 and for more information, see the CJE pages on learn.gold
Djenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
Rehearses on Fridays 6pm – 8pm in RHB 280
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. We also support the Contingent Events, organised by Tom Mudd, the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR) and the EAVI concert series.
Goldsmiths Keyboard Collective
Rehearses on Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm in RHB 279
Leading contemporary pianist Andrew Zolinsky leads this auditioned ensemble in 20th and 21st century works for two or more keyboards, with a focus on minimalist repertoire. Recent composers have included Glass, Reich, Fitkin, Nunn and Zev Gordon. The GKC gives concerts throughout the year, including at the PureGold Festival. Auditions will be on Thursday 26 September from 4pm.
Lunchtime & Evening recitals
Concerts take place on Wednesday lunchtimes and Tuesday evenings in Deptford Town Hall, which houses our majestic Steinway Model D concert grand piano. Recitals range from solo to ensemble performances by both students and professional musicians and are free and open to the public.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Meets on Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm in RHB 167
This group focuses on experimentation, improvisation and the use of new technologies. Players are encouraged to write and arrange for the collective. The line-up is flexible and it is open to all with no audition.
Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
Rehearses on Tuesdays 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Deptford Town Hall (Term 1 only)
The GVE is directed by Osnat Schmool and Alice Grant, with a repertoire of gospel, jazz, and popular music. The GVE performs outside the university, including performances at the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall and Glastonbury Festival (with the Matthew Herbert Big Band), h2dance, Robert Mitchell’s Panacea at the London Jazz Festival and with the Goldsmiths [big] String and with Mercury Prize Nominated artist ESKA, on her English Skies project at London’s Southbank Centre.