Performance at Goldsmiths

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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 back field, with live music from 1st and 2nd year Popular Music students, the Sinfonia, Jazz Ensembles, Keyboard Collective and Choir. This year, Covid permitting, we'll be back in Goldsmiths Great Hall.

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.

Please note, whilst we are unable to predit the Covid future, we are hoping some of our ensembles will take place in 2021/22 and include:

  • Chamber Choir
  • Sinfonia
  • Composers Collective
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • Creative Jazz Ensemble and Workshop
  • Dzenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
  • Electronic Music Studios
  • Keyboard Collective
  • Lunchtime & Evening Recitals
  • Simon Says
  • Improvisers' Collective
  • plus student-led ensembles

Goldsmiths Sinfonia

Rehearses on Wednesdays 2pm – 5pm in The Great Hall
The Goldsmiths Sinfonia is an auditioning ensemble has gained a reputation for the quality of their performances under the direction of professional conductors.  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 during Enrolment Week - 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 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.

Chamber Choir

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.  Auditions will be 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 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 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 via the sign-up sheet in the lower music corridor during Enrolment Week.

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 during Enrolment Week 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 are also hoping to run a laptop ensemble for the new academic year. Keep an eye on the noticeboards for info.

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, Gardiner, Fitkin, Nunn and Zev Gordon plus student compostions. The GKC gives concerts throughout the year, including at the PureGold Festival. Auditions will be held during Enrolment Week.

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.

Simon Says

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 simonsays.gold@gmail.com

Improvisers' Collective

Meets on Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm in RHB 167
This group focuses on experimentation, improvisation and the use of new technologies. The 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.

Keep in Touch

If you want to be kept up-to-date on all Music Department events, check out the
online events calendar or follow us on social media on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.