Performance at Goldsmiths
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.
We have now returned to the Great Hall with a whole evening festival with music created over the week. Previous shows are still up on our channel 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. More information is on the notice boards on the Music Department corridor on the ground floor in RHB.
- Chamber Choir
- Contemporary Music Ensemble
- Creative Jazz Ensemble and Workshop
- Dzenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
- Electronic Music Studios
- Experimental Jazz Ensemble
- Goldsmiths Keyboard Collective (TBC)
- Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
- Improvisors' Collective
- Laptop Ensemble
- Simon Says
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 are held during Enrolment Week and at the beginning of Term 2.
Chamber Music Ensembles
We support a variety of ensembles, and some are integrated with our degree programmes. Students are encouraged to form their 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 RHB 167, directed by Mira Benjamin (Term 1) and Andrew Zolinsky (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 (CJE)
Rehearses on Tuesdays, 6pm – 8.30pm in RHB 167.
Directed by saxophonist Paul Bartholomew, the Creative Jazz Ensemble for 2022/23 will focus on smaller ensembles such as saxes and rhythm section, little big band, trumpets and rhythm section, voices and rhythm section and 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 Jazz composer/arrangers to fit in with the Department's approach to diversity.
Due to the strong interest in the ensemble and Jazz repertoire by a significant number of the student body across all courses, priority is 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 (but there’s always space for wind/brass/strings who just like to “read the dots” as well). Entry is usually by audition in enrolment 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 – CJW is open to all students at all levels from our different courses - but please register interest via the sign-up sheet in the lower music corridor during Enrolment Week.
Djenjuzu Mbira Ensemble
Meeting on Tuesdays, 6pm - 8pm in RHB 279
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, using the new EMS-TV space. Keep an eye on the noticeboards for info.
Experimental Jazz Ensemble
Meets on Fridays 6pm - 8pm in RHB 280
Led by Moss Freed, the Experimental Jazz Ensemble focusses on hybrid and experimental musics rooted in jazz, groove and free improvisation. We look to the music of American pioneers such as John Zorn, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Henry Threadgill and Anthony Braxton alongside European ensembles such as the ICP Orchestra and Globe Unity Ensemble and particularly more recent UK groups including Let Spin, Polar Bear, Sloth Racket and the Spike Orchestra. We will work on groove, rhythm and harmony in the context of collective composition and group improvisation.
Meets on Wednesdays 4pm - 6pm 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 Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm 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 hosted by the Students Union has tunes from solo sets of singers/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 the Great Hall. (Term 2 TBC)
We are excited to welcome Roger Redgate to lead a string ensemble this year. If you play a wind/brass instrument, do get in touch, as we will endeavour to find repertoire to bring in all players. We welcome players from outside the department, so get in touch!
Vocal Ensemble - Singing in the African American Tradition
Meets on Wednesdays 6pm - 8pm in RHB 280.
Connect with yourself and others and increase your confidence in singing with others. These expressive workshops are a great place to build relationships and work together through singing. By creating a safe space to be vulnerable, Brenda's workshops help groups deepen their connection and communication, the process is a workshop process but we will be singing in groups where you can explore and find where you feel you belong - vocally.
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. They will be meeting on Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm in RHB 269.
We also have a Jazz Choir (meeting on Wednesdays from 2pm in RHB 269) and a Songwriting Club, (meeting on Tuesdays from 4pm in RHB 268) where students can bring along works in progress, lyrics ideas, arrangement or production ideas, problems and questions. You can share work live or in recorded form, at whatever stage it's in.