Performance and composition opportunities
If you like making music in ensembles there are plenty of opportunities at Leeds within and outside your course. Choral, orchestral, new music and band projects are regularly run as part of modules in the School, but there are many extra-curricular groups you can join too—see the student union performance societies for more information. You might audition to play a concerto, play Indonesian gamelan, find a string quartet or a funk band, play in symphonic winds, sing in an opera, audition for Big Band, join Leeds Baroque Orchestra/Choir, or try your hand at conducting—the opportunities are endless!
Solo performance at Leeds
BMus (Performance) students must take solo performance as part of their degree, but for other programmes it’s an option (you’ll need to be grade 7 distinction/grade 8 merit standard). You’ll receive individual lesson funding as part of your module, have the services of our resident pianist for classes, concerts and exams, and get opportunities to try out repertoire during performance classes. Practice facilities are open 7 days a week, and there are percussion, early keyboard/orchestral instruments and a chamber organ available. We also offer free masterclasses, and support musicians’ health through a programme of workshops and events. Student performers regularly feature in our concert series.
Choral music, opera and musical theatre
Choral opportunities abound in Leeds. A thriving student opera society mounts productions each year, and there are several musical-theatre societies in the student union. Through our DARE partnership with Opera North students get access to backstage company activities as well as performances, and we’ve recently run a module in collaboration with the company. You might want to audition for the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, a high-quality chamber choir based in the School of Music which performs regularly and also tours and records. The School regularly mounts choral projects, and there are vocal scholarships available in local churches. Many musical-theatre opportunities are available through school contacts and activities, both on campus and throughout the region.
Choral and organ scholarships
Leeds Cathedral offers £1500 choral scholarships and there are also awards for organists and choral conductors. Leeds Minster also offers £1500 scholarships for singers. Bradford Cathedral offers some undergraduate or postgraduate choral scholarships; to find out more please contact the Director of Music, Alex Woodrow.
A £3000 organ scholarship is offered for suitably qualified applicants at St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Roundhay (3-manual Abbot and Smith Organ, refurbished 2012); email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. There may also be paid opportunities available for Sunday morning services at St. Peters, Sicklinghall, for flautists/violinists/singers and pianists/organists; please contact email@example.com for further information.
It may be possible for you to arrange an audition for these opportunities when you visit Leeds for an interview or audition.
The School’s new music ensemble, LS Two, performs student composition work, as well as challenging new music at the highest level, and composers and performers regularly come to work with students. Hans-Joachim Hespos recently spent a week in Leeds working with students in preparation for a concert of his works, and gave individual composition tutorials. There are also opportunities for developing skills in electronic music performance, computer music composition, and sound recording practice. Creative and experimental approaches to performing and composing with analogue synthesizers, computer software or other forms of music technology are encouraged, and students have opportunities to have their works performed on the School’s concert hall sound diffusion system. The student Music Society also runs an active Composers’ Ensemble, which holds events each term.