Music at Reading has enjoyed a busy summer term, bringing to a conclusion a really great year of events and concerts. Membership has increased in all our ensembles, and we have performed a number of sell-out concerts throughout the year on campus and beyond. This has left us in a good financial position, and we are currently investing in new instruments, PA equipment and sheet music to support our work next year.

This term, we launched our new Musical Leaders scheme for advanced solo performers. Our new musical leaders Laura Braithwaite, Yina Cai, Tunde Geher-Herczegh, Rosemary Hunt, Ellie Jones, Marco Munari, Hannah Penn and Lucy Stokes, and they will be taking part in conducting, performance, and leadership workshops, and become sectional leaders for Music at Reading ensembles. They have performed at a variety of events across campus this term. They presented at the Staff Summer Celebration on 7th June, and at Forgotten Voices on 8th June. Look out for them at the summer graduation, and taking solo spots in Festival Sinfonia at the Together Festival in November, and at Hollywood Christmas in December.  

Big Band lead a fantastic musical line up at the Big Band Big Lunch on 1st June. The band played a number of sets throughout the day, alongside a Mamma Mia singalong from Campus Voices, and a range of great performances from RUMS brass group, jazz group and RUMS choir. Chamber Choir and Academic Voices presented Forgotten Voices at St Luke’s Church on 8th June. The programme featured music from different cultures and societies, and featured music from women and LGBT composers , including Antony and the Johnsons, Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, Cecilia McDowall, Freddie Mercury and Thea Musgrave. We were delighted to welcome Amy Hitchings and George Stokes, who read extracts from their Undergraduate Research Opportunities Project, telling the stories of men who had been imprisoned in Reading Gaol in the 18th and 19th centuries for homosexual acts. 

Check out our gallery to see photos from all of our events this term.

In the Autumn term, we are establishing two new jazz ensembles: Signature Sounds and Jazz Sounds, which will replace Big Band. Signature Sounds will be an advanced level, audition entry ensemble of around 25 players, based on a swing band orchestration and will be led by Dae Lee who is a professional jazz drummer and teacher based in London. Jazz Sounds is a flexibly voiced, intermediate level ensemble including any band or orchestral instrument, and will be led by Jamie Howell, who is a composer and guitarist. Both ensembles will also need vocalists, and players in the rhythm section (piano, bass, drums and guitar). The vision for these ensembles is to provide a wider range of opportunities for all instrumentalists by offering jazz performance, improvisation and musicianship training at intermediate and advanced levels. We look forward to seeing Signature Sounds and Jazz Sounds perform throughout the year. 

Have a great summer!