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Estival singers performing at the Holy Name Church on Oxford Road


Performance is at the heart of everything we do.

The best of both worlds

Staging over one hundred live music events each year, the Music department is unique in its combination of academic excellence and conservatoire levels of performance.

If you are a performer, you will feel immediately at home in our exceptional environment. If you are a composer, you will gain from having your work performed by outstanding musicians. If you are a musicologist, you will be immersed in the music you are studying and will be actively engaged with its presentation and dissemination.

And if you are an all-rounder, or have yet to decide where your true passion lies, you will have all this (and more) to choose from as your chart your own path through your degree.

More than 100 musical events each year

Leo Gayer

At Manchester I conducted the university’s orchestras and ensembles and alongside the conducting tuition, this provided me with the skills and experience I needed to establish my career.

Leo Gayer / GRNCM Composition and MusB Music

Excellence and opportunity: from symphonies and operas to jazz, gamelan and klezmer – from early music and string quartets to cutting-edge experimental music, electroacoustic diffusion and mixed media, and from a capella choirs and a 250-strong University Chorus to musical theatre and barbershop. We do all this, and more.

For us there are no boundaries, there is just music! We value music in all its spectacular diversity: what really matters to us is doing what we do well. And we are able to do just this thanks to the unique infrastructure that allows experienced staff and talented students to work together so intensively.

The Manchester University Music Society (MUMS) and the University of Manchester Chorus collaborate closely with the Music department in organising most of the music making at the university.

With oversight and mentoring from our highly experienced concert staff in the Martin Harris Centre (MHC), our students gain hands-on experience of how the music profession works in practice alongside their academic studies, such that the two complement one another at every step of the journey.

Each society has its own committee that does everything from hiring the music, booking venues for concerts and rehearsals, auditioning soloists, creating and printing programmes, to stewarding and stage management, managing finances, and marketing and publicity.

Many of our graduates have established successful careers off the back of the experience they have gained from working with the Music Society.

Overseen by two professional conductors, Mark Heron (RNCM) and Robert Guy (freelance conductor), these societies also offer the most comprehensive conducting programme provided by any university. Each year, a number of apprentice conductors receive professional mentoring as they develop a repertoire from rehearsal to concert performance.

Students may also audition to take conducting as their principal study in their final year (normally culminating in a concert performance of one or two large symphonic or choral works). Many of our recent graduates are already winning the highest accolades as professional conductors.

Outstanding instrumental and vocal teachers

Ben Horrigan

[...] my experience managing concerts for the Music Society has prepared me remarkably well for being a BBC producer.

Ben Horrigan / MusB Music

In a city that is home to the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata, the extraordinary amount of high-calibre professional music-making going on around us means that we can engage instrumental teachers of the very highest standard.

The majority of our instrumental teachers (many of whom are shared with the RNCM) are drawn from the city’s three professional orchestras.