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The Music Department offers a wide range of musical activities open to all

Coronavirus update

This page includes information on activities you can usually take part in throughout the academic year. However, not all activities will be available during Teaching Block 2 due to social distancing.

We will update this page in line with Government guidelines as soon as new information is available.

The Music Department offers a wide range of musical activities to all students regardless of their area of study. Participating in an ensemble is very rewarding, and is made all the more so by lots of concerts, social activities, and an international tour every other year

We embrace all levels of performers and provide a supportive, friendly and socially vibrant environment to engage with music. Some instruments are available for hire, and advice can be given about private tuition for those who are interested. Find out more about getting involved with our ensembles here.

Join an ensemble

If you're interested in playing jazz, funk, soul and blues, you can join our Big Band. The band has saxophone, trombone, trumpet and rhythm sections and plays in various venues, and at concerts and balls.

When you join our University choir, you'll usually perform twice a year in local venues, including in the Portsmouth cathedrals, and take part in the University Carol Service. Recent concerts included works such as Haydn's Nelson Mass and Handel's Messiah. We've also collaborated with other local choirs such as the Portsmouth Festival Choir.

Our choir offers choral scholarships to singers studying any subject at Portsmouth. You'll get free individual singing lessons with one of our singing tutors and be an ambassador for our choir. Contact the Music Department at to apply for a choral scholarship.

Join our Concert Band and you'll get to play music from the stage and screen, pop songs from various decades and well-known classical pieces and folk songs. We welcome all woodwind and brass instruments as well as string bass, drums and percussion.

Ideally, you should play to grade 3 standard. But if you're a beginner and you're keen to develop your learning in a friendly, relaxed environment, you're also welcome.

Join our Dramatic and Musical Society and take part in a musical or light opera in a professional theatre in Portsmouth each year. Acting experience isn't necessary. We also welcome choreographers, musical helpers and people to work in production roles such as props, costume and set.

Recent productions by the society include Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story.

If you play an instrument to grade 5 standard, you can join our University orchestra. If you're a wind player, you might be asked to audition at the beginning of the academic year due to a high demand for places. When you become a member of the orchestra, you'll take part in 3 performances a year.

The first performance is usually a shared concert with the University Concert Band, where you'll play music such as Dvorak's New World Symphony and Tchaikovsky's 6th. The second performance supports the Dramatic and Musical Society for their annual February production at the New Theatre Royal.

The third performance is usually a jamboree concert featuring all our ensembles. Every other year the performance also serves as preparation for our biennial international tour, where you'll play music such as Dvorak's New World Symphony and Tchaikovsky's 6th.

Private tuition

Our Music Department offers private tuition in voice, piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone and music theory. We can also help you find a private tutor for most other musical instruments.

Students' Union music societies

If you want to be part of the local music scene in Portsmouth, you can start by joining one of the music societies run by students through our Students' Union.

Classical music

Many events take place at the Guildhall, while orchestras, choirs and amateur dramatic (AmDram) societies perform in theatres, cathedrals and churches around the city and surrounding areas.

The website Music in Portsmouth lists classical concerts in and around Portsmouth. The Portsmouth Chamber Music Series runs from October to May. And you can buy tickets for classical music events on our online store.

Organ scholarship

If you're a talented organ player, you can apply for a Foundation Organ Scholarship at St Mary's Church, a large inner-city parish church. The year-long scholarship is for organists aged 16–25. You don't have to be part of the Anglican Church to apply, but you should be prepared to take part in their traditions.

Music charities

If you love music and want to be involved in using music to benefit disadvantaged communities, you can support several music charities in and around Portsmouth.

Tonic: Music for Mental Health

Tonic: Music for Mental Health funds music workshops, gigs, art groups and community projects to help people recover from mental health problems. Tonic has celebrity support from artists including Terry Hall from The Specials and Kevin Cummins, a legendary rock photographer.

Music Fusion

Music Fusion is a charity based in Havant that encourages young people to make music. Their East Street recording studio is a safe, friendly and creative space for young people to connect, socialise and make music. They also encourage young artists to use music as a platform for positive social action.

The CEO and Founder of Music Fusion, Jinx Prowse, is one of our alumni. Jinx supports future entrepreneurs for social change through our Entrepreneurs in Residence programme.

Register for musical activities

If you are interested in musical activities, please email with the following information:

  • Your name (required), email address (required), mobile phone number and landline number
  • Whether you are a current student, graduate, or other person (please state you connection to the University) 
  • If you sing or play any instruments (please give details and an approximate indication of your standard)
  • What you are interested in:
    • Attending concerts
    • Big band
    • Choir
    • Dramatic and Musical Society
    • International tours
    • Orchestra
    • Wind Band

A member of the Music Department will contact you soon with further details.

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