This article provides information about musical activities available at the University.

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. Here are some ensembles you might be interested in:



In recent years, concerts have included works such as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Verdi’s magnificent Requiem and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. We also collaborate with other choirs including the Portsmouth Festival Choir. This year's repertoire will include works by Faure and Handel. The choir normally performs twice a year in a variety of local venues, including the two Portsmouth cathedrals, and in addition takes part in the University Carol Service.



The Orchestra performs a wide variety of repertoires with three programmes each year; the first usually a shared concert with the Big Band, and then for the second we turn into a pit orchestra for the Dramatic and Musical Society production (see below). The final programme either prepares music for our biennial international tour, or might provide an opportunity to perform with the choir or on our own. The Orchestra plays music ranging from film music to Dvorak's New World Symphony to dance music. Players need to be a minimum of grade 5 standard, and wind players will usually be asked to audition due to a high demand for places. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm in the White Swan Building.


Wind Band

The Wind Band performs a light repertoire of music from the stage and screen, pop songs from various decades and well-known classical pieces and folk songs.

All woodwind and brass instruments are welcome, as well as string bass, drums and percussion. The recommended standard for members is Grade 3 minimum, although beginners are welcome to enhance their learning in a friendly, relaxed environment.


Dramatic and Musical Society (DMS)

The Dramatic and Musical Society (DMS) performs a musical or light opera in a professional theatre in Portsmouth each year. Recent productions have included Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro. The Society is always looking for talented people to come and join. We also welcome choreographers, musical helpers and people to fill production roles such as props, costume and set. No experience is necessary and all abilities are welcome.


Big Band

This is a full big band with saxophone, trombone, trumpet and rhythm sections. As well as jazz standards the band also plays funk, soul and blues. It plays in a wide variety of settings including local pubs, concerts and balls. Auditions are held for singers and sections that are over-subscribed.


Smaller ensembles

A variety of smaller ensembles such as string quartets and brass quintets are also available subject to demand.

The Music Department also offers an exciting series of professional chamber music concerts given at the Guildhall. For further information, please visit the Portsmouth Chamber Music page.


Interested in participating?

If you are interested in participating in any of these musical activities, please complete the registration form.

For more details about some of the other events that are hosted by the music department, please see this article. To book tickets for all of our concerts, please visit the University's online store.

Music Department contact details are available here.