We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Durham University News


Get involved with Durham University music

(3 March 2017)

DURHAM University is inviting more residents to enjoy the first-class music on offer from its students, available close to home and at affordable prices.

The University highly values student participation in extra-curricular activities such as music, believing they play a crucial part in developing life skills and the desire to make a positive difference to the world, both before and after graduation.

Durham has long been known for the quality of its student music. Around 1,200 students are regularly involved across 60 ensembles, with about 50 concerts staged each year. Activity is co-ordinated by Music Durham, a forum for organising and promoting music making around the city.

Swing, Strings and Sir Tom

One highlight of this year’s programme will take place on Friday, March 10, when Sir Thomas Allen, the University’s Chancellor and world-renowned opera star, will give a one-off concert of jazz and big band classics at the Gala Theatre, Durham City.

Accompanied by the string section of the Durham University Orchestral Society and the award-winning Durham University Big Band, the Seaham Harbour-born baritone will ditch his operatic persona to delve into the world of Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra.

The Swing, Strings and Sir Tom concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £15 for adults and £10 for students and concessions, are available via

Looking further ahead, two major concerts are planned for June: a celebration of British music and composers, which will take place in Durham Cathedral on Friday, June 2, and Around the World in 80 Minutes, a celebration of music from across the globe, which will be staged in Durham Castle on Sunday, June 4. These events mark the opening of the Durham Festival of the Arts, a festival organised by members of Music Durham and Durham Student Theatre.

Music Durham also stages lunchtime recitals, runs masterclasses with visiting professionals, offers funding and financial support and operates a successful outreach programme to schools and children in North East England.

Schools outreach

Durham University Brass Band’s Schools Team regularly visits primary schools to give assemblies and short performances; the Palatinate Orchestra invites more than 500 primary school children to the Gala Theatre each February to perform for them and teach them about the instruments of the orchestra; and Northern Lights, an a cappella ensemble, performed Christmas carols for the Children’s Ward at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

Abi Groocock, President of Music Durham and Principal Conductor of Durham University Brass Band, said: “We have some wonderfully talented student musicians at Durham University and we’d love more local people to come and enjoy the performances we put on.

“In addition, many of our students are passionate about sharing their expertise with others and I’d encourage any schools or groups that would like to hear more about our outreach programme to get in touch.”

For more information on Music Durham, visit

For more information on Durham University’s cultural contribution to North East England, visit

This article was originally featured in the Durham Times.