What we offer

Here at the University of Portsmouth, music is playing an increasingly important part in our degree programmes. However, the Music Department is purely recreational, which means that every student is given the same opportunities to join one of our ensembles, attend performances and go on international tours.

We aim to provide a positive musical experience to all who are interested - students, staff or members of the community, regardless of ability and experience.

The department is open from 8am to 8.30pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8am to 6pm on Fridays.

Listed below are the ensembles and a brief description of what they entail.

If you would like to join one of these groups after reading this section, please go to our register here page.

Full details of rehearsal times and venues are available on our news and events page.


In recent years, concerts have included works such as Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Handel’s Messiah. We have also collaborated with other choirs, including the Portsmouth Festival Choir.

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.

Students who are part of the Choral Scholarship are required to attend choir every week.

The student choir rehearses from 5.30 with the rest of the choir joining them at 6.30 until 8pm.

Rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings in Eldon Building Room EW 1.11.


The Orchestra performs a wide variety of repertoire with three programmes each year; the first is usually a shared concert with the Concert Band, and then for the second we join the Dramatic and Musical Society for their annual production in February in the orchestra pit of the New Theatre Royal.

The final programme either prepares music for our biennial international tour, or might provide an opportunity to perform with the other ensembles in the department. The orchestra plays music ranging from well-known movie soundtracks to Dvorak's New World Symphony to dance music.

This year’s repertoire includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 which will be performed in November.

Players need to be a minimum of grade 5 standard, and wind players will usually be asked to audition at the beginning of the year due to a high demand for places.

Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm in studios 4 and 5 of the White Swan Building.

Concert Band

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

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.

The Concert Band rehearses every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm-8.30pm in studios 4 and 5 of the White Swan Building.

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 Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

The Society is always looking for dedicated performers 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.

From February 27 to 29 2020, DMS will perform Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at the New Theatre Royal.

Rehearsals are every Tuesday from 6.30-9.30pm in studio 1 of the White Swan Building. Additional rehearsals are held for principals on Thursday evenings.

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.

Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm in studio 5 of the White Swan Building.

Music Society

Students may wish to join the Music Society which exists to promote concerts and organise social events. You do not have to be a member of an ensemble to join this.

Private Tuition

The Music Department is able to private tuition in voice, piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone and music theory.

We are also usually able to find a teacher for most other instruments on request.

For more information, contact the Music Department on

Practice Rooms

The Music Department has limited practice facilities in the White Swan Building at the heart of the Guildhall campus.

For information on how to book these, please contact the Music Department on

Organ Scholarship

An organ scholarship is available at St Mary's Church - please contact the Music Director for further details.

Choral Scholarship

The University of Portsmouth Choir is offering choral scholarships to singers from any subject area in the University.

The scholarships provide free individual singing lessons with one of our excellent in-house singing teachers and participation in our university choirs.

Please email for more information on how to apply.