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The blog takes its name from two notable people from our past (Bantock and Raybould – read more about them below) and “me”, as it is written by current students and staff and alumni.

The blog was set up to provide an insight into what it’s actually like to study Music here at the University of Birmingham and create an online community for our students, applicants, staff, alumni and beyond.

Find out more about:

  • What our students get up to on a day-to-day basis
  • What modules they enjoy
  • What opportunities they get stuck in to at the university and further afield
  • What Birmingham is really like
  • And much more!

It is also intended to provide advice and guidance for potential students, provide a behind the scenes look at the Department, showcase the successes of our alumni, and the research being conducted by the Department’s staff and postgraduate researchers.

We are:

  • Charlotte, 3rd year BMus Music
  • Zoe, 1st year BA Music & Modern Languages (French and German)
  • Will, 2nd year BMus Music
  • Carolyn, 2nd year BMus Music
  • Heather, 2nd year BMus Music
  • Usha, 3rd year BMus Music
  • Sophie, 1st year BMus Music
  • Adele, 2nd year BMus Music
  • Beth & Libby, editors

We are also keen to feature guest contributors, such as other students and staff from the Department and across the University and graduates.  If you would like to contribute, please get in touch with Beth – e.a.astington@bhama.ac.uk

Who are Bantock and Raybould?

Sir Granville Bantock had considerable impact on the University of Birmingham’s Department of Music during his time here from 1908 to 1934, much of which can still be seen today. His role was that of Peyton Professor of Music – in fact he held this role immediately after Sir Edward Elgar, who had not enjoyed university life and resigned the position as soon as he could.

Generally, Sir Bantock is credited with founding a more holistic system of musical education, providing a broadly-based and enterprising programme of learning: students studied a variety of styles and periods, with a notable stress on ‘modern’ music.

He is also attributed with the responsibility for the links between UoB and the Birmingham Conservatoire. In 1900 he had become Principal of the Birmingham and Midland Institute School of Music (which later became the Birmingham Conservatoire) and on joining UoB he began intertwining the educational work of the two establishments.

Many notable musicians visited the university under Sir Bantock’s reign – at the Triennial Musical Festival of 1912, the Music Department welcomed and entertained none other than Jean Sibelius, whom Sir Bantock had first met in 1905. The two became great friends, and Sibelius even dedicated his Third Symphony to Sir Bantock. Another major dedication to Sir Bantock was when Edward Elgar dedicated the second of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to him.

Another of Sir Bantock’s connections to Birmingham was his influence in the founding of the City of Birmingham orchestra (later the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), whose first performance in September 1920 was of his overture Saul.

Clarence Raybould was the first person to receive a BMus degree at the University of Birmingham. He was born in Birmingham and was a student under Sir Bantock and graduated in 1912.

Raybould went on to become a conductor, composer and pianist. Among his notable achievements are that he was assistant conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1939 to 1945, after which he became the first conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales in 1945, and was its principal conductor until 1966. In 1951 he also he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in their first concert in the recently opened Royal Festival Hall.