When I arrived in Birmingham, I underestimated how much music there is to see and play here. From UoB’s campus, to the heart of the city, all your musical tastes will be catered for.
Read on to see what Brum can offer:
Music students are lucky enough to have cheap, often free access to the fantastic concerts on offer. The Elgar Concert Hall (pictured above), the Dome, and the Barber Concert Hall are great venues to play in and visit. The uni hosts both external ensembles (such as Voces8), and student groups, like the orchestras and jazz ensembles, which regularly perform in the Elgar. Student ensembles often perform off campus too most recently, UoB Voices performed in the Proms with Simon Rattle. UoB is also the home of
BEAST and mini-‐BEAST, which has weekly concerts in the Dome. I’d never explored electroacoustic music before uni, but these concerts showed me a new area to pursue. It’s great that the UoB music scene is so diverse, because you are introduced to new musical topics that you’d never considered before. I’d say that’s something very exciting and worth cherishing.
It’s fun to venture into the city, where you can watch concerts in Town Hall or Symphony Hall (THSH). Luckily for 16-25 year olds, THSH offers the SoundBite scheme, where you can get up to 50% off tickets and membership is free. This means you can see the CBSO, James Rhodes, or Nicola Benedetti for a fraction of the price! You can use SoundBite to get discount tickets for non–‐classical events too, making it even more appealing! Additionally, musicians are can audition for CBSO Youth or CBSO Youth Chorus, which are non–‐uni affiliated ensembles. But don’t be fooled – Birmingham isn’t only for classical and jazz musicians. Any music fan can get involved in the music scene, on or off campus.
There are many genre-specific societies, such as Hip Hop or DubSoc, where fans meet to discuss new releases and go to gigs, often with cheaper tickets. BurnFM allows members to present radio shows and write content for the website, as well as interview exciting artists, like James Bay. It’s a great insight into the music industry and media in general. For musical theatre lovers, there’s GMTG. They put on some wonderful productions with scarily talented casts. Whether you love being on stage, or behind the scenes, GMTG is great for theatre experience.
In previous years, artists have overlooked Birmingham, but it’s finally getting the recognition it deserves. Venues like Institute, Hare & Hounds, and O2 academies host both large and little names, from Craig Charles DJ sets, to Die Antwoord, and James Bay. It’s not an exaggeration when I say Birmingham has something musical for everyone, musicians and fans alike. Whether you’re playing in a string quartet, or jumping in a mosh pit in Digbeth, you’ll find your ‘thing’. There’s no shortage of people who want to join you, so get out there and have fun!