Music at Bangor
With magnificent facilities, world-class staff expertise, and one of the most vibrant performing environments of any UK university, Bangor is an exceptional location to study Music.
Our Music degrees provide an excellent experience and understanding of the richness of music as a vibrant part of our everyday lives. Our core study of ‘classical’ music – from early music to the great symphonies and right up to the present – offers a timeless foundation for your development as an extraordinary musician. Bangor music courses also explore aspects of popular music, jazz, and music of various cultures from Wales to Brazil, allowing you to specialize in your chosen styles and genres.
If you’re a composer, you’ll be working at cutting edge of composition and sound art, working with internationally-acclaimed composers in our brand new studio facilities. Performers benefit from one-to-one tuition with professional musicians, world-class instruments, and several world-class performance spaces. Our popular options in conducting, music teaching, studio skills, and music in health and well-being will prepare you for the widest possible range of careers in music.
Studying music at Bangor will prepare you for an ambitious career after graduating. You will have exceptional employment prospects.
Every year over 95% of music graduates find employment or undertake further study within six months of graduating.
Former students have gone on to be professional performers, composers, teachers, academics, administrators and managers in arts organisations, music librarians, educational advisers, music therapists, radio producers, researchers, and television presenters – among many other careers.
The music degrees on offer to you are distinctive in that they offer a unique balance of subject breadth with opportunities to specialise, meaning that you’re sure to find the ideal course to challenge and stimulate you.
Bangor offers two single-honours undergraduate degrees in Music. Choose the BMus programme is if you want to specialise entirely in Music, or the BA Music programme is you would like the option of taking modules in other subjects.
Music at Bangor is part of the School of Music & Media, which also offers degrees in:
- Game Design
- Media Production
- Media Studies
- Creative and Professional Writing
The school’s great strength is in the diversity of expertise available, and the opportunity to work with staff and your fellow students in other disciplines. Together you can create something special!
This offers you unique opportunities to develop their skills further by working closely with other creative practitioners and scholars. You will also able to study Music as half of a joint-honours programme alongside one of your other subjects, as well as many others including languages, literature, history, philosophy, and electronic engineering.
If you’re enrolled on any of these programmes you may take an additional year of International Experience, fully supported by the University, at any point in your studies.
Nestled in a breathtaking location between the Snowdonia mountains and the sea, Bangor is an inspirational place to play, study and enjoy music.
The Music department is situated at the heart of the University campus, offering a close-knit and friendly community alongside the bustle of cafes, shops and city life.
Music is everywhere at Bangor University. In addition to the performance opportunities offered by the School (such as the University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus), the Students’ Union runs several musical societies which are completely free to join. As a Bangor student, you can be a member of any of the following ensembles and groups, which meet weekly and give regular public performances:
- Bangor University Symphony Orchestra
- Bangor University Chamber Choir
- Bangor University Symphony Chorus
- Bangor University Opera
- Bangor University Brass Band
- Bangor University Concert Band
- Bangor University Folk Society (Cadi Ha)
- Bangor University Jazz Band
- Bangor University Live Music and Bands Society
- Bangor University Music Society Orchestra and Choir
- Bangor University String Orchestra
- SODA (musicals society)
We also have an exciting programmes of concerts throughout the year, including performers such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Allegri String Quartet, Elin Manahan Thomas, and Catrin Finch. There’s an annual Music Festival, and in 2019 and 2020 we are hosting UniBrass, the national brass band contest for universities.
A Music Location
Bangor enjoys first-rate music facilities on campus, providing you with the ideal-environment for cutting edge music research, performance, composition and learning.
Your teaching will take place in three buildings, constructed between 1850 and 1911, that have received £3 million of investment since 2015, providing you with a beautiful performance space.
Sitting high up above Bangor, with views of the sea and mountains, it’s also the perfect place if you’re looking for a little inspiration for your latest musical composition.
Well-equipped rehearsal rooms are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year, so you can make music whenever the urge takes you.
The industry-standard facilities at your disposal will include:
- 2 magnificent concert halls (the 520-seat Prichard Jones Hall and the 200-seat Powis Hall)
- 2 theatres (the 480-seat Theatr Bryn Terfel and the 120-seat Studio Theatre)
- 14 practice rooms
- recital room (the Mathias Hall)
- state-of-the-art teaching spaces
- social learning spaces and common rooms
- 5 studios for electroacoustic composition and recording
Instruments and sound resources include:
- 7 grand pianos, and a large suite of Yamaha uprights
- 2 organs
- 4 harpsichords, a clavichord, and a harmonium
- 2 harps
- a full suite of orchestral percussion
- the unique Peter Crossley-Holland Collection of ancient Mexican instruments
- a library of over 30,000 scores and 6,000 recordings
- archives of Welsh traditional music and Welsh pop music
Professor Chris Collins is the Head of School of Music and Media. He is a conductor and musicologist, whose research on the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla has been published across the globe. He’s currently writing a book on the international aspects of Falla’s music, and has also recently branched out into the study of 1960s popular music.
He is also teaches conducting, and conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. His expertise is regularly called upon by other universities, exam boards, and government departments.
Dr Gwawr Ifan graduated with a BMus from Bangor University in 2007 and went on to complete a PhD focussing on music in relation to health and well-being in Wales. She has worked as a music lecturer Bangor University for the last six years. During this time, Gwawr has worked closely with Pontio Arts Centre to develop intergenerational music programmes for school pupils and people with dementia.
She is very interested in investigating the role that music has to play in bridging the gap between universities and local communities, and is keen to explore innovative ways of capturing the social impact of music-making.
“The extracurricular activities at Bangor are so valuable. There is always a ‘real world’ application, whether it’s playing in an orchestra, being on a committee, or just generally helping out around the department.” – Jojo Arvantis (MA in Music), Coordinator, English Session Orchestra