A Welcome from the Head of School

Musical, intellectual and creative activityHead of School - Chris Collins

Welcome to our website. I hope that these pages will give you an insight into the exceptional breadth of musical, intellectual and creative activity happening here at Bangor. We are a truly eclectic School, in which musicology, composition and performance coexist in close synergy, and interact in new and revealing ways. This is one of the few universities in the UK where it is possible to study music in a genuinely all-embracing way, from early medieval polyphony to electroacoustic composition. Within this uniquely broad framework we are world-leading in several fields of expertise: early music, composition, and twentieth-century music to name but three.

Stunning location

Bangor is also unique for its glorious geographical location. No British music department is better situated for admirers of the great outdoors. The University overlooks the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park (just five miles away), while the sea is less than ten minutes’ walk from the School building. And yet we are just three hours from London by train!

Regional identity and international outlook

A sense of place is particularly strong in Bangor. It is the cultural capital of North Wales, and is situated in a Welsh-speaking heartland. We are the only music department in Wales where you can study your entire degree through the medium of Welsh, if you so choose. But Bangor is also a cosmopolitan city which each year welcomes hundreds of students and other visitors from all over the world. This distinctive mix of regional identity and international outlook makes Bangor a stimulating place in which to study such a wide-ranging discipline as music.

A convivial school

The one word which best sums up Bangor is conviviality. Here you won’t find arbitrary dividing lines between undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff. Instead you will experience a vibrant community of around 250 musicians, composers, musicologists, and practitioners. The University is home to a busy and varied concert series, as well as a renowned New Music festival. There are also numerous choirs, orchestras and other ensembles in which everyone can take part. Coupled with our excellent facilities – including two fine concert halls, state-of-the-art electroacoustic studios, and a newly restored Music building due to open in the next few years – Bangor is an ideal university environment.

I arrived in Bangor in 1993 as an undergraduate and was immediately struck by the place; despite long periods away, I’ve always returned ‘home’. I hope you too will visit us and sample the vibrant musical life of this unique Welsh city nestled between the mountains and the sea.

Chris Collins
Head of School