Images: Warwick Media Library

Guide to music societies 2020

Interested in joining a music society this year? Whether you’re completely new to performance, curious about production or a veteran musician eager to change it up, Warwick has a range of music-related societies for you to become a member of. Read about a few of them here.

The University of Warwick Wind Orchestra (UWWO)

“UWWO is, in normal times at least, a completely non-auditioned orchestra for the university’s woodwind, brass, and percussion players. While we can’t hold normal whole orchestra rehearsals and concerts at the moment, there will still be plenty of ways of getting involved this year!”

“The biggest thing we will be doing this term is putting together many small groups of up to six people. We will match people up by instrument, ability, and music preference, and then provide music and rehearsal space for each group. All of this will of course be made as safe as possible; there will be two metres between players, no sharing of instruments, and any other regulations given by the government or the university will be followed. If you would like to get involved, come and find us at the virtual societies fair. Alternatively, there are links to a sign-up form on our social media! We will also be holding weekly social events this term – a lot of these will be online, but where safe and possible we will look to hold events in person as well so watch this space!”

FB: University of Warwick Wind Orchestra

www.windorchestra.co.uk

Brass Society
“Our society is for anyone who plays, or would like to play, a brass or percussion instrument. Under normal circumstances, we have four ensembles: Main Band is our full-size, un-auditioned brass band, who perform several concerts and compete in contests nationwide every year. Symphonic Brass is our auditioned group, providing Warwick’s top brass players opportunities to play an exciting range of music in performances ranging from concerts to nightclubs to the university graduation ceremonies. We also run Beginners and Intermediates Brass where anyone can learn a brass instrument free of charge whether you’re just starting out or want a bit more help before joining main band!”
“Coronavirus provides challenges and opportunities to us as a society. We are determined to play together this term and are hard at work to make this possible. We will focus on smaller group playing, introducing Bite-Size Brass: a collection of non-auditioned student-led brass quintets playing a wide range of exciting music. For our more ambitious players, Symphonic Brass will be running auditioned quintets alongside these. We hope to start full-group rehearsals again this term but that’s dependent on the constantly changing guidelines. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can join our Facebook group ‘Brasssoc Socials and Events’ to keep up to date with society activities.”
Opera Warwick
“Opera Warwick is a performing arts society centered around operas, and also sharing appreciation of classical music. We want to banish elitism from opera and make it fun and accessible for all! We are open to all abilities: it doesn’t matter if you’ve never sung or seen an opera before. In a normal year we put on a full production in the Arts Centre Theatre in Term 2, giving our members the opportunity to work in a professional theatre setting and the joy of singing with a full orchestra. Things will be a bit different this year and our Term 2 show has been cancelled, but we still hope to find creative ways to keep creating and singing, and maybe even put on a socially-distanced concert later in the year.”
“With current guidelines, and the safety of our members in mind, we are planning for most of our Term 1 activities to take place online. This means online socials, watching Opera livestreams together, and maybe even a virtual concert or Fun Show! We have an upcoming Virtual Games Night (Sat 19th September, 7:30, via Discord) and an Opera Quiz (Thurs 24th September, 7:30, via Microsoft Teams) as part of the SU Pre-Welcome Week Events!”
BandSoc
“BandSoc brings together musicians from across the university and supports them in putting together bands or helping out solo projects to play across the local area (and sometimes further!) in front of large audiences. We offer a fully kitted out rehearsal space and high quality equipment available for use or hire at low cost to all our members! We are best known for our annual Battle of the Bands competition in Term 2, with up to 30 bands competing to win free studio time. Many of our acts have released professionally produced and recorded tracks which can be found on the ‘Warwick BandSoc Artists’ Spotify Playlist.”
“To make the society as Covid-proof as possible, we have set up a new Discord server to run virtual events and allow easy communication between members – socials like curry or quiz nights and meet & greets at the start of the year will take place on this. For musical events, we aim to livestream a showcase gig on Facebook Live on the Friday of Welcome Week, and more shows if this is successful, to hold open-air gigs on the campus piazza, and every weekend to run a ‘Buskers Club’ in Leamington or on campus. This should allow our acts to continue to enjoy the performance nature of the society that they sign up for. Buskers will be required to wear masks if they are not singing, and to stay as out of the way of pedestrians as is reasonably possible. Grassroots music venues have been allowed to open since 15 August, and we hope to run events in a couple of venues. These events too will be subject to the same precautions plus whatever rules each venue decides to enforce.”

Warwick Chinese Orchestra Society (WCOS)

“Our members include players who play traditional Chinese instruments such as the Chinese lute, Zither, Dizi, and Erhu, and non-players who are interested in Chinese culture and its music. This year, new members have the choice to either attend our small-scale in-person welcome talk or the online livestream version, both of which can be found on the Welcome Week timetable. The audition and application process that follows, to either become a player in the orchestra or take on a role to help run the society, will also be hosted online.”

“This year, we are planning to create on-demand and pre-recorded orchestral or solo performances to replace the annual free lunchtime concert. We are also actively searching for opportunities to collaborate and work with other societies, either through online events or small scale in-person performances. The Warwick Music Centre has given us the green light to organise small group in-person rehearsals, so we plan to continue the weekly rehearsal for members who feel comfortable rehearsing together, doing it socially distanced, wearing face masks and disinfecting the rehearsal room before and afterwards. For players who are not comfortable with that idea, it is perfectly fine for them to prepare solo pieces for upcoming events. There are also plans for us to rehearse outdoor if that is a better option for the players. We are also planning to host a second round of recruitment, auditions and events including the music workshop, in which you get to learn how to play an instrument, in the second term, whether this will be online or in-person will depend on the COVID situation closer to time.”

FB: Warwick Chinese Orchestra Society 

Warwick RockSoc

“RockSoc is the University’s only rock music appreciation society for fans of all kinds of rock, from pop punk to metal and everything in between. As every society has been, we’ve had to get creative to keep going in spite of the coronavirus restrictions, especially since our usual socials aren’t really compatible with the rule of six. As a pre-Freshers’ Week event we held a livestreamed version of Mayhem, our termly club night, DJ’d by our very own DJ Carl. It was a great success that surpassed our expectations and we are discussing holding another one during Freshers’ Week itself.”

“These events are going to be free of charge, as we felt it was important for them to be as accessible as possible for everyone attending. We also have a group chat that we use to engage with each other and with freshers since even before the pandemic and a Discord server which we use to chat and hold relaxed virtual game nights using Jackbox. It might not be exactly the same as what we had last year, but we will make the very best of the resources we do have to keep a sense of RockSoc community alive.”

FB: Warwick RockSoc

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