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Vanbrugh Rocks Bands

Vanbrugh College has long played host to a number of musical activities, events and facilities that are available for all members of the University of York, staff and students.  

Interested in anything band? Vanbrugh Rocks is an informal group organised by our Rock Tutor with the aim of giving focus to college members who are interested in forming bands, of any style of music, and/or joining in various activities that support musicians.  Membership gives you access to our facilities, advice from our music staff. and invitations to free workshops, subsidised training sessions, and music-themed events.

Vanbrugh Music Facilities: band practice space 'The Garage' and recording studio

Instrument Lending Library Button

Vanbrugh Choirs Link Button

Vanbrugh Jazz Link Button

Link to Vanbrugh Rocks Facebook Group

Take or Offer Music Lessons

YUSU Societies:

Link to Bandsoc Facebook Group

Link to MusicSoc Website

Link to University Radio York Website

Join Vanbrugh Rocks:

Using the google form here: Vanbrugh Rocks Membership Form (sign in using your university email address)

PLEASE NOTE: The membership and charging structure is changing for 2019-20.  More information to follow.

  • All Current Students = sign up to our mailing lists for free and get invited to free workshops and band-mate meetings and get useful newsletters about music events in and around colleges. Also access to hire the backline for gigs.
  • Add-Ons to Membership: Use of the Garage (band practice space) and invitation to attend subsidised studio training workshops
    • Student Price = £10/year
    • Staff Price = £20 per term and £20 for summer vacation or £60 per year
  • Add-Ons to Membership: Use of the Instrument Lending Library
    • Student Price = £5/year
    • Staff Price = £15/year
  • Fee is waived for those volunteering their time towards Vanbrugh College, the wider Colleges Music Project and Vanbrugh Rocks.

Vanbrugh Rock Tutor

Steven Burton ( along with a number of staff and students around Vanbrugh and the University, co-ordinate workshops, training sessions, music lessons, jamming groups and music nights and will generally help to put you in touch with the people you need to talk to. Whether you are looking for advice on getting your first gig, busking in the City, where to find an open mic night or your band needs a new drummer, get in touch and sign up to the Vanbrugh Rocks mailing list.

Vanbrugh Rocks Events and Activities

An example of free workshops and music activities include:

  • Guitar Clinic
  • Studio Technician Training
  • Advanced Studio Recording Workshops
  • Post-production Mixing Workshops
  • Microphone Technique workshops
  • Guitar Lessons
  • Singing Lessons
  • DARSH - Drum and Rhythm Section Hub

Guitar Repair / Set Up

For help with electric guitar set up, repairs, rewiring, and upgrades, email: Barry Crump

Find a piano around campus

Heslington West

Around Derwent College:

  • University of York Music Society: - 4 rooms located at Derwent College with both upright and grand pianos.
  • Derwent General Common Room (GCR): Electric Piano for us with permission of College Administrator (Derwent Student only).

Around Vanbrugh College:

  • The Warren, Vanbrugh's House opposite the Information Centre: Electric piano available for use with headphones, 9am-5pm weekdays and some evenings when staff are present.
  • Vanbrugh's 'The Garage': Digital piano. See for information on how to access.
  • The Junior Common Room (JCR), in the Vanbrugh Nucleus: upright piano, available anytime, soon to be replaced!
  • Vanbrugh Arms (Bar): upright piano, can be played with permission from bar staff.
  • Vanbrugh GSCR (first floor of the Vanbrugh Nucleus): Upright piano; digital piano (choirs only); electric organ; harmonium (repair project). Open 9am-6pm providing there are no activities on. 
  • Department of Music pianos are for registered music students only.

Around James College:

  • James Lakeside Common Room: Electric piano (accessible to James residents).

Around Wentworth College:

  • Common Room: Electric Piano

Around Halifax College:

  • Faxy Cafe in JJ's: Upright piano
  • JJ's Common Room Stage: Electric Piano

Heslington East

  • Constantine College Constantine Forum, upstairs in The Loft: Upright piano and digital keyboard, available between 8.30am and 4pm weekdays (except during local school holidays when keycard access is required 24hrs).  Constantine students with keycard access only evenings and weekends.
  • Langwith College The Basement: 2 practice rooms with upright pianos.  Contact for information on how to join and use.
  • Digital piano in The Corner Room, LHO/A/007.  Access 8am to 9pm for resident Langwith students.  Non-resident Langwith students can have access added to their student cards at Ron Cook Hub Reception.
  • Goodricke College Goodricke Nucleus GNU/004 and GNU/009: 2 upright pianos, available for Goodricke students with keycard access.