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Student opportunities

York Award

Taking part in these groups can develop a range of skills useful to the York Award.

The University of York has a wide range of musical opportunities in addition to those administered by the Music Department, and the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) is the host to many student groups. Among these groups are many music-related societies listed below, including the Music Society (an important port of call for all musicians) and the Music Education Group which works in the local community.

There is also the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) – a hub for interdisciplinary research and postgraduate life in the arts and humanities at York – full details of which can be found below.

In addition, students living on campus can participate in the York college events while the Overseas Students' Association (OSA) and Graduate Students' Association provide opportunities for their respective groups.

Music Society

The Music Society's main goal is to encourage and facilitate music-making on campus. The group provides professional performance opportunities for students in the Lunchtime Concert Series on Tuesdays and Fridays during the term time.

The Music Society provides practising facilities for non-music students within Derwent College. They also organise Summer and Winter Balls, have regular socials and planned trips, help to match students with instrumental teachers, support the formation of new ensembles, provide an annual lessons bursary, and much more.


Music Education Group

The Music Education Group (MEG) is an entirely York-student run organisation. The group works within school and community environments, providing educational music workshops throughout the year. As well as offering a range of existing workshop plans, MEG is also able to produce bespoke workshops in line with a specific topic, or simply provide support within an extra-curricular environment.


Opera Society

The University of York Opera Society aims to make opera more accessible to students. In addition to film nights and trips to the opera, the society also produces one opera per year, a gala concert, and song classes.


Central Hall Musical Society

CHMS is the University of York’s leading musical theatre society. Alongside many one-off performances at local and uni events and the best, all-singing, all-dancing socials in York, they perform three-book musicals each year to the highest standard (their production of Chicago was nominated for a Love York Award for Best Event).

In addition, they perform three huge musical theatre showcases every year, all profits of which go to charity. Every auditionee is guaranteed a place in the cast so there are opportunities for everyone, whatever their age, stage, and experience!


Zamar Gospel Choir

Zamar is a vibrant student-run ensemble. They are a very close community of people from across the campus who love to sing and have fun together. They sing all kinds of repertoire including songs from musicals, worship music and traditional gospel tunes. The ensemble is non-auditioned, so anyone is welcome to come along and give it a go!



Vox is the Department's acapella ensemble. It is a 15-person auditioned ensemble, and they perform in the Music Society's Lunchtime Concert Series.


Concert Band

Concert Band is a student-run wind band that plays a wide variety of music. The group performs three concerts per year, and occasionally tours to continental Europe and the UK. Players are of all standards and are open to woodwind, brass and percussion players. Rehearsals are on Saturday evenings.


Concert Orchestra

The Concert Orchestra is an amateur orchestra run by students. The group performs two concerts per year. Players are not required to audition, though most players play to at least Grade 5 standard. Rehearsals are on Sunday evenings.


Brass Band

The Brass Band is a student-led band playing both traditional brass band repertoire and modern arrangements. They play a concert per term as well as some outdoor events. All players are welcome and the group is non-auditioned. Rehearsals take place on Sunday evenings.


Gilbert and Sullivan Society

The Gilbert and Sullivan Society performs a G&S show in the spring term and another musical of choice in the summer term. Chorus parts are unauditioned and their aim is to share the experience of putting on high-quality productions.


Sing Song Society 

The Sing Song Society is a small, all-inclusive, student-run choir at the University of York. They sing a wide variety of music at various concerts in and around York and they have one themed concert per term.


Jazz and Big Band Society

The University of York Jazz and Big Band Society is a non-auditioning group that plays music from classic Glenn Miller swing and up-tempo Gordon Goodwin charts to Herbie Hancock funk and some contemporary Jazz.


Samba Band

The Samba Band meets every Sunday, and often plays gigs in and around York. All are welcome, and there are no auditions.


Humanities Research Centre

Based in the beautiful Berrick Saul Building at the University of York, the HRC is an interdisciplinary hub for research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at York. The University of York has invested more in the arts and humanities in the past decade than any other English university, and the Humanities Research Centre sits at the heart of that investment, providing a spectacular place of interdisciplinary belonging for arts and humanities academics and postgraduates. Discover more about the HRC by watching the video below.