Which Oxford college best for extra-curricular music/music facilities?

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jumblebumble
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#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
I'm not applying for music, but I'm passionate about jazz and it consumes quite a lot of my time - which college would be best for something like this, in terms of groups to join, or proximity to music groups, etc?

Would there be any colleges that have music facilities on site, for example a piano/music rooms?

Thanks,

JB
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Teebs
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#2
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#2
Don't know, but apparently Balliol has the tallest tutors if that helps.
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Huw Davies
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#3
Report 12 years ago
#3
Most colleges have some kind of music room on site, though the quality is pretty variable and some are restrictive about students who aren't music students using them. I wouldn't worry too much about extra-curricular groups stuff in terms of college choice, as most happen university-wide.
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Cirsium
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#4
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#4
All extra curricular stuff of any value is done uni-wide (or is a rare unpredictable thing - e.g. one college may have a really nice quintet going one year or something just because the right people end up there). As Huw says, virtually everyone has a music room on site, although quality is variable. Jesus' is puuuurdy :love: and Merton's is nice Not a fan of Teddy Hall's because the pianos are icky, although being underground has its advantages...
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cpchem
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#5
Report 12 years ago
#5
(Original post by Teebs)
Don't know, but apparently Balliol has the tallest tutors if that helps.
The SCR has compulsory leg-stretching sessions before high table every Tuesday during full term. When the wind's blowing in the right direction, you can hear the screams from the front quad.
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TuskSE
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#6
Report 12 years ago
#6
In terms of facilities, St Hilda's is pretty good. I get the impression most other colleges have just one practise room (?) We have 6, all but one with a piano in. Two of them very nice grands. And a drum kit, and a purpose-built auditorium wit a steinway D in it.

I guess I'm in a similar situation to you- at Hildas, doing a non-music subject, but passionate about jazz/blues/funk, playing keyboards and trombone.

Hildas has got quite a few plus points apart from the number of practise rooms:
Firstly, although when I arrived there was very little going on in the way of jazz, the head of music has been really supportive. eg, I have a keyboard but no amplified to put it through (save for a knackered hi-fi, ha). And since we had a jazz group going, i think someone mentioned to him that it would be useful to have a PA system for vocals, keys,etc. By the beginning of the next term, we had one. And a nice one too.
At the moment there's a intermittent jazz group up and running, and I'm sure there will be still in a few years.

However, as I said, it is intermittent- because unless you're lucky enough to have lots of very gifted/practised players, you need a lot of rehersal time, and people often cant spare that time, myself included*.

I think probably the biggest disadvantage to Hildas in terms of music is that its a bit farther from the city centre than most other colleges. I think for most musicians, that shouldnt be a biggy- because even from Hildas its only a 10 minute walk right into the centre where most of the other colleges are. Only situation in which I think it would be important would be if you played something heavy, or bulky- bass, keybaord, whatever.
(Bear in mind also that in a lot of colleges you'll have to live out for a year, meaning that you doing get so much of a benefit from the college's location or facilities. One pet niggle I have with Hildas is that there's an online booking scheme for the practise rooms, which is great except that you can only book them from inside college. When I was living in, I just booked a room a few minutes before I practise. Now, I have to either plan when im going to play in advance, which is a pain, or go into college with my instrument and book one from the computer room, and hope that its not the case (rare, admittedly) that there aren't any rooms free.) Ive also had some faffing around in the last term organising it so that I can keep my keyboard and gear in the music building in one of the lockers, but I'm pretty sure that should be sorted out at the beginning of this coming term.

*something I feel I ought to mention. When I applied to Oxford, one of the reasons was that I thought the jazz music scene here looked great, and I wanted to joing all the great looking bands and stuff. However, despite thinking of myself as a pretty good player, I'm not playing in any uni-wide or propr formal groups at the moment, just because I don't have the time. I have a fiancee who I visit usually for one day at the weekend, which obviously doesnt help, and I don't feel I can put in the time to play nearly as much as I like. Although (when I was living in, atleast) I was able to slip in an hour or two of practise every day where it was convinient. Think is, my workload varies a lot from week to week- so while I might be free to play most Thursday evenings (for example), I cant really commit myself to rehersals *every* thursday evening, and occasional gigs, and foreign trips in the vacations, or whatever.

Don't misunderstand me - there are plenty of people who do *tons* of music and keep up the academic work fine. But for me, having other things taking up time too (eg a partner, or other hobbies), and not being able to function well if I stay up late working, I decided that wanting to make the most of the opprtunity and do as well as possible academically made me give up on all the music stuff I was planning to do. Which I never really excpected. And I get the nagging feeling that if I went to some other almost-as-prestigous university, I could mayble have come out with the same degree classification but having enjoyed myself playing music a lot more.
I'm glad I'm here, and wouldnt change it if I could, but I think its something I should have thought about when applying here. And thus maybe somethng you (or any other random person reading the thread) should think about, if you really love both the music and your chosen subject. Be prepared that if you want to really exell in one, you might have to sacrifice the other.

Sorry for the length/rambling.
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jumblebumble
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#7
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#7
(Original post by TuskSE)
In terms of facilities, St Hilda's is pretty good. I get the impression most other colleges have just one practise room (?) We have 6, all but one with a piano in. Two of them very nice grands. And a drum kit, and a purpose-built auditorium wit a steinway D in it.

I guess I'm in a similar situation to you- at Hildas, doing a non-music subject, but passionate about jazz/blues/funk, playing keyboards and trombone.

Hildas has got quite a few plus points apart from the number of practise rooms:
Firstly, although when I arrived there was very little going on in the way of jazz, the head of music has been really supportive. eg, I have a keyboard but no amplified to put it through (save for a knackered hi-fi, ha). And since we had a jazz group going, i think someone mentioned to him that it would be useful to have a PA system for vocals, keys,etc. By the beginning of the next term, we had one. And a nice one too.
At the moment there's a intermittent jazz group up and running, and I'm sure there will be still in a few years.

However, as I said, it is intermittent- because unless you're lucky enough to have lots of very gifted/practised players, you need a lot of rehersal time, and people often cant spare that time, myself included*.

I think probably the biggest disadvantage to Hildas in terms of music is that its a bit farther from the city centre than most other colleges. I think for most musicians, that shouldnt be a biggy- because even from Hildas its only a 10 minute walk right into the centre where most of the other colleges are. Only situation in which I think it would be important would be if you played something heavy, or bulky- bass, keybaord, whatever.
(Bear in mind also that in a lot of colleges you'll have to live out for a year, meaning that you doing get so much of a benefit from the college's location or facilities. One pet niggle I have with Hildas is that there's an online booking scheme for the practise rooms, which is great except that you can only book them from inside college. When I was living in, I just booked a room a few minutes before I practise. Now, I have to either plan when im going to play in advance, which is a pain, or go into college with my instrument and book one from the computer room, and hope that its not the case (rare, admittedly) that there aren't any rooms free.) Ive also had some faffing around in the last term organising it so that I can keep my keyboard and gear in the music building in one of the lockers, but I'm pretty sure that should be sorted out at the beginning of this coming term.

*something I feel I ought to mention. When I applied to Oxford, one of the reasons was that I thought the jazz music scene here looked great, and I wanted to joing all the great looking bands and stuff. However, despite thinking of myself as a pretty good player, I'm not playing in any uni-wide or propr formal groups at the moment, just because I don't have the time. I have a fiancee who I visit usually for one day at the weekend, which obviously doesnt help, and I don't feel I can put in the time to play nearly as much as I like. Although (when I was living in, atleast) I was able to slip in an hour or two of practise every day where it was convinient. Think is, my workload varies a lot from week to week- so while I might be free to play most Thursday evenings (for example), I cant really commit myself to rehersals *every* thursday evening, and occasional gigs, and foreign trips in the vacations, or whatever.

Don't misunderstand me - there are plenty of people who do *tons* of music and keep up the academic work fine. But for me, having other things taking up time too (eg a partner, or other hobbies), and not being able to function well if I stay up late working, I decided that wanting to make the most of the opprtunity and do as well as possible academically made me give up on all the music stuff I was planning to do. Which I never really excpected. And I get the nagging feeling that if I went to some other almost-as-prestigous university, I could mayble have come out with the same degree classification but having enjoyed myself playing music a lot more.
I'm glad I'm here, and wouldnt change it if I could, but I think its something I should have thought about when applying here. And thus maybe somethng you (or any other random person reading the thread) should think about, if you really love both the music and your chosen subject. Be prepared that if you want to really exell in one, you might have to sacrifice the other.

Sorry for the length/rambling.
Thanks, that was brill
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Sooz2471
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#8
Report 12 years ago
#8
I'm surprised no one mentioned New College. They have the world's most famous church choir and you can hear instruments being played all day when you walk around college. I don't know about specific students groups, but I'm sure it's definitely worth having a look.
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Cirsium
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Sooz2471)
I'm surprised no one mentioned New College. They have the world's most famous church choir and you can hear instruments being played all day when you walk around college. I don't know about specific students groups, but I'm sure it's definitely worth having a look.
:rofl: Can anybody say King's Cambridge? Apart from which I'd say ChCh are far far better known than New
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Sooz2471
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Bekaboo)
:rofl: Can anybody say King's Cambridge? Apart from which I'd say ChCh are far far better known than New
Okay, then, you're probably right (if you are unbiased ) I genuinely thought the New College choir was ranked as "the most something" but just because it was introduced to me that way, and anyway fame can't be measured, so whatever. OP, check ChCh and New then!
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Bezzler
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#11
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(Original post by TuskSE)
When I applied to Oxford, one of the reasons was that I thought the jazz music scene here looked great, and I wanted to joing all the great looking bands and stuff. However, despite thinking of myself as a pretty good player, I'm not playing in any uni-wide or propr formal groups at the moment, just because I don't have the time. I have a fiancee who I visit usually for one day at the weekend, which obviously doesnt help, and I don't feel I can put in the time to play nearly as much as I like. Although (when I was living in, atleast) I was able to slip in an hour or two of practise every day where it was convinient. Think is, my workload varies a lot from week to week- so while I might be free to play most Thursday evenings (for example), I cant really commit myself to rehersals *every* thursday evening, and occasional gigs, and foreign trips in the vacations, or whatever.
The band I run rehearses on Tuesday evenings, but you really don't have to come every week, and we don't do anything in vacations, and the music's quite easy, so you can come join us! (Yeah, we didn't have any trombonists at all last term...)

Anyway, OP, most decent music is done uni-wide. However, within your college (or outside, if you know people), you're free to set up any groups you like - I set up a wind quintet this term in Merton. Most college music emphasises participation, though Hertford and New are known for having particularly good orchestras by most college standards. I know that Merton usually gets in extra players on the day of the concert, which I think is quite common to be honest. I don't know of any college jazz ensembles, so I can't recommend anything there. You'd best be looking into OUJO for a decent jazz ensemble.
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probably not
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Sooz2471)
I'm surprised no one mentioned New College. They have the world's most famous church choir and you can hear instruments being played all day when you walk around college. I don't know about specific students groups, but I'm sure it's definitely worth having a look.
the choir's fame notwithstanding, they also have the best practice room in oxford (although just the one good one)
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jazzyarran
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#13
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#13
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Last edited by jazzyarran; 1 year ago
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