Music performance at the School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster
Very much the heartbeat of the music programme at the School of Creative Arts, Performance is offered at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate level and is supported by a busy programme of music making at the University.
Performance at Magee is about nurturing talent, developing technical skills and stimulating creativity. Students receive free tuition on their principal instrument and may specialise in any genre (classical, pop, jazz, Irish traditional). In addition, a programme of seminars, masterclasses and platform sessions provide a forum for feedback and critical reflection.
Both the undergraduate and postgraduate performance strands are integrated into the School’s lunchtime recital series. This not only provides concert opportunities for our performance students but also enables the scheduling of masterclasses with the various internationally reknowned musicians and ensembles who visit the school over the course of the academic year. Recent visiting musicians have included Robert Mitchell (jazz piano), Cathal Breslin (piano), Florian Kitt (cello), Paul Roe (clarinet), The Fidelio Trio, Beoga and Four Men and a Dog.
For the past five years, the School’s Ensemble-in-Residence programme has enhanced this provision further, providing an invaluable resource in terms of musical expertise and project activity. In addition, the University has run workshop and outreach projects with Opera Theatre Company and Live Music Now, amongst others.
The University choir and chamber choir are a regular fixture in the cultural life of the province and enjoy a busy schedule of public performances each year - recent events include a series of performances with the Ulster Orchestra and Queen tribute band, Flash Harry at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena. Meanwhile, Students from Magee’s Traditional Music Society have performed at Fiddlefest (Derry), Ar Ais Arís (Donegal), Dolan's (Limerick), Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Celtic Colours (Canada) and at the Tonder Festival (Denmark) as well as featured on Óiche le Jerry Holland and Lorg Lunny (TG4).
Other ensembles include the University Big Band, chamber ensemble and new music ensemble as well as a number of student-led groups. In addition, the University frequently stages large-scale performance projects involving our students such as Laurence Roman’s opera, Ulysses, which toured North West Ireland and London in 2009. Performace students have also participated in productions with the School’s drama and dance departments.
Performance is open to students on both the BMus and BA programmes at undergraduate level and combines individual instrumental tuition with weekly performance seminars. Performances may be assessed in both solo and ensemble contexts and may take place in a variety of campus venues including the Great Hall, Recital Room and even the Student Union bar. Final year students work towards a full-length solo recital while performance-based projects may be undertaken as part of the final year Project module.
The Performance specialism on the MMus programme is aimed at those wishing to pursue an advanced level of performance practice with a practically-oriented course of academic study and combines individual principal study tuition with group seminars, masterclasses and platform sessions. Supplementary modules such as those in Music Business and Music in the Community are designed to equip the individual with the knowledge and skills required for all aspects of a career as a professional performer.