Hertford College Music Society

Ensembles: Hertford College Orchestra and Wind Band


Contact details of the current President can be found on the society’s website.

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About the Society

Hertford College Music Society is one of Oxford’s largest student-run music societies. They have several active ensembles, including an orchestra and wind band, as well as a traditional Chapel choir. They are also one of the most social Oxford Societies, with termly formal dinners in hall and an annual Jazz and Cocktails event.

The society run a very popular and successful Lunchtime Recital series, for which concerts are every Wednesday at 13:10 in the brilliant acoustic of Hertford Chapel (much used for recordings) – if you would like to perform a lunchtime recital, please email the President. Details of the current president can be found on the society’s website.

Uniquely in the University, all our ensembles are non-auditioning, although we do perform at a very high standard, and the ensembles have been described as ‘inspiring’, and ‘a credit to the strong musical tradition of the college’ by Patron, Sir Nicholas Jackson. Since being first conducted by a young Simon Rattle in 1972, music at Hertford has gone from strength to strength and, with a friendly, all inclusive reputation for members of any college, the society has blossomed into one of the most successful in Oxford.

Hertford College Orchestra

Hertford College Orchestra is the College’s flagship ensemble. A large sized orchestra, with full complements of most instruments, the orchestra has tackled a vast repertoire. Recent concerts have included works by Rodrigo, Debussy, Ravel, Haydn, Mozart, Butterworth, Beethoven, Faure, Holst, and more. The Orchestra and Chapel Choir have also collaborated in large scale works for mixed ensembles in the past.

The orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings between 18:45 and 21:30 in the Baring Room in Hertford College, and performs a concert every term.

The orchestra is non-auditioning, and is open to members from any college. If you are interested in joining the orchestra, or would like to know more, you can contact the Conductor or subscribe to the orchestra mailing list. To do so, visit their website.

Hertford College Wind Band

The college wind band is the society’s newest ensemble. Founded by a (then) undergraduate in Physics, Tom Sears in Michaelmas 2010, the band was created in response to the growing number of woodwind players in the orchestra. Since then, the wind band has continually risen in prestige and quality, and is now one of the most respected collegiate wind ensembles in the University.

The wind band plays a varied repertoire, including traditional British military band music by composers such as Holst and Vaughan Williams, as well as more modern pieces by composers such as Philip Sparke, and also arrangements of popular film or show scores.

HCWB rehearses on Wednesday evenings, between 19:00 and 21:00 in the Baring Room, and gives a concert (usually in conjunction with the orchestra) each term – often in the famous Holywell Music Room. The band also usually carries out some Christmas carolling in Oxford town centre in the last week of Michaelmas term to raise money for charity. Over the past two years they have raised over £800 for the Stroke Association.

The band is non-auditioning and welcome players from all colleges. If you would like to join the wind band, or if you have any questions, please email the Conductor, whose details can be found on the Society’s website.