University and band

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sop17, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. sop17

    sop17 New Member

    I'm at the stage of choosing what university I want to go to at the moment, and I was wondering what other people do in terms of playing when you go to university - did you keep it up? Did you join a band near the uni whilst you were there and then return your previous one during the holidays? I'm thinking about doing that, but wondering how this restricts your opportunities, as I guess you wouldn't be able to get any principle position if you're not going to be at either band all the time.
    I'm really stuck between two universities at the moment. One is near home, and I could carry on with my current band playing sop. I would me much better off here financially as there are far more opportunities for grants and scholarships, and also it's a really nice area and campus. However my other choice probably has a slightly better course, the sports facilities are amazing and the city in nice. But the campus isn't as nice and there are very few opportunities for extra funding. Also if I go there I will need to buy my own instrument, and I guess move back to Bb cornet. The nearest band wouldn't be especially easy to reach but probably possible (they don't allow you to take a car), and they may or may not have vacancies by the time I go to uni.
    Anyway, just wondering what other people do/did at university, and looking for advice.
  2. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    When I went to university, I barely played in Brass bands at all, I didn't have the time with all the university ensembles I was in. I did play back at home during the holidays though.
  3. hanhorn

    hanhorn New Member

    It depends which University you were thinking of going to. Some uni's have their own Unversity Brass band (some which are good, but others which are appauling!) I've joined my uni brass band and it's fine. It is also quite good though to find a band near you, which you could join. But remember, you will have the issue of commitment, because you'll be going home for the holidays.
  4. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I would not worry about being able to find a band near whatever University you end up at. When you have got your offer from UCAS post a thread on tMP and you will get plenty of offers. I went away to University and found a band easy enough. Most bands will organise you a lift and an instrument. I certainly would not advise you to stay at home because of banding as there is no reason why you cannot continue whilst studying. And for this "too busy" to play in a band whilst at univeristy unless you are in a large number of societies I think that is not true at all for 99% of courses. You will have far less time in terms of studying that you would with a full time job. It is just about organising your time. Yes if you lay in bed ALL day and go out EVERY night your time will be limited. Bar perhaps the final couple years of medical school and perhaps the post-grad part of teaching (PGCE) you will not be working anywhere near a full time job and will have plenty of time to enjoy yourself. I studied for a science degree and had more lectures than most of my housemates but I managed to be president of the largest society in the union (music soc), play in a couple of ensembles at uni and play for a local brass band during my undergrad time. University is a very important time in terms of growing up, learning to manage your own finances and household work. I personally think if you stay at home you miss out an alot of this. Good luck !
  5. I agree with the above. If you want to do banding while away at uni, you will find a way somehow. It would be a shame to stop.
  6. mattc

    mattc New Member

    When I came over to uni I had no choice about staying with my old band because the Isle of Man isn't the easiest place to commute to twice a week! I was also worried about whether I would be able to join a band here on the condition that I wouldn't be here during holiday times. However, they (Blackpool Brass) all understood my situation and I am loving every minute of it! I am accomodated just like any other member of the band and the fact that I'm not here for log spells of time isn't an issue. I turn up and play concerts and contests when I can and it isn't a problem to them.
    I still go and play with my old band at home during holidays and fit straight back in.
    There are bound to be plenty of bands out there who are willing to accomodate a similar situation. Plus it's more beneficial to do a better course than a convenient one.
    Good luck whatever you decide!
  7. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    During my undergraduate degree, I played in my university band in my second and third year, and should have done in my first year. During my Masters course, there was no band at the college, so I joined the band ten minutes' walk down the road. I'm still there now.

    I definitely had enough time to play in a band for both, though admittedly the first one only rehearsed once a week, and was non-contesting due to too many players continuing with their home contesting bands or also joining other nearby bands. It was fun.

    One thing I will say is that if you go to the university near home (meaning more time spent with family, and perhaps even living with family) and play in the band near home (spending a lot of time with your old friends), your opportunities to meet and socialise with new people could be significantly reduced, and you could miss out on many things that university has to offer. Don't forget that your old band will still be there for you in the holidays.
  8. Matt Lawson

    Matt Lawson Member

    I got 5-6 offers from Huddersfield based bands when I came to Uni.

    Ended up joining Emley and in the new year I'm joining United Co-Op Yorkshire.

    If you can find time twice a week, it's well worth keeping it up.
  9. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Agree with the last sentence, definitely. Staying at home for uni defeats half the point of going to uni, in terms of growing up. Unfortunately with the way uni is funded now, more and more students go to a local uni even if it isn't any good, just because it will be cheaper.
  10. skimbleshanks

    skimbleshanks Member

    Choosing which uni to go to is a difficult trade off between the choice of academic course, financial factors and extra-curricular activities. Ideally, the choice of course should be the priority but if you love playing then you shouldn't neglect it in your reasoning. There's no point going to the best uni in the world if you're going to be unhappy 'cos you don't have an outlet for your music. You probably don't realise how much music plays on your morale until you let it go. If I have one regret about going to Loughborough it's that there wasn't much happening on the music front (and not much happening on the female front either :-( 1:4 in 1996 ! ) However I agree that going away to uni is better than staying at home if you can help it. But whatever you do don't stop playing. The number of people that stop playing when they go to uni and then say later in life "I wish I still played...".
  11. JR

    JR Member

    There are so many decent bands chasing players in Yorkshire, if you go to Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield (particularly Hudds) Sheffield, York or Hull - and you're any good you will get snapped up during freshers week...
    In the North East things are even more desperate - they'll probably contact you before you even get there

  12. sop17

    sop17 New Member

    That's Loughborough crossed off my list then!:D Actually i wasn't seriously considering them even though I've got an offer. If I went to my closest university I wouldn't be living at home because it's an hour away, and apart from the commuting being a pain there would be little social life. Bath is the other place I'm thinking about - can anyone say what the music is like there?
  13. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    going away to uni is half the fun! most bands today appreciate students and the fact they come and go and would rather have you for 2/3 of the year than not at all. uni is all about new experiences, whether its being dumped in a flat with 6 people you don't know or going to a band for the first time where all the people talk funny!
  14. vcbjet

    vcbjet Member

    When I had accepted my first choice offer I put a post on here asking for bands in the area surrounding my University.

    I received a PM from the MD of a local band who offered me the chance to go along and have a blow. Just before I moved up I recieved another email from him to ask if I was still interested so I went along and really enjoyed it. The band were a higher section than mine at home and we did a good mix of contests and contests and I had a really good year with them before going back for the summer.

    I have found banding to be an excellent way of just slipping away from the 'student bubble' (which by the way is awesome :)!) for a couple of hours a week. The band have always been understanding of holidays and the fact I live a long way from Uni - so it has never been a problem for me.

    When I go home I help out my old band if they need me and played with them over the summer - including at the Nationals in September for which my Uni band allowed me to transfer back for.

    There are always plenty of bands on the look out for players - I would not really be worried about positions either as I just want to play.

    Anyway - good lucj and enjoy it!
  15. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    I managed to get the best of both worlds while I was at uni. Cardiff is only an hour away from home for me so I carried on playing with my band at home. Luckily a few band members live in Cardiff permanently, as well as there being other students, so there was always a lift available.

    A few of my friends who came to Cardiff from further afield joined bands in the local area, most of these I think signed for and competed with these bands and only played at concerts etc. with their bands at home.

    I'm doing my Masters at a local college so there's no escaping band for me!

    I have to agree with everyone else here and say try not to let your choice of uni depend on band - you'll always find somewhere to play, or if not, most unis will give you all the support you need to start your own ensembles.
  16. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    I go to huddersfield so there is looads of band choice there...i was contacted a few months before i started uni and there was loads of choice once i got there as well. i suppose it depends what area ur goin in. i agree with rach in that u do miss out on alot if u stay at home!
  17. postie

    postie Member

    Are you trying to say us people south of Geordieland talk funny?

    I thought people who live further up north talk funny!!!
  18. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    To me it seems your priorities are not in the right order. Choose the course that you wish to do at the best university you can get into. This course may determine what kind of job you can get after university. A university with a good brass band is no help here...
  19. I agree that moving away from home is the best thing. I just started at huddersfield uni in september and i love it. What i will say is, don't just let banding affect your choice of university. Bands always need players, so im sure you'll get somewhere. Most bands understand that students will be going home in the holidays. Ive told my band that i wont be there very often during easter/summer/xmas, and they understand.
    Hope u get sorted out with band/uni.
  20. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    I think the easiest way to do banding and university is to join a university band. In Edinburgh, certainly, there are many bands in the outskirts, but they're all quite contest driven and therefore not ideal for students wanting to keep a healthy balance between work and band and socialising. Not to mention the cost of getting out to the bands 5 times a week before contests. University bands are brilliant as you can really get involved in running them (if you want to), which opens up a whole new side to banding and really is very rewarding.

    If you want to remain signed with your band at home, it will be difficult to contest with a band at uni.

    Also the band doesn't run during the holidays, and we're quite sympathetic to people who can't make every practise because of work/exams etc. And have a brilliant social calendar.

    Edinburgh, Leeds, Warwick and Durham all have Uni Brass Bands, and there may be more (my brother says there's talk of setting one up in Lancster)

    What courses and unis are you thinking of?