For information contact Rosie Burgering

Musical Life at John’s

St John’s College has a thriving music scene, with many opportunities for musicians at all levels to get involved. We have a wide variety of ensembles which rehearse regularly and allow us to put on concerts of a very high standard, despite the fact that none of our ensembles have auditioned entry. We promote a fun and relaxed atmosphere in everything that we do, and encourage as many people as possible to get involved with whatever they wish. In addition to our pre-existing ensembles we can assist any society members with funding and organisation if they wish to introduce a new ensemble to the college.

The society aims to put on at least one concert in both Michaelmas and Epiphany terms, and a group of large events post-exams in Easter term. In addition to this we host two Open Mic Nights a term, and many of our ensembles also provide music for other college events, such as John’s Day and the SJC Fashion Show.

Two Nymphs, Three Shepherds

(Madrigal ensemble)

This a newly-formed madrigal ensemble, that formed specifically for the JMS Vocal Concert as part of our 2015 Festival Week. The group does not rehearse regularly, but enjoy singing together and will happily perform when requested. For more information about the group please contact Seb.

Concert Orchestra

Our newly formed concert orchestra, previously Wind Band, is a relaxed ensemble and absolutely everyone is welcome. We play a variety of musical styles, from film music to more classical repertoire, and have a lot of fun in the process. Rehearsals are held on Saturday evenings in Leech Hall, St John’s College.

Clarinet Quartet

The quartet does exactly what it says on the tin, rehearsing in a relaxed environment with a flexible schedule. Although the ensemble is non-auditioned, grade 7/8 standard is preferable for all potential members. The ensemble plays a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from traditional quartets and classical arrangements to much more modern music, such as Gershwin. Please contact Sammy to find out more and to enquire about vacancies.

College Choir

This is a fun, non-auditioned choir that sings a variety of repertoire and performs at various JMS events across the year, and joins with the Chapel Choir for the Christmas and Leavers services, which are held in Durham Cathedral. Rehearsals are held on a Tuesday evenings in St John’s College Chapel.

Barbieshop Quartet


Barbieshop is an all-female close harmony group that sings a variety of music, ranging from classical to pop. The group generally rehearses once a week, and performs at a variety of college events throughout the year.

Big Band

SJC Big Band is an ensemble that plays a variety of jazz, from standards to more modern arrangements across a wide variety of genres such as swing, latin, funk, soul and fusion. The band maintains a high standard, despite being non-auditioned, and rehearse on a Thursday evening in Leech Hall, St John’s College. The group plays at a variety of college events across the year, with many of its members contributing to the jazz scene further afield within the university.

String Group


String group is a non-auditioned ensemble that performs a large variety of music, ranging from classical repertoire to arrangements of current popular music. The repertoire largely depends on the group’s numbers, as well as the balance of instruments, and they are always open to suggestions. String group performs at a variety of events across the year, and rehearses on a Sunday afternoon in the Tristram Room, St John’s College.