It’s festival season – as rock, pop, dance takes over fields and parks the length and breadth of the UK, Europe and the US. But the classics don’t miss out in Manchester. … It’s time for Estival – Manchester University Music Society’s four day long equivalent to the Proms!

The event kicks off on 3rd June at the Martin Harris Centre at the University of Manchester (Oxford Road Campus – Bridgeford Street) and will see nine concerts over four days – featuring an incredibly wide range of music, and ensebles such as the Big Band, Wind Orchestra, Ad Solem chamber choir and the Manchester University Music Society Symphony Orchestra And what’s more, some of the events are free!

With approximately 500 people joining the Manchester University Music Society each year, the society features individuals and ensembles and is in huge demand, with individuals and ensembles playing in a ferocious amount of concerts each year in the UK and further afield.

So, what’s the schedule?


Tuesday 3 June:

1.10pm – Contemporary Works – a free lunchtime concert of contemporary works receiving their premier performances, all written by Manchester based student composers

7.30pm – Manchester University Big Band – the MU Big Band puts on a concert in the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall at the Martin Harris Centre, featuring big band classics and toe-tapping tunes. Tickets from £10 / £6 / £3.


Wednesday 4 June:

1.10pm – Grade 1 Orchestra – In an interesting twist, Manchester University Music Society members take to an instrument they have barely ever played before (well until a recent charity drive where they each took up a new instrument for the first time). And now they are performing a concert on their new instruments – see how quickly they have mastered them (hopefully!) Free!

7.30pm – Manchester University Wind Orchestra – featuring the likes of Grieg (Norwegian Dances), Tomlinson (Suite of English Folk Dances) and Ellerby (Paris Sketches) amongst others, the Wind Orchestra returns for its third concert of the year. Tickets £10 / £6 / £3.


Thursday 5 June:

1.10pm – University of Manchester Brass Band – off the back of a recent tour of Northern Ireland, the UoM Brass Band will be bringing a number of contemporary works to this lunchtime concert. Free!

5.00pm – Ad Solem and The Cosmo Singers – In a unique collaboration, the Ad Solem Chamber choir joins forces with The Cosmo Singers to perform pieces by Poulenc, Brahms, Mozart and Debussy amongst others. This concert will take place at the Church of the Holy Name (Oxford Road).

7.30pm – Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensembles – An evening concert featuring Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Schubert’s Symphony No.8 in B minor ‘Unfinished’ brought to you by the Wind Ensembles and Chamber Orchestra featuring cellist Jonathan Gibson in Bruch’s Kol Nidrei. Tickets £10 / £6 / £3.


Friday 6 June:

1.10pm – Vocal Showcase – the final lunchtime concert of Estival sees the Manchester University Barbershop Singers and student choir ‘Latin Name TBC’ performing. Free!

7.30pm – Manchester University Music Society Symphony Orchestra – the Symphony Orchestra brings matters to a close in the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall of the Martin Harris Centre. The evening will see performances of MacMillan’s Veni, Veni Emmanuel (featuring soloist Jack Stone), Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and Prokofiev’s Suites from Romeo and Juliet. Tickets £10 / £6 / £3.