OUMS does some brilliant work to create and support opportunities for music-making on a University level, but the amazing efforts within colleges are often overlooked. In a new series exclusively for OPUS, Evie Brenkley is on a mission to go behind-the-scenes and reveal the very best of College Music.
The second in the series focuses on Eglesfield Musical Society, which is based at The Queen's College. Last term, Evie caught up with President Rosanna Milner and Vice President Cameron Hutchinson to find out how EMS works, and what's coming up in Trinity Term.
So, who is a part of Queen’s Music Society: who builds the team to make the society what is it?
Queen's music scene is underpinned by our music society, named after our founder - Eglesfield Musical Society (EMS for short!). We reckon we put on over 60 events in a year, and rumour has it we're the oldest music society in all of Oxford (even pre-dating OUMS!). This year's Pres and Vice Pres are us (Rosanna Milner & Cameron Hutchinson), but we are supported by an amazing committee - we definitely could not do what we do without them. Elections for next year's committee will be coming up soon - here it works by hustings and a vote taken from the previous committee.
What do you offer students?
Lots of things to be honest. Our facilities here are great (2x practice rooms and the Shulman Theatre as well as our beautiful chapel) so we can make plenty of music throughout the week. To list a few, we have: EMS Orchestra, EMS Chamber Orchestra, an A capella group, a jazz band (Off Key) as well as weekly Recitals and weekly Organ Recitals.
6th Week of Hilary is a particular highlight in the year as we put on EMS Fest - a whole week of musical things happening around college. This year, we managed: an EMS Dinner, a takeover of the JCR welfare tea, an EMS bop where we joined forces with Entz (dress as a singer or musician, with the playlist curated in advance by attendees!). We also held 2 concerts that week (the normal recital and a Chamber Music concert) and did a karaoke night.
Are there any other events and socials does Queen’s Music Soc host for its members?
Our pub trips post-concerts are usually quite popular: both performers and audience are invited! Generally, it's a really lovely vibe around EMS.
Is there anything special to Queen’s that makes it unique?
We love that even if you don’t do Music as a subject, people apply here because we have such a strong music society - it cultivates a really musical vibe!! The whole committee are non-music students except President Rosanna which we think is pretty cool.
What are your aims or future aspirations for the society?
We would love to be more engaged in the wider Oxford Uni scene, and continue supporting chamber music, which we don't feel is given a proper platform at the moment (the musical culture of Queens means we can pull scratch ensembles together). We are proud of our wide range of events, but we would love to have more instrumentalists involved with recitals - we get a high proportion of singers at the moment!
Is there anything coming up in Trinity Term?
Yes!! Trinity is always a lot of fun because EMS puts on our yearly musical. This term, we're doing 'The 25th Annual County Putnam Spelling Bee' and rehearsals are in full swing. It's going to be a really fun show and it would be amazing to have lots of people there - musical fans and non-fans alike! We also have a Scratch Night happening Wednesday, 3rd May (2nd Week) - it will be a showcase of some of the numbers from the show plus entertainment (like an actual spelling bee!) to raise money for the show.
Spelling Bee Scratch Night | 8pm | Wednesday 3rd May | The Mad Hatter, Oxford
Join us for a night of fun as the Eglesfield Musical Society presents a sneak peak of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! Tickets available here.
EMS Lunchtime Recitals | 1.30pm | Every Saturday | The Shulman Auditorium or The Queen's College Chapel
Anyone is welcome to sign up to perform - contact Rosanna via the links below to get involved.
Eglesfield Musical Society @ Queens