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8th Week TT23 Newsletter Interview - Evie Brenkley

Each week, the OUMS newsletter features an interview with someone who positively contributes to the Oxford music scene. This week, we sat down with oboist Evie Brenkley to ask her about life as the wonderful President of OUMS and to give a round-up of Trinity Term's best bits.


Evie Brenkley (she/her)

OUMS President


For anyone who has been living under a rock this term — tell us a bit about yourself!

Ha I wouldn’t go that far! But I’m Evie, a first year music student at Hertford, sometime singer and oboe player and full-time admin lover. I am super delighted to be the President of this wonderful society: it has been a brilliantly bonkers term, and I’ve loved having an outlet for avoiding essay crises/revision whilst still having a purpose!


Overall, how have you found your first term as president of OUMS?

To be totally frank, I have loved it - the OUMS committee and community are some of the greatest people to know here in Oxford, and I feel so lucky to be heading up the society at such an exciting time. Of course, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing (wheeling a contrabassoon from the Music Faculty to the Sheldonian sticks in my mind), but to know we are a small cog in the wheel of such a wonderful music scene is very fulfilling!


What is your proudest achievement so far?

This is a very big question! On an OUMS level, the team have done so much: our ensembles all had utterly stellar concerts (and I managed to make it to almost every single one - sorry OUJO:( - which I would highly recommend); the website, OPUS and our newsletter are back up and running; and we’re well on our way to rebuilding a sense of a proper OUMS community through our socials. Personally, I’m proud of just generally managing to get through my first year, navigating (and occasionally balancing!) OUMS, oboe things (getting a shoutout in the OUO review was a highlight!), a social life, plus the occasional bit of my degree - and all whilst life throws its own obstacles along the way too!


What can we look forward to from OUMS next year — what are the big plans?!

Oh goodness - so much! On the admin side, we are formalising a lot of stuff that is already happening, to ensure that enthusiasm and action continues (including being able to create an OUMS members list!). Auditions will be back of course, alongside a new and improved chamber music scene. We’ll have more stash, continued weekly newsletters (sign up here!) and lots of outreach opportunities, plus our calendar of varied social events will continue to thrive! Some big concerts are planned, with OUBB heading to Newcastle to play in Brass in Concert (having won UniBrass!), OUO tackling Shostakovich in the Sheldonian, and the Resurrection of OUChorus officially upon us. Also, we are in discussions with the Alternative Canon Project and other super cool organisations promoting diversity and equality about how best we can support their work. And of course, we are particularly looking forward to welcoming the new batch of freshers and introducing them to the wonderful world of OUMS <3


Can you give us a music recommendation?

To nobody’s surprise, I’m not going to give a direct answer to this! I racked my brain for ages trying to find something just right. My guilty pleasures are definitely musical soundtracks, or classic 80s disco - and I also love the energy of singers like Laura Mvula and Lauryn Hill. However, the recommendation I'll give is for this 3 minutes of utter stillness: whack it on, close your eyes, and take a break from the big bad world. Some proper soul-restoring stuff: ‘Hear my prayer’ by Henry Purcell.





To find out more about the work that Evie and OUMS do, take a look around the rest of this beautiful website - originally designed by Evie in her previous OUMS committee role!


To find out more about the OUMS newsletter and our interviews, email Christopher at secretary@oums.co.uk.



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