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Humanities

Alex Fryer BA Music

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Hi, I'm Alex Fryer and I studied BA Music within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

The lecturers at Southampton are second to none; I have an amazing instrumental teacher and lots of performance opportunities, both within and outside the course. The campus and facilities are fantastic.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Cambridgeshire.

How did you get interested in music?

I played flute from about the age of nine and have loved music ever since.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

The lecturers at Southampton are second to none; I have an amazing instrumental teacher and lots of performance opportunities, both within and outside the course. The campus and facilities are fantastic.

Tell us more about the areas of music that you are now specialising in

Going into my second year I will be specialising in instrumental performance, both solo and ensemble, and I have also chosen to pursue paths in conducting and orchestration.

Are you enjoying your studies? What do you like most about your degree programme?

I have very much enjoyed my first year of studying; it has provided me with an excellent, well rounded basis in music, and a spring board for the modules in the second and third years. My favourite parts of the degree so far are my performance tuition and the flexibility of the course in the second and third years.

Do you get on well with the academic staff in Music?

All of the academic staff are friendly and approachable; I feel able to talk to them about the course subject and about my work.

What’s the best thing about living and studying in Southampton?

Southampton is a wonderfully green part of the country, and it’s lovely to be close to the sea. Having the Music Society ball on a boat was a particular highlight. The city has everything you could need, without being too big.

How were the first few weeks at University? Was it easy to settle into your studies, make friends etc?

I participated in a 'Pre-term' week (the week prior to
Freshers' Week) organised by the University student-run orchestra, the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra (SUSO). This was an amazing way to meet other music students, and students from other disciplines, I made my best friends on 'pre-term' and have been with them all year. Music's introductory lectures were a good place to meet course mates, and the University Freshers' Week has numerous events where you are able to meet people and generally have a great time. There are hundreds of societies that start within the first few weeks that are also great places to meet new people; I have met most of my friends through societies.

Are you involved in any orchestras, bands, clubs, societies etc?

I have been very busy this year playing in ensembles; it has been the highlight of my year. I am currently principle Oboe of the SUSO; playing works such as Shostakovich 'Symphony No. 7' and Bartok 'Concerto for Orchestra' and this summer I took part in a wonderful tour to Italy with them. Next year I am delighted to be SUSO’s assistant conductor. I also play in the University Sinfonietta (chamber orchestra) and the Wind Orchestra, and this year have sung in and conducted a new choir called Fidelis Chorale which I set up with another student. Next year I have been lucky enough to receive a choral scholarship to sing with the university vocal ensemble Cantores Michaelis and I am also musical director for a production with Showstoppers, the University's musical theatre society.

What are you planning to do after graduating?

Although I am still undecided at the moment, I would like to go to music college and study a post graduate in either oboe performance or conducting.

Do you have any advice for people considering studying music at Southampton?

Southampton is a wonderful place to study, there are a massive range of opportunities available in all fields of music and many other opportunities outside of your course, so don’t miss out!

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