Who are DUCE?

DUCE are the Durham University Classical Ensemble, Durham’s newest orchestra, founded in 2014. The fresh orchestra is made up of some of Durham’s finest and freshest student musicians.

The chamber ensemble is the only one in Durham specialising in a Baroque, Classical and early Romantic repertoire, with an aim to produce works through historically informed performance practice. It is the only orchestra that specialises in pieces pre-1830. Their concerts, which raises money for music-based charities, so far have been well-received with positive reviews for this auditioned group. A review on Durham music’s website described their playing as ‘extremely impressive’ and ‘stunning’. The main charity that DUCE are raising money for this year is Music For All; this charity strives to encourage disadvantaged students to get involved in music and learn an instrument. If you’d like to donate to this great charity click here.

On their Facebook social media account, their previous conductor, Chris Waters, linguistically describes the ensemble as having an “insatiable appetite for stylistic expertise, coupled with an inexhaustible zeal for playing”. There social media account has many impressive videos of the ensemble practising, which evidences Waters’ description. The Facebook page also includes mini interviews with some of it’s members and provides updates for it’s upcoming concerts.

Their future concerts in Easter Term include ‘Earthbound – Sketches of land, sea and sky’ on 3 June in the Great Hall of Durham Castle (a collaboration of multiple ensembles) and their own performance on 15 June in the magnificent Durham Town Hall, where they will be playing a show-stopping programme comprising Haydn’s Creation Overture, Weber’s Clarinet Concerto and Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ 9th Symphony.

The orchestra are currently looking for a new conductor to lead the talented musicians. If you are an intelligent and passionate conductor, why not try applying? Send an email to classical.ensemble@durham.ac.uk if you think you’ve got what it takes.

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