Arts and community

Contemporary Music Festival

The 2012 Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival explored new sound worlds in celebration of Plymouth University's 150th anniversary. Explore, Dream, Discover was this year’s theme, from the University's coat of arms: Indagate, Fingite, Invenite.

The programme explored creativity through innovations in computing and musical technology, as well as traditional chamber music settings: new musical worlds that engage everything from the intimacy of the human brain, to the inspiration and imagination of vast spaces. Multiple musical traditions worked in tandem as western classical music structures were dismantled, reconstructed and rediscovered.

Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, organised in partnership with the Plymouth University Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR), took place in the Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University from 10-12 February 2012.

Branding showcase

Six months after the new Plymouth University brand was rolled out, the University celebrated its successful implementation in a Branding Showcase. The showcase was launched on 31 January 2012, attended by more than 100 people, as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations.

The event took place in the prestigious Roland Levinsky Building, which was transformed into a colourful array of graphic and moving applications of the brand which have been used by our marketing teams, designers and partners. Also on display was a 'Pop Up Shop' which exhibited the work of 3D Design students.

The Branding Showcase was open to staff, students and the public from 31 January to 8 February 2012. 

OPAL photographic competition

OPAL 'Wildlife in Plymouth' photo competition aimed at revealing the interesting wildlife and beautiful natural places within the City of Plymouth. Urban areas can be filled with wildlife, from bees and dragonflies, to deer, frogs, songbirds and sea gulls. The focus of the competition was on capturing wildlife that may normally be considered common place in a new light, and to reveal some of the more unusual creatures and sites that might be seen. With macro, landscape, urban wildlife and mobile phone categories, the winning entries show off some of the best natural sites Plymouth has to offer.

More than 350 entries were received from people spanning the generations, with submissions from children as young as eight years old. The competition has encouraged people to get out and explore the natural places the city has to offer and we hope that our winning entries will inspire you to take a closer look and discover the interesting wildlife and green spaces on your doorstep.

OPAL is a Big-Lottery funded project aimed at engaging communities with the natural world, and runs outdoor science activities across the region with schools, youth and community groups. OPAL South-West is based at Plymouth University and ran the competition in conjunction with the University’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations. For more information on OPAL please visit www.opalexplorenature.org.

QEII Jubilee Art Competition

This competition was promoted by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho, and supported by Plymouth University as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations and BBC Radio Cornwall. It was badged an official Diamond Jubilee event as a tribute to Her Majesty, with the theme of 'A Day in the life of Queen Elizabeth II' and the standard of entries was fantastic.

It was open to youngsters aged 5-18 across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with three categories - for creative writing/written prose, moving image and still image - and a series of workshops were held across the county during March 2012, designed and delivered by students from Plymouth University to engage and inspire entrants.  The winners were chosen by a panel of expert judges which included artist Kurt Jackson, novelist Patrick Gale and film maker Ben Giles.

Five-year-old Winnie Clemo, a pupil at St John’s Catholic Primary School in Camborne, was one of 700 youngsters who entered this prestigious competition designed to inspire the creativity of young people across Cornwall. She was presented with her first prize in a special ceremony at the Royal Cornwall Show by its very own Royal visitor, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The artwork of the winners and runners-up featured in a touring exhibition to schools and public venues after the show, created by Plymouth University students.

View the Jubilee Art competition entries​​​​.

Exeter College Art Degree Show

The Foundation Degree show was an opportunity to celebrate the high standard of creative work produced by students from the three courses of Photography and Digital Arts, Fine Art and Graphic Communication delivered at Exeter College in partnership with Plymouth University. 

Music on the Hoe

Music on the Hoe – Stage and Screen: Songs and Film Scores was a musical concert that formed part of Plymouth University’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The concert was performed by Ten Tors Orchestra with Ruthie Henshall, and conducted by Simon Ible.

Ruthie Henshall, star of Broadway and London’s West End, headlined at this spectacular concert on Plymouth Hoe. The programme featured blockbuster film scores including Gladiator, James Bond, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and popular show tunes from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Carousel as well as soundtracks of great movie classics.

Sound to Sea

New music was commissioned by the University for 2012 inspired by the oceans and Plymouth's seafaring heritage from Eduardo Reck Miranda, Alexis Kirke and Nick Ryan. This music was performed at Plymouth University’s 150th Anniversary Concert ‘Sound to Sea’ on 22 September 2012. The concert was performed by Ten Tors Orchestra and Peninsula Arts Chorale, conducted by Simon Ible with Juliette Pochin as mezzo-soprano. The music pieces included:

  • Alexis Kirke: Distinction
  • Nick Ryan: So Above, as Below
  • Eduardo Reck Miranda: Sound to Sea

Fish music

Fish filmed at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, became musical notes on the Big Screen in the City Centre. By superimposing a musical stave on the screen, string musicians followed the fish movements as they became notes on the stave. Musicians on trumpet, saxophone and keyboard improvised taking their cue from the string musicians. Musicians included:

  • Ten Tors Orchestra Strings
  • Sam Richards: piano and composer
  • Tim Sayer: trumpet
  • Andy Vissier: saxophone

Promoted in partnership with the Marine City Festival, Plymouth City Centre Company Ltd, Plymouth City Council and the National Marine Aquarium.

150 CD concert and launch of Plymouth Print

Plymouth Prints, a new annual art commission, launched in the University's 150th anniversary year. 2012's winning design featured strongly at the contemporary 150 music concert in October 2012 as the cover for the 150 CD. The concert featured performances by the composers and musicians who so kindly composed new pieces specifically for the anniversary year, including Nick Ryan who earlier delivered a prestige lecture about the inspiration behind his composition.

Each year staff, students, alumni and honorary doctorates are invited to submit a piece of work based on a given theme to the University to become the annual Plymouth Print, that will be produced as limited edition prints and postcards and sold to raise funds for the Student Award Fund.

The artwork will achieve a balance between innovative artistic merit/integrity and commerciality, as the aim is not only to develop a showcase of artist work produced in connection with the University but to raise funds for the Student Award.

BUCS sailing competition

The prestigious British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Fleet Racing Championships were hosted by Plymouth University at the Mountbatten Centre in November 2011 and again in November 2012 for the 3rd consecutive year. Following in the wake of the America's Cup in September 2011, the events attracted upwards of 200 participants from 20 universities around the UK.

Plymouth University marked the occasion by presenting the inaugural 'Marine Institute 150 Trophy' - a magnificent unmarked cup, part of a range of silverware bequeathed from the School of Navigation, the foundation of the University in 1862. This trophy will be awarded whenever the BUCS Championships are held in Plymouth, to be retained on campus and displayed with a winner's inscription by the Marine Institute. The 2012 winners were Ali Masters and Craig Dibb of Plymouth University - both in the National Olympic Development Squad aiming for Rio 2016.

The 150 trophy and individual awards were presented by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth at a special ceremony following the first day's racing. Overall, the two day event saw the Plymouth University team achieve second place. Among our student achievers were Chris Matthew and Rob Thomas who came first in the Handicap fleet, Piers Strong and Eeve Allen who achieved third place in the forty one strong Firefly fleet, and Tim Norris and Hayley Bouma who gained third position in the RS fleet.

The national Team Trophy 2012 was won by the Plymouth University Sailing and Powerboat Club, and the Overall Champion Team Trophy went to Plymouth University.

150 runners in Plymouth half marathon

Plymouth half marathon - 3 June 2012

As a part of our Get Active campaign, the Recreation and Active Leisure team have introduced a 'Get Active 150 Challenge,' to celebrate our 150th anniversary, to encourage staff and students to lead a healthier lifestyle. As a part of this the University had 150 runners competing in the Plymouth Half Marathon the 3 June, 75 of whom have never run a half marathon before. After months of preparation, blood, sweat and tears, Plymouth University half marathon runners gathered together on the Hoe at 8.15am eager and ready to complete their  journey. The race started at 9am with our first student returning just 80 minutes later and coming within the top 25. All  students and staff completed the race with times ranging between 80 minutes to 3.5 hours. 

150 flowerbed competition

Georgia Hirons, a pupil from Marine Academy Plymouth, won our competition to design a flowerbed outside the University's Marine Building. Georgia was presented with a certificate and other prizes during a ceremony at the University and was recognised during the 150th anniversary Birthday party.