CoMA Sussex

Photo Will Perrett
Photo Will Perrett

We’re an instrumental group, founded in 2005, that rehearses once a month on a Sunday afternoon at the University of Sussex, near Brighton, and gives public concerts.

Steve Dummer directed us in our early days and after several years away, during which he’s built up an extensive conducting portfolio, we were delighted to have him return as our MD in 2017.

New members – whatever their instrument – are always very welcome. Your first rehearsal is free of charge. (See below for full details and our email address.)

Here are four videos of us playing, recently made by independent film maker John Crix and sound engineer François DeVille:

Veilings 1 by Phil Baker  12:53

Three Conjugations by Patrick Harrex  6:20

Pachamama by Diego Monsalve  8:23

Open by Guy Richardson  5:35

Image John Crix/West44 Productions
Image John Crix/West44 Productions

We’ve been busy in recent months …

In March 2018 we were key players in the Chichester events of the Festival of Contemporary Music for All, collaborating with CoMA South, students of the University of Chichester and professional group The Riot Ensemble.

We performed in St John’s Smith Square, London, as part of CoMA’s 25th Anniversary celebrations in September 2018. As well as having our own spot we had great fun playing along with ensembles from Berlin, Maastricht and the UK.

At the Friends’ Meeting House in Brighton in November 2018, we collaborated with New Music Brighton to give first performances of four new works, Veilings 1 by Phil Baker, CoMA 128 by Ric Graebner, Last Tango in Brighton by John Hawkins and Open by Guy Richardson, all of which we’d previously workshopped with the composers. We also played pieces by two members of our ensemble, Patrick Harrex and Diego Monsalve, and by other composers associated with the collaborating groups.

Out of this came this summer’s exciting video collaboration with John and François.

We recently had a lovely time giving a lunchtime concert at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, an amazing place, hosted by composer in residence Mary Hampton. To suit the location we focused on pieces that related to the visual arts, including two receiving their world premieres.

… and looking ahead we’ll be just as busy …

We’re giving a lunchtime concert as part or the Adur Arts Live festival in Shoreham-by-Sea at 12 noon on Saturday 23 November 2019 (see Upcoming Events below).

Looking further ahead we are planning a participatory event in Brighton as part of CoMA’s Contemporary Music for All Festival on 7–8 March 2020 (again, see Upcoming Events).

We’re also delighted to have had an invitation for CoMA Sussex members to take part in Rachel Fryer’s project ‘Variations down the line’ (successfully crowdfunded here): five composers will be commissioned to make 21st-century responses to the chords and bass line of Bach’s Goldberg Variations which it’s planned will be performed in a rural festivals tour of Sussex and Kent, with our members involved in presenting these new variations to a wider public in workshops.

We like playing in varied venues and enjoy collaborating …

Over the years we’ve played at the East Sussex Music Centre and Lancing College, and have taken part in the Adur Arts Live Festival in Shoreham-by-Sea. We’ve given concerts in partnership with the lively student contemporary music group at Chichester University and workshops in collaboration with Worthing’s Revolutionary Music Group. In 2012 we collaborated with the Southampton Concert Orchestra in Gavin Bryars’s epic The Sinking of the Titanic at Southampton Guildhall.

You can hear some of our earlier performances here.

Rehearsal details

We’ll be rehearsing on the following Sundays at 2:30 p.m. in the Recital Room in Falmer House (near the Students’ Union Shop) at the University of Sussex. See here for directions to the University.

  • 15 December 2019


  • 12 January (includes AGM)
  • 16 February
  • 29 March
  • 19 April
  • 10 May
  • 14 June
  • 12 July

There will be a rehearsal at 10:50 a.m. (set up at 10:30) on Saturday 23 November 2019 at St Mary de Haura Church, before our lunchtime concert there.

Many thanks to the Music Department of the University of Sussex for their support.

A nice momento of our former MD Adam Swayne rehearsing us at St John sub Castro, Lewes
A nice momento of our former MD Adam Swayne rehearsing us at St John sub Castro, Lewes

Membership and contacts

Membership of CoMA Sussex costs:
£75 per year (£55 concessions), paid annually,
£8 per month by standing order (£6 concessions)
£12 per rehearsal (£8 concessions).

Members must also become a CoMA Friend (annual subscription £36 standard, £24 concessions).

Music Director: Steve Dummer

Chair: Paul Scruton

Secretary: Lluís Nadal; email

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @CoMA_Sussex

Upcoming events