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Centre for Music Performance


Cambridge University Chamber Choir aims to provide the best student singers with the opportunity to perform, to the highest possible standard, repertoire that is not usually undertaken by Cambridge chapel choirs. Directed by Martin Ennis, with associate conductors David Lowe and Nicholas Mulroy, it typically undertakes three or four projects a year.

2022-23 highlights include Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien directed by Robert Hollingworth, and Bach with Nicholas Mulroy and Margaret Faultless

Cambridge University Chamber Choir is a Centre for Music Performance ensemble run in partnership with the Cambridge University Musical Society.


About CUCC

The Chamber Choir offers fantastic opportunities to singers who are looking to work in a friendly but demanding environment. By choosing a complex and diverse range of repertoire, the ensemble takes the university’s best choral singers and helps them achieve standards that exceed their expectations.

CUCC often places an emphasis on secular music rather than sacred, and it often foregrounds repertoire that allows singers to appear as soloists or in small groups. However, the choir also performs on a regular basis with groups such as Cambridge University Orchestra and the Collegium Musicum (a period-instrument ensemble directed by Margaret Faultless). CUCC members are also frequently offered opportunities to take part in projects involving multiple choirs.

The chamber choir is a fantastic opportunity for experienced singers who are looking to work in a more intimate environment or on a project basis. Recent highlights have included participation in an international festival of sacred music in Yale, collaborations with the Cambridge University Orchestra in works by Vaughan Williams, Nielsen, Stravinsky and Brahms, pioneering performances of Venetian polychoral music, a semi-staged performance of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and participation in The Cardinall’s Musick’s 25th-anniversary performance of Tallis’ Spem in Alium.

For more information on the choir, please contact Lizzie Hale.


Auditions for the Cambridge University Chamber Choir were held on 4, 5, 10, and 14 October 2022. Auditions are carried out by the CUCC Musical Director, Martin Ennis, and Co-Director, David Lowe, and held at Downing College. Singers who are new to the CUCC are asked to provide a reference from a Director of Music or singing teacher. Audition applications have now closed, but if you would like to register interest in joining, please email

Standard audition format for CUCC:

  • Prepare a short 3-5 minute solo (accompanist provided)
  • Sight reading
  • Ear tests
  • Vocal exercises (such as scales etc)

Auditions will be approximately 15 minutes long. 

Successful candidates will have the ability to read music well and hold their own in an ensemble.

Please direct any queries to Lizzie Hale.


CUCC performs a wide variety of repertoire. 2022-23 highlights include Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien directed by Robert Hollingworth, and Bach with Nicholas Mulroy and Margaret Faultless

Highlights from the 2021-22 season included pieces by Britten, Striggio, Gabrieli, Bach, Purcell, and Tallis' Spem in alium

Recent conductors and soloists
Martin Ennis, conductor; Margaret Faultless, violin.
Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; Andrew Kennedy, tenor.

This ensemble has its own student committee, which runs the ensemble’s rehearsals, concerts and social events. They are supported by a team of industry professionals at the Centre for Music Performance. If you would like to get in touch or have a suggestion about the ensemble, the Ensemble President, Benedict Randall Shaw, is a good place to start. The full committee will be announced shortly.

Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be expected to audition?
If you are new to the University or are not known to us, we ask that you sign up for an audition, providing a reference from a Director of Music or singing teacher in advance of audition. If you are a ‘known quantity’ – e.g. if you do a lot of singing around Cambridge and are known to the directors of the Chamber Choir or the choir administrator – you may only be asked to audition for solo roles. If you do a lot of singing at the University (for example, if you sing in one of the College Choirs) but are not known to us, we may ask for a reference from your Director of Music or singing teacher; the decision whether or not to audition you will depend on individual circumstances. 
When do auditions take place?
Auditions usually take place during the first two weeks of October. For an audition, we ask you to prepare a piece of your choice (between 3 and 5 minutes in length), either accompanied or unaccompanied. We provide an accompanist for the audition. You will also be given exercises to assess your vocal abilities as well as some aural and sight-reading tests.
Can I audition mid-year?
We usually only hold auditions in October. As noted above, if you do a lot of singing at the University but are not known to us, we may ask for a reference from a Director of Music or singing teacher and may be able to offer a place depending on the reference.
When do rehearsals take place?
Rehearsals take place on a project-by project basis, rather than weekly. There are usually three or four evening rehearsals in the two weeks running up to a concert and a rehearsal on the day of the performance. Rehearsals are often organised via a doodle poll, in order to find the most convenient dates. Because the repertoire frequently includes pieces with solos and small ensembles, it is rare for everyone to be needed for all rehearsals.
Do I have to be a confident sight-reader?
Singers admitted to the choir will usually be strong readers, and if sight-reading any of the repertoire causes problems, singers will be expected to look at music outside of rehearsals in order to reach the expected standard.
Is the choir just for undergraduates?
No; any member of the University, including staff and postgraduate students, can sing in the choir.
Do I have to commit to all projects for the year?
As noted above, each concert is fixed on a project-by-project basis, so in theory you can sing for as many or as few concerts as you would like. However, we expect singers to attend all the rehearsals for the projects in which they are involved.