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Centre for Music Performance

 

Cambridge University Symphony Chorus is a busy and vibrant choir of approximately 120 members which gives singers the fantastic opportunity to perform some of the most dramatic and passionate choral music ever written, and rarely performed by the college choirs. CUSC is made up of students, staff, alumni, and members of the wider Cambridge community. 

This year’s highlights include Verdi’s Requiem at Ely Cathedral, and a group from the choir will be performing Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Orchestre de Paris.

If you are offered a place in Cambridge University Symphony Chorus you will need to become a member of the Cambridge University Musical Society.  Membership rates are £20 per year for students and £150 per year for non-students.

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

About CUSC

Cambridge University Symphony Chorus is a truly flourishing choir, delivering exceptional performances of choral classicsThe Chorus normally rehearses and performs with its Musical Director Richard Wilberforce, and a guest conductor is often invited for one concert each year. The Chorus also enjoys trips and performances abroad for example Florence, Prague, Tallinn, Paris, Lisbon and, most recently, Rome. If you’re passionate about singing and looking for the chance to perform some of the grandest vocal repertory, CU Symphony Chorus is the place for you.

Nothing quite compares to singing large-scale symphonic choral repertoire with a hundred others, and if you don’t believe us, why not dust off your vocal chords and give it a try! If you’d like more information, email . CUSC: we sing big works in big buildings

CUSC rehearses weekly on Thursday nights 7.30pm – 9.45pm during the university term at St Botolph's Church on Trumpington Street.

If you are offered a place in Cambridge University Symphony Chorus you will need to become a member of the Cambridge University Musical Society. Membership rates are £20 per year for students and £150 per year for non-students.

Auditions

Cambridge University Symphony Chorus is an auditioned choir. Auditions are held each term. Further information can be found here: https://www.cmp.cam.ac.uk/singing-auditions

Standard audition format for CUSC:

The audition is very friendly and lasts about eight minutes. The audition is carried out by the Musical Director, Richard Wilberforce, or his assistant. You will be asked some of the following:

  • Sing some scales and/or arpeggios to demonstrate vocal range and quality.
  • Sing a short melody: the melody will be played twice on the piano first.
  • Complete some simple ear tests: e.g. picking out a note from a chord.
  • Pitch some basic intervals.
  • Sing a short passage at sight: an opportunity for a ‘second go’ is offered, credit being given for the ability to correct at a subsequent reading.

In addition, you will be asked to prepare a short piece, which will be sent to you upon receipt of your application.

If you have any questions please email Liz and Bridget at registrar@camchorus.uk

Programme

CUSC performs a wide variety of repertoire. The 2022-23 programme includes Handel's The Messiah at West Road Concert Hall, Verdi's Requiem at Ely Cathedral, Mozart's Requiem in King's College Chapel, and a group from the choir will be performing Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Orchestre de Paris.

Highlights from the 2021-22 season included pieces by Stravinsky, Parry, Vaughan Williams, Haydn, Bruckner, Stanford, and Elgar. 

Recent highlights and soloists
Soloists:
Dima Bawab, soprano; Thomas Elwin, tenor; George Humphreys, bass
 
Highlights:
June 2022: Haydn’s The Creation sung in German in King’s College Chapel, conducted by Richard Wilberforce’
November 2019: A rare performance of Elgar The Kingdom, with Leeds Philharmonic Choir and Faust Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Hill (Ely Cathedral).
December 2019: Tour to Aachen for a joint concert of a cappella music with our fellow choir Cappella Aquensis.
 
 
Committee
This ensemble has its own 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, Alan Woodward, is a good place to start. 
 
President: Alan Woodward
 
Student President: currently unfulfilled
 
Chorus Manager: Lizzie Hale
 
Registrars: Bridget Ford and Liz Morris
 
Treasurer: Chris Ford
 
Rehearsal Manager: Kingsley Reavell
 
Social Secretaries: Liv Ward and Lea White
 
Fundraising: Miranda Zwalf
 
Development Officer: Lisbeth Blom
 
Social Media: Lizzie Brightwell
 
Membership Liaison: Bridget Ford and Liz Morris
 
Concert Manager: Lizzie Hale
 
Programming Officer: currently unfulfilled