Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) has played a pivotal role in British musical life for over 170 years. The main focus of the society is to facilitate passionate and enthusiastic music-making wherever possible.

The society is made up of ten ensembles which offer a wide variety of experiences for members of the University and local residents. The ensembles range from the internationally renowned chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra, who perform with professional conductors and soloists, to the concert orchestra, who offer opportunities for students to perform popular classics, and the wind orchestra, who tackle a challenging and musically diverse repertoire, generating interest from audiences and composers alike. As well as orchestral ensembles, CUMS also includes a symphony chorus and a chamber choir, providing opportunities for singers outside of the Cambridge chapel choir environment.

CUMS provides Cambridge students with a variety of unique and rewarding opportunities, such as the chance to work with professional soloists and conductors, to perform in venues like King’s College Chapel, Ely Cathedral and West Road Concert Hall, to enter conducting, concerto and composition competitions and to tour internationally. Recent highlights have included Wagner’s Parsifal (Act III) conducted by Sir Mark Elder, a recording of Haydn and Mozart symphonies with Sir Roger Norrington, Mahler’s Third Symphony with Paul Daniel and a recording of The Epic of Everest’s original score for the British Film Institute.

Each year, around 500 students – reading everything from music and maths to medicine and modern languages – take part in up to 40 concerts, as conductors, instrumentalists, singers and composers. Students also run the organisation, with professional support.

Each of the CUMS ensembles holds auditions at the beginning of every academic year, details of which can be found here.

If you are interested in music-making in Cambridge, CUMS is the place for you. More information on the work and history of the society can be found throughout our website.If you have any queries about the work of the society, please get in contact with Chloe Davidson at cnd26@cam.ac.uk.


Cambridge University Musical Society
West Road Concert Hall
11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Principal Guest Conductor
Sir Roger Norrington CBE
CUMS Conductor Laureate
Stephen Cleobury CBE
Principal Guest Conductor Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra
Peter Stark
Director CU Chamber Choir
Martin Ennis