Interview: CUMS Symphony Chorus Student President, Eli Morris

Ahead of CUMS Symphony Chorus’s first concert of the 2016-17 Season this coming Sunday, Eli Morris gives some insight into her role as Chorus Student President…

Eli Morris

Eli Morris

1. Tell us about your musical background. Have you always been fond of singing?

I’ve always loved singing, and my family and friends have long put up with me singing to myself wherever I go (my friend Michelle and I do a mean rendition of ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ from the Lion King, but that’s another story…) I’ve had singing and piano lessons since a young age, and performed in various musical theatre shows, as well as the school choir and chamber choir. I was lucky enough to sing in St Pauls and Southwark Cathedral as part of the chamber choir, which were both absolutely unforgettable experiences.

2. What attracted you to the CUMS Symphony Chorus?

I think Cambridge life can get a bit stressful for a student sometimes, and it’s so important to be part of something for a couple of hours a week where you can just completely forget about that essay you need to write or the lab report that you haven’t started yet and just do something that makes you happy. I tried a couple of other choirs before joining, and the Chorus is, in my opinion, such a high quality choir, and the pieces we do are really beautiful, so it seemed like the obvious choice. I also like the fact we’re such a big choir; we can produce a really amazing sound and pull off more epic pieces.

3. Do you sing in other ensembles in Cambridge?

I’ve just started a choir in Emmanuel actually, which is on Monday nights and we do sing very different songs to those we’re doing in the Chorus; we’re doing Coldplay and Christmas Carols this term. I really like the contrast between that and Mozart!

4. What has been your favourite performance with CUMS Symphony Chorus?

We sang Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in May Week last year with the Symphony Orchestra, which has some really fun passages, and the soloists were incredible.

5. What does your role as CUMS Symphony Chorus Student President involve?

I help manage the social media for the Chorus, and take minutes at meetings. I also helped out at the Freshers’ Fair and helping deal with the audition process for the students joining the Chorus.

6. CUMS Symphony Chorus’s first concert of the year features Mozart’s Mass in C minor. Have you enjoyed working on this piece? What challenges does it bring?

I really love this piece, although I must admit some parts of it are very intricate and tricky (I am slightly terrified of Osanna). I particularly like the passages where we split into a first and second choir; the music is so detailed but also epic and in-your-face. There’s so much going on so it’s amazing to listen to!

7. What are you most looking forward to about the 2016-17 season?

On the 21st January the students in the Chorus are combining with some of the college choirs around Cambridge and singing Mahler Symphony No 3 in King’s College Chapel, which should be amazing!


CUMS Symphony Chorus are performing Mozart’s Mass in C minor this Sunday at West Road Concert Hall. The concert will also feature Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto, performed by Toby Hession. Tickets are selling fast, so book yours online today!


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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
Director, Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Martin Ennis
Artistic Advisor
Sian Edwards
Associate Directors, Cambridge University Chamber Choir
David Lowe, Nicholas Mulroy