Calling all Musicians

Your invitation to make music at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Ensembles are open to any student studying any subject. You do not have to be a music student to sign up.

Some groups are entirely open – anyone can join without an audition.

Most ensembles, however, are auditioned at the start of the academic year.

Don't forget to visit the School of Music and Performing Arts home page  read our MPA blog (please ask a member of staff about how you can contribute to this!)  and find out about the Music Society .


Director: Lauren Redhead

Rehearsals: Mondays, 3pm - 5pm, MDg01 (starting late January 2018)

We are a medium-sized chamber ensemble that performs works in a variety of contemporary styles written by living composers.


Director: David Allinson

Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 5.30pm for 90 minutes, St Gregory’s (starting 4 October)

This large, friendly non-auditioned choir performs a range of repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day, but with an emphasis on core Classical repertoire. Open to staff, students and local people without audition, members are expected to commit and work to a high standard.

We participate in major events including the Carols by Candlelight service and the annual cathedral concert.


Director: The University Conducting Scholar

Rehearsals: Thursdays, 4.15pm for rehearsal and 5.30pm service in the University Chapel (starting 21 September). The service lasts about half an hour and is followed by free food and drink.

This dynamic and friendly choir exists to support worship in the University community. Comprising a mixture of non-auditioned singers and Choral Scholars, it provides a rich and varied musical programme, giving singers and congregation alike a taste of the wonderful Anglican musical tradition. The choir also sings elsewhere - including services in Canterbury Cathedral - and occasionally tours further afield. (Enquiries: or simply show up at the first rehearsal.)

If you are interested in auditioning for a Choral, Conducting or Organ Scholarship, please see the entry under Auditioned Ensembles below.


Director: Vince Peilow

Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 7.00pm for two hours, University Chapel (starting 27 September)

An inclusive, non-auditioned choir that brings together students, staff and alumni that has achieved 3rd place in University Gospel Choir of the Year for the last two years. Experience singing in a choir and learning vocal techniques to bring out that big Gospel sound. Ability to read music not essential. Music from a repertoire of traditional and contemporary Gospel songs to be performed at University and external events.

Contact us at Fresher’s Fayre, via our Facebook page, or email for more information.


The Society expects to run the following ensembles. Connect with the Society at Fresher’s Fayre or email for more details - or simply sign up for an audition that includes entry to these ensembles. Note that membership of the Student Union Music Society (£10) is mandatory for all members of Music Society ensembles.

  • CCSU Wind Band
  • Music Society Flute Choir
  • Music Society Clarinet Choir
  • Recorder Choir
  • Music Society Orchestra


Director: Sam Bailey

Rehearsals: Mondays 3pm-5pm MDg01 (starting 25 September)

If you are interested in creative music making, improvising, playing by ear, playing open scores or exploring the many ways that musicians can interact without conventionally notated scores then this is the ensemble for you. The Creative Workshop Ensemble covers a huge range of musical styles and will give you some of the skills and experience required to be a music therapist, school workshop leader, community musician, composer, improviser and sound artist. We work toward concert performances as well as installations and cross-arts collaborations.

Membership of these professionally-directed groups is by audition only:

  • University Symphony Orchestra
  • University String Orchestra
  • Early Music Ensemble
  • University Wind Ensemble
  • Big Band
  • University Chamber Choir
  • Top Voices (sopranos and altos only)
  • Broadway Choir
  • Chapel Choir Scholars

Instrumentalists: A single audition covers Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, University Wind Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble and Big Band. Simply sign up to be heard by the relevant Panel.

Singers: A single audition covers Chamber Choir, Top Voices and Early Music Ensemble.

Broadway Choir auditions are heard by a separate Panel.

Auditions for Chapel Scholarships (Choral, Organ and Conducting) are held separately (see here).

All players and singers including members of last year’s ensembles need to audition – nobody has an automatic right to a place in any ensemble.

Come to the Freshers Fair in Augustine Hall on Wednesday 20th September to sign up, or visit Coleridge House any time before Monday 25th, 5pm. If you turn up on the day without having booked a time, you will not be able to audition.

At your audition, you will be asked to perform a short piece of your own choosing and to take a sight-reading test. The piece should be chosen to show off your technical proficiency and tone quality. (n.b.: your piece should be appropriate in style to the group you hope to join – so for Chamber Choir or Symphony Orchestra a classical piece of music is expected.)

Concert and rehearsal schedules for the whole year will be available at the audition so you can see what membership of your desired ensemble involves.

If you are offered and accept a place in any ensemble, it is expected that you commit to attend all rehearsals and concerts for the whole year.

Auditions Timetable

All auditions will take place between Wednesday 27th September and Wednesday 4th October on the North Holmes Campus, Canterbury.

Please watch this page for full information on audition times and rooms.

Instrumental lists will be posted by 2pm on Tuesday 3 October, in Coleridge House reception and online at this Calling All Musicians page. Choral lists will be posted by 10am on Thursday 5 October, in Coleridge House reception and online, on this page.

Director: Martin Outram

Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 3.00pm for two hours, St Gregory’s (starting 4 October)

The flagship Symphony Orchestra performs masterpieces from all periods and from many musical genres, including works by Christ Church students.

We perform at the annual cathedral concert and the Christmas and Prom concerts. 

We often collaborate with University choirs in performances of major choral works.

Director: David Allinson

Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7.00pm for two hours, St Gregory’s (starting 5 October)

The University’s elite chamber choir performs choral music of all periods and styles to the highest standard, with an emphasis on the Renaissance and modern periods. A friendly, hardworking and dynamic group, we give several concerts on campus during the academic year, perform at graduation ceremonies and in the annual cathedral concert – and participate in the annual Cathedral Group Choirs Festival.

Director: Martin Outram

Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 7.00-8:15pm, MDg01 (starting 4 October)

Welcoming string players from across the University, we perform repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the present day. There are opportunities for concerto playing and we hold workshops for composers to try out new music.

We perform at the annual cathedral concert and at the Christmas and Prom concerts and constitute the string section of the Symphony Orchestra.

Director: David Newsholme

Rehearsals: Mondays, 11.00am for 90 minutes, St Gregory's (starting 9 October)

We perform vocal and instrumental music from the 16th to the 18th centuries, usually performing on two occasions each year. In the past the group has toured abroad, and we would like to do this again.

All instruments and voice types welcome. This year we are particularly seeking keen singers.

Director: Chris Price

Rehearsals: Tuesdays, 6.30pm - 9pm MDf08 (starting 10 October)

This quality, versatile group of sopranos and altos offers a challenging but rewarding experience of small-ensemble singing. 

Repertoire includes everything from medieval chant to arrangements of jazz standards and comic song, with sacred and secular music of all the centuries in between.

Director: Phil Hornsey

Rehearsals: Mondays, 7pm - 9pm MDf04 (starting 9 October)

Broadway Choir performs a wide range of songs from the musical theatre repertoire. Members learn all material by heart and sing 'off copy'.

Director: Steve Waterman

Rehearsals: Tuesdays, 7.00pm for two hours, Maxwell Davies MDg01 (starting 10 October)

Brass, woodwind and percussion players: join this gigging band. We perform classic Big Band arrangements of swing and jazz to the highest standard and are also interested in students arranging and composing for the group.

Director: University Conducting Scholar

Rehearsals: Thursdays, 4.15pm for rehearsal and 5.30pm service in the University Chapel (starting 21 September). The service lasts about half an hour and is followed by free food and drink. Scholars also attend an additional weekly rehearsal and sing at University graduation ceremonies.

Each year Christ Church offers at least four Choral Scholarships for the University Chapel Choir: one on each voice part (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass; note that countertenors and contraltos are equally welcome) and at least one Organ/Conducting scholarship.

Choral Scholarships are worth £800 per annum and Organ/Conducting scholarships are worth £1,000 per annum.

For more details of Scholars’ duties and an application form please visit the Chapel Scholarship page.

Director: Tony Castro

Rehearsals: Monday

Semester 1: MDf08, 5-7pm (Michaelmas Term, starting 9 October)

Semester 2: St Greg’s, 5-7pm (Spring Term, starting 22 Jan, up to Easter holiday)

One of the University’s flagship ensembles, comprising woodwind, brass and percussion players, we perform exciting and challenging music from the wind orchestra repertoire.


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Last edited: 07/06/2018 10:23:00