University Music

University Philharmonia

University Philharmonia is an auditioned symphony orchestra directed by the Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Fellow, professional freelance conductor, Jonathan Tilbrook. The orchestra comprises students from over 20 academic disciplines from across The University of Nottingham and performs an exciting, varied and challenging repertoire in several concerts annually. The University Philharmonia aspires to the highest standards of performance and requires dedication and committed attendance during the intensive rehearsal periods over weekends two to three weeks prior to each concert. University Philharmonia usually performs three or four concerts a year including joint concerts with the University Choir. 

Auditions are held annually for students who would like the opportunity to be assistant conductor to the Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Fellow. 

University Choir

The University Choir is the largest choir on campus. Membership of this unauditioned choir is open to all students, alumni and staff of The University of Nottingham. Directed by professional conductor Calum Fraser, the Choir performs two or three concerts annually including a joint concert with the University Philharmonia. The Choir rehearses weekly on Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.45pm during term-time in the Djanogly Rehearsal Hall.

Auditions are held annually for students who would like the opportunity to be assistant conductor or assistant repetiteur with the University Choir and receive one-to-one mentoring from the University Choir Director.

Dates for 2018/19

University Choir

The Choir rehearses weekly on Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.45pm during term-time in the Djanogly Rehearsal Hall starting on Tuesday 2 October.

Calum Fraser Choir Director
Henry Chappell and Zoe Nendick Assistant Conductors
Rob Challinor Repetiteur
Katie Price and Daniel Sutheran Arts Administration (Ensemble) Trainees


Saturday 24 November, 7.30pm
Albert Hall, Nottingham

Li Huanzhi Spring Festival Overture
Rachmaninov The Bells
Holst The Planets


Saturday 16 March, 7.30pm
St Mary's Church, Nottingham

Farrenc Symphony No.3
Mozart Requiem

University Chamber Choir

University Chamber Choir is directed by professional conductor, Calum Fraser. Chamber Choir numbers only 30 singers and tackles some specifically written and challenging repertoire, performing alongside University Choir, University Philharmonia as well as performing concerts of its own.

The Chamber Choir rehearses weekly on Tuesdays 5-6.15pm during term-time in the Djanogly Rehearsal Hall, starting Tuesday 9 October.

Auditions for University Chamber Choir are held annually at the beginning of the academic year.

University Chamber Choir dates for 2018/19

University Chamber Choir

The Chamber Choir rehearses weekly on Tuesdays 5-6.15pm during term-time in the Djanogly Rehearsal Hall, starting Tuesday 9 October.

Calum Fraser Conductor
Katie Temple Assistant Conductor
Rob Challinor Repetiteur


Friday 16 November, 5pm    
Djanogly Recital Hall

Howells Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing
Tavener Funeral Ikos
Ramsey How are the Mighty Fallen
Ramsey When David Heard
Tomkins When David Heard
Harris Bring Us O Lord God
Elgar They are at Rest
Pearsall Lay a Garland

Saturday 24 November, 7.30pm
Albert Hall, Nottingham

Li Huanzhi Spring Festival Overture
Rachmaninov The Bells
Holst The Planets


Saturday 16 March, 7.30pm
St Mary's Church, Nottingham

Farrenc Symphony No.3
Mozart Requiem

Student Traineeships

Nottingham Lakeside Arts offers four student Arts Administration Traineeships attached to the administration and management of the University Philharmonia and University Choir. These paid traineeships are only available to current UoN students and are advertised on the Lakeside website annually in the Spring for appointment for the following academic year. For more information see our recruitment page here.

Quotes from previous Music Trainees

Quotes from Music Trainees:

The ensemble traineeship at Lakeside is a fantastic initiative that provides students with an opportunity to gain practical experience of artistic administration in a supportive and exciting University environment. My position with the University Choir (2012-2013) gave me an important insight into the logistics of running a choral ensemble, and during the course of the year, I developed a set of organizational and management skills that have since been applied to various professional internships and placements in the music industry. I cannot recommend enough applying for the traineeship; it is a truly fantastic opportunity that can open up many new doors for your future career!

Jonathan Newsome

This semester in the choir has been really good. 'Going it alone' so to speak meant that me and Alex had more of a relationship with the choir, and I feel that the majority of members felt comfortable with coming to talk to us about choir issues. It has also been good working with Sarah and seeing the important link between creative and logistical areas. It has provided insights about arts admin. The traineeship has encouraged me to think seriously about Arts admin as a career and also made me start looking for more arts admin work experience.

It has enhanced my experience at uni- by the first time I knew the names of and could speak to most of the first year music students! It has also made me see how the choir means a lot to many people, music students, non-students, postgrads, international and Erasmus students.

The highlight was definitely the day of the American Concert as it gave us an opportunity to put into practice what we have learnt, use our problem-solving skills and learning the coordination needed to put on a concert. I am sure that the experience and skills learnt will help with careers and looking for work in the future as well as being useful for future student music-making.’ –

Maria Ryan (Choir, 2008/9)

I think the traineeships are a great initiative - it's difficult to get experience elsewhere as most places want you to already have experience before they'll give you any (not helpful!).Definitely a good thing to add to a CV.

Rosalind Kipps (Philharmonia, 2008/9)

The Lakeside Traineeship is fantastic. The work you do is interesting, and genuinely useful to the administration staff at Lakeside. The work offers an introduction to the orchestral administration world, it looks brilliant on your CV, and it’s nice to earn some money in term time too!

Rosemary Callery, year 2 Music student (Philharmonia)

Being part of the Lakeside team has been great fun and really rewarding. In addition to learning about ensemble administration and concert logistics, this role has given me the opportunity to meet and work with some great people and has encouraged me to look into a possible future career in arts administration

Suzy Johnson, year 3 Music student (Choir)

'Being assistant conductor for the University Choir has been an amazing experience. Working with Calum has been really fun as well as incredibly informative and I have learnt a great deal from him both about conducting and leading rehearsals. Whilst standing up in front of so many people is a daunting prospect, it really develops your communication and confidence, and it’s so rewarding when your hard work starts to take shape. The choir have been lovely as well as very understanding and supportive as I have found my feet as a conductor and I have really enjoyed working with them. The position has showed me how much I enjoy teaching people and making music as enjoyable as possible and so has partially led to the decision to apply for a PGCE course after I have graduated next year. It has been both an honour and privilege to work with Calum and the choir and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.’

Clare Fowler, Assistant Conductor, University Choir


Conducting workshops are offered regularly during the academic year by the University Philharmonia and University Choir directors. These workshops are free to all University of Nottingham students and are advertised on the Lakeside noticeboard in the Music Department. Students may audition in Spring to be appointed conductors of the student-run ensembles managed by MusSoc and BlowSoc.

Master classes with musicians visiting the University to perform in the Lakeside professional concert series are open to all University students to participate in as performers or observers. These master classes are supported by private donations for which the University is most grateful.

Solo opportunities

Auditions are held in February for University of Nottingham students who would like the opportunity to perform a solo work (a concerto, concert aria, song cycle) with one of the large ensembles: University Philharmonia, University Choir, University Wind Orchestra, or University Sinfonia.

For more information about these opportunities please contact Lakeside’s Music Assistant, Owen Jones, at