University of York Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra auditions are held from Wednesday 2 to Sunday 6 October 2019. To audition for the orchestras you will need to prepare a short piece of approximately five minutes duration and there may also be some sight-reading. You will need to book an audition time by emailing or using the sign-up sheet that will be in the department foyer during week 1.


  • Saturday 30 November 2019 – Programme includes Debussy’s Nocturnes and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no. 2
  • Saturday 7 March 2020 – Sibelius, Raautavara, Pärt asnd Stravinsky
  • Wednesday 17 June 2020 – Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius (with University Choir)
  • Wednesday 12 February 2020 – Chamber Orchestra: Music by Bach, Mozart, Vaughan Williams and Birtwistle.

University Choir

There is no audition required for University Choir for members of the University but you should register with the choir and buy the music for the term. There is a welcome and registration evening on Monday 30 September from 7pm to 8.30pm in Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall foyer when music will also be available for purchase.  Registration and music purchase is also possible at the first rehearsal (Monday 7 October). Rehearsals are Monday nights 7.30pm to 9.30pm in Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall.

Peter Seymour is the conductor and contact:

There are three concerts this year:

  • Saturday 7 December 2019 – Central Hall: Concert with Shepherd Group Brass Band. A mixture of lighter music, including opera choruses, alongside more recent repertoire by Richard Shephard, Andrew Carter and Merry Chris Mouse by Philip Wilby with narrator and Master of Ceremonies Stephen Varcoe.
  • Wednesday 11 March 2020 – York Minster: Handel Israel in Egypt with Yorkshire Baroque Soloists
  • Wednesday 17 June 2020 – York Minster: Elgar The Dream of Gerontius with Joshua Ellicott – tenor, Matthew Brook – bass, Jeanette Ager – mezzo soprano and University of York Symphony Orchestra

Chamber Choir

Auditions are held on Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 October, 1pm to 6pm and Saturday 5 October, 10am to 1pm in D014. You can book an audition time by emailing Details of the audition will be sent with notification of a time. The choir rehearses on Wednesday (from week 2 Autumn Term) 1.30pm to 4pm in E058. The conductor is Peter Seymour.

There are three concerts this year:

  • Wednesday 27 November 2019 – Bach Lutheran Mass in A major, BWV 234 with University Baroque Ensemble

  • Wednesday 4 March 2020 – SJLCH: Music in Exile: Pilgrimage and Lamentation Carissimi Jephte; Charpentier Le Reniement de Saint Pierre; motets by Victoria, Tallis and Byrd

  • Wednesday 3 June 2020 – SJLCH: A European Choral Safari

including Vierne Messe Solennelle; music by Britten, Mendelssohn, Pärt, Tavener, Rachmaninoff and SS Wesley; with Ben Horden organ

The 24

The 24 is conducted by Robert Hollingworth. This choir is generally for experienced choral singers who have a good level of sight-reading. First round auditions will take place on Wednesday 2nd October with any necessary call-backs on Thursday 3rd. You can request an audition slot by emailing Helen Southernwood. First year 1st study singers in the Music Department do not need to book a place as they'll be heard in their performance supervision the previous day. For audition bring two pieces - anything which allows us to hear your voice: moderate piano part advised. You are welcome to bring a pianist or perform unaccompanied (whether the music has accompaniment or not). You can expect a sight reading test and we'll check your range.

Rehearsals: Monday 3.45pm to 6pm and Thursday 2pm to 4pm.


  • Wednesday 20 November 2019  French and English 20th early century programme   Poulenc, Elgar, Lili Boulanger, Debussy
  • Wednesday 19 February 2020  'Choral playlist' - An unannounced mix of 16th-20th century music
  • Wednesday 27 May 2019 (repeated late June - date tbc - in Kent) 'Super-excellent' with the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble. Fabulous 17th century music by G.Gabrieli, Araujo, Schuetz, Cererols.

University Baroque Ensemble

Auditions are held on Friday 4 October, 9.30am to 4pm in D014. You can book an audition time by emailing:; details of the audition will be sent with notification of a time. The ensemble rehearsals are held in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall or E058, Thursday afternoons 1.30pm to 4pm. The ensemble is directed by Lucy Russell – violin, Rachel Gray – cello and Peter Seymour – harpsichord, organ.

Concerts this year include:

  • Wednesday 27 November 2019 – SJLCH: The Leipzig Inspiration with University Chamber Choir Bach Lutheran Mass in A major, BWV 234; Bach Sinfonia from Cantata 42; Fasch Concerto for two flutes; Telemann Ouverture-Suite, 'Burlesque de Quixotte’
  • Saturday 2 May 2020 – Baroque Day: National Centre for Early Music. Programme to include:

Corelli                         Concerto grosso Op. 6 No 3 in C minor

Avison                         Concerto grosso No 5 in D minor (after Scarlatti)                

Locatelli                      Concerto grosso

Geminiani                   Concerto grosso No 12 in D minor (after Corelli La Follia)

James Oswald             Airs for the Seasons

Geminiani                    Scottish Airs

There will also be a concert in York Early Music Festival in the week of 6 July 2020.

University Jazz Orchestra

Please contact for more information.