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CUSO is Cambridge's premier student-run symphony orchestra. Founded in 1990 to give the best student conductors a high-quality ensemble of student musicians (entry is by audition only), the orchestra has gone from strength to strength and earned itself a strong reputation in the competitive Cambridge environment. CUSO is the only Cambridge orchestra to regularly perform in London, and has undertaken a number of very successful tours (Hungary 2001, Germany 2003, Czech Republic 2006).
Despite our high musical standards, we have sought never to forget that music-making is (for all of us) a fun activity and welcome relief from the stress of academia. The players of CUSO enjoy a wide range of organised and informal social events, including the CUSO Curry, post-concert parties and trips to the pub after most rehearsals. CUSO’s high-quality, committed music-making is fostered by a friendly atmosphere rather than a stressful one!
The orchestra is run entirely by a student committee drawn from the players. This gives the musicians a real say in how CUSO operates, and means that the agenda is always set from within. Final decisions regarding repertoire are made by the conductors and the president of the orchestra in direct consultation with the orchestra as a whole—we believe this to be unique in Cambridge.