Wind Orchestra


Cambridge University Wind Orchestra (CUWO) is a friendly, high standard ensemble that performs a wide variety of pieces, including concert band standards, popular film music and orchestral transcriptions. In recent years the standard of CUWO has only been increasing, allowing us to tackle even more ambitious and exciting new projects, which we are eager to continue to do this year.

CUWO rehearses weekly on a Tuesday evening, making it possible to be involved in other societies and CUMS ensembles alongside CUWO. We perform five times each academic year, including a trip to Bristol in collaboration with Bristol University Symphonic Winds and a varsity concert with Oxford in Trinity College Chapel.

Many of us would agree that CUWO has thoroughly enhanced our university lives and is a great way to meet people with similar interests from other courses and colleges. Our weekly post-rehearsal bar trips, termly formals and various other social events make CUWO a welcoming and inclusive group. One of the highlights of the year is our annual tour. In 2018, we undertook an extremely successful tour to New York and Canada to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, making us the first Cambridge orchestra to undertake a transatlantic tour. 

CUWO auditions take place in the first week of Michaelmas term. You can sign up to auditions online. 


The 5 CUWO concerts per year are:

  • Michaelmas Concert – A chance for CUWO to take the spotlight and entertain in our own public concert.
  • Varsity Concerts – Two joint concerts between CUWO and the Oxford University Wind Orchestra (OUWO) and Bristol University Symphonic Winds, with venues alternating each year.
  • Schools’ Concert – Playing to a full house of primary school children in a fantastic lunchtime concert.
  • Easter Concert – Our final concert of the musical year in West Road Concert Hall.

Rehearsals take place on Tuesday evenings, 19.15 – 22.00, in the Recital Room at the Faculty of Music, West Road.
CUWO have also enjoyed successful summer tours of Europe in 2016, 2017 and 2019 and of Canada in 2018.



(Those available from CUMS marked with *):

Woodwind Saxophones Brass, Bass and Percussion
Piccolo Eb Alto x2 Bb Trumpet/Cornet x5 (mostly trumpet)
Flute x8 Bb Tenor F Horn x4
Oboe x3 Eb Baritone* Tenor Trombone x3
Cor Anglais* Bass Trombone
Eb Clarinet* Euphonium x2
Bb Clarinet x10 Tuba x2
Eb Alto Clarinet* Double Bass
Bb Bass Clarinet* Percussion x5 (some sticks/mallets required)
Bassoon x3

We are very pleased to announce that we will be performing concerts this year. Whilst we are yet to confirm programmes for the entire year, please see our concerts for Michaelmas term on the “Concert and Event List”. 


Cambridge University Wind Orchestra Programme Michaelmas 2021-22

Tuesday 30 November, 7:30pm


Programme to include:

Malcolm Arnold Four Scottish Dances

Holst First Suite in E flat

Giacchino Music from ‘The Incredibles’

Will Rose conductor

Tickets: £14; Concessions: £12; Students and under-18s: £3

Tickets available here

Please click here to download the digital programme for this concert.

See below a timetable from our last full concert programme for an example of the repertoire we tend to perform.

CUWO Programme 2019-20

Michaelmas Term Concerts

30 November

3 December 2019, 8pm
West Road Concert Hall
Conducted by Carlos Rodríguez Otero

de Falla trans. Bram Wiggins Ritual Fire Dance
John Williams arr. Donald Hunsberger Star Wars Trilogy
Jay Bocock Into the Light
Handel arr. William A. Schaefer Music for the Royal Fireworks

Varsity Concert: Oxford and Cambridge University Wind Orchestras

29 February 2020, 5pm
Trinity College Chapel
Conducted by Carlos Rodríguez Otero and Chris O’Leary

John Powell arr. Bertrand Moren How to Train Your Dragon
Elliot del Borgo Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Nigel Hess Global Variations
Adam Gorb Dances from Crete

Schools’ Concert

4 March 2020, 1pm
West Road Concert Hall
Conducted by Carlos Rodríguez Otero

Bridges Over the River Cam
12 May 2020, 8pm
West Road Concert Hall
Conducted by Carlos Rodríguez Otero
with Jenny Whitby, flute,
and Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra

Programme to include:
Bourgeois Bridges Over the River Cam
Kozhevnikov Symphony No.3 ‘Slavanskaya’
Mike Mower Concerto for Flute and Wind Orchestra

CUWO Committee 2021-2022

CUWO Tour 2018 | Montreal and New York



Between 2nd and 11th July 2018, the Cambridge University Wind Orchestra embarked to Canada on our most ambitious tour yet in celebration of our 30th Anniversary. Although based in Montreal, we played five concerts across the cities of Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec, as well as enjoying free time to explore each of the cities. We were also fortunate that the week of our tour fell during the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which gave us the opportunity to watch free evening concerts which were a ten-minute walk away from our hostel.

After a day of rehearsals at St Thomas’ Church in Montreal, the orchestra enjoyed a group evening meal at a burger bar before getting on the coach the next morning to travel to Quebec City for our first concert. The concert, which formed part of Chalmers-Wesley Church’s lunchtime concert series, went down extremely well with the audience, and was followed by a free lunch and walking tour generously provided by the church, allowing us the opportunity to get a real feel for the city in the short time we had there.

The next day was our busiest day of music, with the first of two concerts taking place at a geriatric hospital in Montreal in collaboration with New Horizons Band, an ensemble for local adult beginners. We then travelled the short distance to Mont Royal park for our second concert. A few days before setting off on tour, we had discovered that the concert organisers had moved the location of the concert due to the size of the orchestra, and the new venue gave us incredible views of the sun setting over Montreal as we played to an appreciative audience. Many of the orchestra agreed that this was the most memorable concert location they had ever played at. The concert was ably presented in French by two members of the orchestra to the bilingual crowd.

Friday was a free day for the orchestra, allowing us time to enjoy the hostel hot tub and split into groups to explore the sights and activities that Montreal had to offer, such as the maple syrup shop and an evening light show at Notre-Dame Basilica. Then on Saturday we travelled to Calypso Waterpark to give two hour-long performances. This gave us the opportunity to bring out some of our lighter, crowd pleasing repertoire. In between our performances, we were given free entry to the waterpark, allowing us to cool off in the heat and sunshine.

Sunday was our final full day in Canada, and the day of our final concert. This was a joint performance with Ottawa Wind Ensemble, a group made up of professional and semi-professional musicians, as part of the ‘Music and Beyond’ Festival in Ottawa. This was a fabulous opportunity to hear an experienced ensemble play some unfamiliar repertoire, and we also greatly enjoyed collaborating with them for two joint pieces at the end of the concert. That evening, we travelled back to the hostel for a party to celebrate our final night in Canada, and a collection of presents and tour awards were handed out.


However, this was not the end of the tour! The next morning, we set off early on a coach to New York City, where we had a twenty-four hour stay before our plane flight home. Many people managed to pack an impressive amount of sightseeing into this short period of time, with a real highlight being a pre-planned evening group trip to ‘Top of the Rock’ to watch the sun set over the city.

Huge thanks must go to Marcel Welsh, Joe Curran and especially to Robin Otter, who not only managed the tour without the help of a tour company, but also drove the percussion van to our concerts all week. The tour was a fitting end to a wonderful 30th year of music making for CUWO.

Emily Neve, CUWO President 2018-2019