About Us

What is MUMS?

MUMS is open to everyone and we aim to offer a musical experience to suit everyone. Each year, around 500 people join MUMS. The mission of the society is to bring together people who are passionate about music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and provide them with opportunities to hear and make music on a regular basis to a high standard. This is achieved through the presentation of over 50 concerts per academic year featuring a number of ensembles, plus multiple social events.

The society is made up of a variety of dynamic, auditioned and unauditioned ensembles. The dynamic ensembles are the Symphony Orchestra, which is at the heart of the society, having performed a long list of very impressive repertoire. This year's highlights will include Gershwin's' American in Paris, the Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 5​, and a special commission from postgraduate composer, Simon Helewell. The Chamber Orchestra will be performing Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 with Katherine Stonham as soloist, and Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite. To get involved in these ensembles, you are required to audition (either in September/October or in January) and then will be seated by our personnel team on a concert-by-concert basis - you aren't in or out of these ensembles but will get rotated.

We also have fixed, non-auditioned ensembles such as MUWO, the Manchester University Wind Orchestra and MUSO, Manchester University String Orchestra which both play three dazzling concerts each year and have growing reputations for entertaining audiences with their brilliant performances.

Alongside these ensembles MUMS also includes University of Manchester Brass Band (UMBB) and Manchester University Big Band (MUBB). UMBB, another auditioned ensemble, were the victorious winners of UniBrass 2015, a national Brass Band competition and play a range of traditional and contemporary brass band works and arrangements to a very high standard. MUBB are an exciting and energetic auditioned ensemble who draw on the rich history of big band repertoire from 1920s swing to experimental European jazz. As an audience member or as a player, there is something for everyone!

One of MUMS’ proudest traditions is Estival – Manchester’s Biggest Classical Music Festival – which takes place in the final week of each academic year. It is always a great celebration of music, the end of exams and the beginning of summer. Estival 2018 was a huge success and we are already planning for Estival 2019!

Social occasions are extremely important to MUMS and you will be welcomed by a strong and friendly community when you join. Certain traditions such as the three-legged pub-crawl, Revolution fallowfield discounts, Christmas Party and Summer Ball, which includes its very own awards ceremony and a video of highlights from the year, are not to be missed! 

In a busy city like Manchester, MUMS is always strives to keep up with the ever-changing world of music making as well as modern technology. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page to stay in the loop! ​


MUMS runs one of the leading student conducting systems in the country. With six to eight student instrumental/orchestral conductors each year and two or three choral conductors, each conductor will have the opportunity to conduct every MUMS ensemble in their conducting area, taking rehearsals with at least one of our dynamic or fixed ensembles per week, often without any supervision. Instrumental conductors receive free one-to-one tuition with Robert Guy, conducting teacher at the University of Manchester. Auditions are opened up to all MUMS members every year after the Christmas holiday and consist of two rounds, with the first conducting a small chamber ensemble and the second the MUMS Symphony Orchestra. Details of the auditions will be distributed in the Sunday Update, so keep an eye out for more information to come!

Concerto Opportunities

MUMS also offers the opportunity to play a concerto with one of the ensembles to all members. CD submissions and a final round of auditions take place in the Spring for the following academic year. Any MUMS member is eligible for this opportunity.

Other Performance Opportunities

Other performance opportunities get circulated in the Sunday Update, sent every week in term time.


We particularly pride ourselves on our excellent Outreach program, which gives MUMS members the opportunity to give back to the community. There are three main projects: Care Homes, Outreach Choir and Outreach Orchestra, which provide lots of different opportunities for playing, singing, and most of all, having lots of fun! The Outreach projects have an extremely friendly atmosphere where everyone is welcome. Addionally, at the end of each semester, our Outreach team hold a relaxed performance, which mutates the traditional performance setting to a more inclusive, fun space. For more information, see our Outreach section of the website!