Southampton University Symphony Orchestra is run by an annually elected committee of student players who volunteer and dedicate so much time to making playing music possible.

We asked the new committee for the 2020/21 season some questions to introduce themselves! 

Charlie Mann – President

Instrument: French Horn

Degree: BA Music

Year of Study: Third Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

I have had so many amazing moments in SUSO so far, and I simply cannot choose one! My top two have to be playing Strauss’ Alpine Symphony this year in the Guildhall and playing Mahler’s First Symphony last summer term.

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

I’m really excited to be President this year! I have a great committee and I know we are going to have some great concerts with fantastic music. I am also looking forward to some different projects we have planned, and a tour to finish the season off.

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

Anything Mahler, Shostakovich or Rachmaninoff!

Rosie Waddington – Vice President

Instrument: Violin

Degree: BA Music

Year of Study: Second Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

My favourite moment of Suso has got to be the centenary concert we did before lockdown, it was amazing to see all our hard work come together to create this unforgettable concert.

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

This year I am really looking forward to working with Charlie and the rest of the committee to create a fantastic year of music making. We already have a bunch of plans for next year and some fun socials as well.

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

I don’t really have a particular piece of music that is my favourite but I love all film music and The Planets, I also love playing Brahms, Elgar and Vaughan Williams.

Oliver Brunt – Treasurer

Instrument: Tenor and Bass Trombone

Degree: Acoustical Engineering

Year of Study: Second Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

One moment that particularly stands out for me in SUSO was playing Alpine Symphony by Strauss in the Guildhall for the centenary concert this year. Although, playing Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky last Christmas is definitely up there too!

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

This year is going to be an interesting year for SUSO, so I really cannot wait to simply be back with everyone, playing some smashing music. Particularly though, I am looking forward to the exciting projects we are planning and being able to be a part of the running of this fantastic orchestra over the coming year.

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

Being a brass player I like any music by any of the late romantic composers, but my favourite piece has to be Mahler’s 6th Symphony (tragic), as it is written so well for all sections and sounds amazing.

Will Shirras – Librarian

Instrument: Viola and Oboe

Degree: Chemistry

Year of Study: Second Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

I really enjoyed playing in the orchestra last year, especially pre-term, as it was a great chance to meet the orchestra and make good friends to start uni on the right foot. The SUSO 100 concert was also incredible and especially the performance of the Alpine Symphony which was a massive undertaking which was well worth it.

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

I’m really looking forward to spending another year playing with and improving in SUSO, as well as playing some more great repertoire.

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

My favourite piece of classical music is probably the 2nd Brahms string sextet, and as for orchestral music, Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 is a personal favourite.

Aoife Scully – Orchestral Manager

Instrument: Flute

Degree: BA Music

Year of Study: Third Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

I have really enjoyed playing in SUSO the past 2 years, highlights include playing Mahler 1 in my first year and being part of a small army of flutes for Strauss Alpine Symphony in 2nd year.

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

I have really missed playing with everyone this summer and I can’t wait to play with SUSO again next year!

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

Some of my favourite composers are Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky and Shostakovich.

Marianne Williams-Kerslake – Publicity Officer

Instrument: Double Bass

Degree: Marine Biology with Oceanography

Year of Study: Second Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

My favourite moment so far in SUSO has been playing in the centenary concert alongside the alumni. It was a very rewarding experience and a success!

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

This year I am looking forward to being an active member of the committee. I am also looking forward to the various projects that we have planned. Lastly, I cannot forget SUSO socials! Expecting big things social secs :). Most importantly I am excited to be back in Southampton playing music with great people!

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

The range of orchestral music available is so vast it’s hard to choose a favourite! However, if I had to choose I would say the Planets by Holst or the Pirates of the Caribbean arrangement by Hans Zimmer – a fun piece to play!

Kieran Potter – Publicity Officer

Instrument: Tuba

Degree: BA Music with French

Year of Study: Third Year

What has been your favourite moment in orchestra so far?

I have many fond memories from being in SUSO, but one that stands out is the concert in the Summer term of 2018/19. We played two of my favourite pieces, Danse Bacchanale by Saint-Saëns and Mahler 1 – it was in Central Hall in Southampton where both items just sounded epic!

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

I’m really looking forward to getting involved in promoting the orchestra, and also ensuring all of the members are having a good time.

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

There are so many to choose from! My favourite piece of music would most probably be Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.


Toby Kearns – Social Secretary

Instrument: Trumpet

Degree: BA Music

Year of Study: Second Year

What has been your favourite moment in orchestra so far?

I would have to say my favourite part of last year was the pre-term week last September. However, an honourable mention does go to the amazing Centenary Concert held in the O2 Guildhall. (It’s very difficult to choose just one moment from last year which I could call my favourite!).

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

I’m really looking forward this year (despite Covid difficulties) to ensuring that all members of SUSO can have a great year and enjoy the organised socials!!

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

My favourite piece of music would most probably be Brahms 1

Martha Raban – Social Secretary

Instrument: Double Bass

Degree: BA Music

Year of Study: Second Year

What has been your favourite moment in the orchestra so far?

I have a lot of memories from my first year in SUSO, all of them funny and exciting but an overriding memory would have to be the first concert I played with them, being on stage with such a full orchestra for my first time after such hard work was a very exciting feeling!

What is something that you are looking forward to this year in SUSO?

I’m so looking forward to getting involved in all the exciting plans that we are starting to make for this year and in my role as social sec trying to make the Orchestra an ever more vibrant and friendly place!

What would you say is your favourite piece of music?

I would say my favourite piece of music is the Hebredes Overture by Felix Mendelssohn!