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- St Andrews Symphony Orchestra

- St Andrews Strings

- Big BUStA

- University of St Andrews Concert Wind Band

- St Andrews Chamber Choir

- Ukelear Fusion



University of St Andrews Music Society

Laidlaw Music Centre

University of St Andrews

Queen's Terrace

St Andrews

KY16 9QF

© 2017 by The University of St Andrews Music Society.  Designed by C.Harraghy

St Andrews Symphony Orchestra

The Society's Flagship Ensemble

The St Andrews Symphony Orchestra is the largest orchestra in town.

Fully auditioned, the Orchestra consists of the University's finest student instrumentalists and is professionally conducted by Iain McLarty. 


Recent repertoire includes Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade", Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite", Tchaikovsky's "Romeo & Juliet" and "Swan Lake" suites as well as his fifth symphony, Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue".

Past performances include concerts with Viv McLean (former winner of the Maria Canals Piano Competition) and Christian Elliott (Principal Cellist of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and former Guest Principal of the SCO and the BBC Philharmonic) as well as a performance with SATB chorus of "Ever to Excel", a piece commissioned by the Music Society and written by former University Composer in Residence Mark Boden as part of the University's 600th anniversary celebrations.

Our Conductor

Scottish conductor Iain McLarty studied in the Soloist Class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (DKDM) in Copenhagen with Giordano Bellincampi and Michael Schønwandt, concluding in a concert with Aarhus Symfoniorkester featuring the Danish première of James MacMillan's "The Confession of Isobel Gowdie".

Committed to performing contemporary music, Iain has conducted numerous premières in both Scandinavia and the UK. He has taken part in masterclasses with the London Sinfonietta, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and BBC Singers and teachers have included Alexander Vedernikov, Johannes Schlaefli, Diego Masson, George Hurst, Benjamin Zander and James Lowe. Iain is currently Musical Director of the Scottish Chamber Choir and a regular guest conductor of Edinburgh University's String Orchestra.


Before taking up conducting, Iain studied Mathematics and Music at the University of Edinburgh, his interest in two such contrasting fields leading to his feature in the film, "Le pere di Adamo" shown at the Rome Film Festival. He also has a Masters in Musicology, with his research focusing on classical and church music in Scotland.

Candlemas Repertoire 2020


Holst, Gustav. The Planets, Op. 32.

Mealor, Paul. Euphonium Concerto

Nielsen, Carl. Helios Overture, Op. 17.

Candlemas Semester Schedule

Rehearsals every Tuesday, commencing Tuesday 28th January (excluding Tuesday 17th and Tuesday 24th March).

Concert: Thursday 16th April 2020, Holy Trinity Church, 19:30.

Audition Process


Auditions take place in the Music Centre in Week 1 of the academic year. The audition should only last approximately 5-10 minutes and a warm up room will be available before hand.

We ask all prospective members of the Orchestra to audition at the start of each academic year, including returning students. However, this process need not be a source of anxiety - it is quite informal and the panel consists of only the conductor. Players should prepare a piece they are comfortable playing unaccompanied and there will also be some sight-reading.

Auditions for St Andrews Strings are conjoint with the orchestral auditions - players interested in both need only arrange one audition. If only interested in St Andrews Strings, a separate time can be arranged (see here).

Find us at the Music Fayre, Freshers' Fayre or email to arrange an audition.

Contact with any enquiries about St Andrews Symphony Orchestra.

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