Orchestra (the Academy)

The Academy of Great St Mary’s, founded in 2007, performs four major concerts each year. The Academy also performs smaller, chamber music, baroque and light music concerts.

Welcome to the Academy of Great St. Mary’s!

The Academy of Great St Mary’s, was founded in 2007 by conductor and composer Adam Pounds.  It sets out to enhance the musical life of Great St. Mary’s and Michaelhouse through its performances in concerts and services with its orchestra and the choirs of Great St. Mary’s. It performs four major concerts a year, plus a number of smaller, chamber music, baroque or light music concerts.

The orchestra has established a reputation for its excellent and diverse performances. including symphonies by Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak, Shostakovich, Brukner and Vaughan Williams, the concerto for orchestra by Bartok, and the ‘Pulcinella Suite’ by Stravinsky.

Other notable performances have been the third symphony of Brahms, the ninth symphony of Dvorak and the symphonies of Beethoven.

Choral music with the Choirs have included works by Faure, Bach, Haydn and Mozart.

Chamber concerts at Michaelhouse explore a range of themes such as ‘English music of the 20th century’.

There are some 40-50 players in the orchestra mainly drawn from across the city and University, together with those from further afield, attracted by our lively and varied repertoire.  The orchestra meets on a Tuesday evening at Great St. Mary’s.  If you are interested in joining the orchestra please contact us using the links in the left hand box on this page.

We invite an international soloist to perform with us annually. Our concert in 2014 featured the violin virtuoso Chloe Hanslip who played the exquisite Brahms’ violin concerto.  In 2016 she returns to play the Saint Sans Violin concerto No. 3.  We had a memorable performance of the Oboe Concerto by Richard Strauss with international soloist Nicholas Daniel in 2015.

Adam Pounds is also the conductor of the Stapleford Choral Society and the Academy is their regular orchestra.  Our collaboration included a performance of A German Requiem by Brahms, and the Martyrdom of Latimer by our conductor Adam Pounds following its highly successful premiere in Ely Cathedral in October 2009.


Adam Pounds is the conductor and founder of the orchestra and is responsible for the overall artistic direction of the group. He ensures that rehearsals are enjoyable and purposeful and that the context as well as the techniques of the music is explored.

Sam Hayes is the Director of Music at Great St. Mary’s and is responsible for the development and direction of the church choir

David Carter is our orchestral manager. David makes sure that things run smoothly and that members are kept informed about rehearsal requirements and repertoire. He is often the first contact for new or prospective members of the group. David plays the clarinet.

David Richmond is our orchestral leader. A former RPO player, David has worked with Adam, our conductor for many years. The strings and indeed the whole orchestra benefit tremendously from his technique and experience as a performer.

Committee members include

Dinah Pounds (flute), Chair of the Orchestra Committee

Margaret Johnston (violin), Treasurer of the Orchestra

Elise Baraud (‘cello), Co-ordinator for the orchestra webpages

Jenny Nicols (oboe), Mike Taylor (violin) and Ben Willetts (clarinet)

Find out more

Concert Calendar

Academy News and Information

Academy Biographies


Contact us

Orchestra Director – Adam Pounds

Orchestra Manager – David Carter

Choir Director – Sam Hayes

Academy of Great St. Mary’s
Senate House Hill
Cambridge CB2 3PQ