Conductor – Ed Hughes


Ed is Professor of Composition and Head of the Department of Music at the University of Sussex. He has been conducting the University of Sussex Symphony Orchestra (USSO) for the past six years.

A student at both Pembroke College, Cambridge University and the University of Southampton, he is primarily a composer interested in ensemble performance in the digital age, and has worked with numerous regional and national organisations, including as co-chair of the University of Sussex Centre for Research in Creative and Performing Arts.

Ed has also composed original scores for classic silent films, including Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Strike (1924) by the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein. These were released on DVD is 2007, and extracts of the score for Battleship Potemkin were included in the TV series “The Story of Film” by Mark Cousins (More 4, 2011).

Other compositions include an opera for five voices, ensemble and electrics, When the Flame Dies (2012), which responded to Jean Cocteau’s 1950 film Orphée. The opera was released on DVD in 2013, and was the subject of essays by the scholars Professor James Williams and Professor Michael Grover-Friedlander.

Ed received a British Composer Award in 2014 for Chaconne for Jonathan Harvey, following its premiere in 2013 and subsequent BBC Radio 3 broadcasts.

As founder of the Orchestra of Light and Sound he has been touring schools, Higher Education and Further Education institutions in Sussex with specially written ‘expandable scores’ and networked iPads. Ed designed the project in 2015 to explore and enhance ensemble music-making.

Ed has enjoyed all of the concerts by the USSO, but the performances which stand out for him are the ones which he described as “particularly mad and intense”, which included Holst’s The Planets, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. The challenging nature of these pieces served only to make the performances of them more exciting occasions.

Ed likes the mutually supportive atmosphere and the inclusivity of the USSO, as well as its ambition to do interesting and inventive programmes. More information about Ed can be found at his personal website

2017-2018 Committee

President – Harrison Bryans

Harrison is a final year Music student at the University of Sussex. He has been a member of the Orchestra, playing the flute, for the duration of his time at Sussex, and you can also catch him performing in musical theatre productions.

Vice President – Eleanor Clapp

Eleanor is also a final year Music student at the University of Sussex, and splits her time between playing the Clarinet in Orchestra and her responsibilities as President of the Chamber Choir.

Secretary, Social Secretary, and Welfare & Inclusivity Officer – Nicky Barker

Nicky is a second year Economics student at the University of Sussex, and is the driving force behind the committee. She knows far more about what’s going on than anyone else, plays the cello, and is the organiser of all our socials (from Laser Tag to Ice Skating).

Treasurer – Gemma Wren

Gemma is a second year Medical student at BSMS, and holds the purse strings. She will badger members to pay their membership fees, but makes sure there’s enough in the kitty to fund everything. Another flautist.

Librarian – Richard Morson

Richard is a local piano teacher and composer, as well as former Sussex Music student. Tasked with sourcing all of our music, Richard also runs our inaugural Musical Pub Quiz at the start of the Academic year, and has been a staple of the Cello section for a number of years.