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The orchestra was founded in 1930. First conductors were Theodor Werner, then Walter Scheele, followed in 1954 by Heinrich Sievers. In 1967 Dieter Becker began working with the orchestra.

During the next 27 years he had a big influence on the orchestra. Before his time the orchestra was a only string orchestra which played mostly to ceremonial functions at the university.

Under Dieter Becker the orchestra grew to a full symphony orchestra with all sorts of wind and brass instruments. Also the performances expanded to include official concerts in Hannover, at first only once a year.

Today the collegium musicum gives two concerts at the end of every semester. Rather than giving one concert for the greater Hannover region and one for the city, it was decided to give both concerts in Hannover.

From the winter semester 1993/94 to the summer semester 2008 the orchestra played under the direction of Christoph Heidemann. During these 15 years the orchestra played pieces from various composers, from Britten to Wieniawski.

The concert of the winter semester 2008/2009 was conducted by Elena Chekanova. Since the winter semester 2009/2010 the orchester played under the baton of Thomas Posth. The winter semester 2011/2012 was lead by guest conductor Kerry Jago. Thomas Posth left the orchestra to become Professor at Hamburg University.

Since 2014 conductor the orchestra enjoys playing under the baton of Sönke Grohmann (born 1988).