What is the course about?
You will learn to play orchestral music from the standard repertoire in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. We will focus on following phrasing and playing effectively together as an ensemble. Please note that you may be required to play 1st or 2nd, and we will advise you on this after you have enrolled. Sheet music will be posted to you by the Music department once you have enrolled. Repertoire:
Mozart Symphony no 40 in G minor K.550
Elgar Chanson de nuit Op. 15 no 1 and Chanson de matin Op.15 No 2.
What will we cover?
- how to follow a conductor's beat
- how to play core orchestral repertoire stylishly and accurately
- how to blend your instruments together to make a pleasing orchestral sound
- awareness of balance and intonation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Follow a conductor
- feel more confident in playing your own part
- feel more confident playing in the ensemble
- be familiar with some core repertoire
- understand orchestral texture.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You should be at least grade 6 standard on your instrument, reading music confidently and accurately. Technical proficiency is essential as the tutors will not focus on instrumental technique in the course.
As this is an intensive workshop, you will need to learn your instrumental part in advance (unless you are a very good sight-reader!). Click on the links in the repertoire list above to find, download and print your part from IMSLP.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will learn in one large group, taught by the conductor, for most of the course. There may be separate short sectional rehearsals for strings and winds, but there are no instrument-specific tutorials.
You should prepare your own part in advance, as this is an intensive workshop.
The last part of the course will be an informal performance of all pieces.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring your instrument, a hard copy of your instrumental part (see instructions above), and a pencil and eraser to mark up your part during rehearsal.
Large instruments may be stored at City Lit overnight, but at your own risk.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Orchestra workshop runs as intensive 1-day (Sunday) or 2-day (Tues-Wed) courses, with different repertoire each time.
Related courses throughout the year include String school (Winter / Easter / Summer), String ensemble, Chamber music: introduction, Chamber music 1 / 2 / advanced, City Lit wind ensemble, Flute and clarinet choir, Brass ensemble. See Ensembles for details.
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Customer Reviews 16 item(s)
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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.
Take it seriously and prepare with practice.
A fun and friendly 2 day orchestral workshop playing beautiful music with a conductor who was systematic in his approach, encouraging and helpful. We worked on Mozart and Dvorak and finished with a concert which was demanding, exciting and rewarding.
This course is great to play a part in a full orchestra in a structured and supportive environment. One gets a real sense of achievement being able to play through orchestral pieces at the end of the day.
Yes, do it. It is worthwhile.
A challenging but rewarding musical experience. A cheeky but encouraging conductor. A great choice of rep. A good atmosphere.
Really good course - well-paced, good and varied choice of repertoire and the course leaders make you want to do your best.
Friendly, fun, rewarding, intensive, value for money, great conductor, well organised.
An enjoyable experience with a knowledgeable, patient and sympathetic conductor.
It’s an incredible and very fulfilling experience playing beautiful pieces with other amateur musicians. Even if you think the pieces are too difficult, by the end of the course you can play them.
Definitely a worthwhile course - very helpful conductor who manages to make everyone play to the best of their ability and somehow brings together a disparate group of amateur "musicians"and make them sound reasonable
Hard work but really worth doing. Lovely to do play through on day 2 and hear/feel the improvement.
Great way to improve your playing and sight reading. Excellent tutor/conductor with a range of music to play which is sent in advance.
Scary and exhilarating in equal measure, a real experience.
Always an excellent course, with a really positive and encouraging conductor who brings the best out of everyone.
[The tutor] makes Gold out of ordinary metals.
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.