What is the course about?
You will learn to play orchestral music from the standard repertoire in a friendly, supportive atmosphere, with a conductor and professional leader (principal violin). We will focus on following phrasing and playing effectively together as an ensemble.
To check availabilty of places for your instrument and gain authorisation to enrol, please phone the Music Department on (020) 7492 2630 or email music office Please note that you may be required to play 1st or 2nd and we will advise you on this after you have enrolled. Repertoire for this course:
Beethoven Symphony No 2 in D Op.36 - parts available from IMSLP [external website]
Mozart "Ach ich fuhl's" from The Magic Flute - parts available from IMSLP [external website]
The Banks of Green Willow - parts available from IMSLP [external website]
Puccini "Donde lieta usci" from La Bohème [parts will be sent to you].
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.
Part of the course will comprise separate wind and string sectional rehearsals.
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.
Cello & double bass City Lit has 4 cellos and 1 double bass. Please ask in advance if you wish to use one of these instruments during the course, to ensure availability.
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 is offered regularly as a two-day course (Tues-Wed) and as a weekend course (2-3 Sundays), with different repertoire for each course.
City Lit also has other weekly Ensemble courses such as City Lit wind ensemble, Chamber music: intermediate, and Chamber Music: advanced; String chamber music (fortnightly), and short courses Flute and clarinet choir and Brass workshop.
You may also be interested in our wide range of Music appreciation courses.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details