Orchestra Unwrapped: About the Project

Orchestra Unwrapped is a concert series for children aged 7-11 in Leicester and Basingstoke, expanding to Bedford and Canterbury in 2016/17. The programme offers thousands of children from many different cultural backgrounds and educational circumstances a dynamic opportunity to hear a world class orchestra on their own doorstep, accompanied by the educational resources to fully understand it.

"Orchestra Unwrapped was really awesome. I thought the music was relaxing for a moment...then it made you want to dance."

Herrick Primary School pupil, Leicester


  • An exciting programme of music based on a theme, presented by music education specialist Paul Rissmann.
  • INSET teacher training, equipping teachers with the skills to maximise the concert experience for their pupils via pre- and post-concert classroom exercises, as well as developing personal creativity, expression, confidence and group work skills.
  • An opportunity for children to sing a specially commissioned audience participation piece from Paul Rissmann with the Philharmonia live in concert. Local schools have contributed to the composition of the piece through creative writing and music workshops.
  • Inspiring music played by one of the world’s great orchestras. Orchestra Unwrapped gives each child the opportunity to enjoy and learn about music locally, whatever their background.
  • Suitable for all children; as well as mainstream schools, Orchestra Unwrapped concerts are regularly attended by special schools, home educated children, pupil referral units, and looked after children. Materials and activities can be tailored as appropriate.
  • Partnerships with music hubs enable the opportunity for top young instrumentalists to perform side-by-side within the Orchestra during the audience participation piece, with the young musicians receiving coaching from Philharmonia players in advance.

CONCERTS 2016/17

  • Wednesday 30 November 2016, 1pm - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • Wednesday 7 December 2016, 1pm - Bedford Corn Exchange
  • Wednesday 1 February 2017, 1pm - The Anvil, Basingstoke
  • Friday 10 February 2017, 1pm - The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
  • Friday 24 March 2017, 1pm - De Montfort Hall, Leicester

To find out more, including how and when to book, visit the details for schools page.


Orchestra Unwrapped is dependent upon donations from our audience members and supporters, trusts and foundations, and business.

Find out how you can support the project.

Orchestra Unwrapped is generously supported by:

Monument Trust logoAnvil Arts logoHarpur Trust logo

We are also grateful to the following for their support of the project:

  • Alan Choice Ltd.
  • The Andor Charitable Trust
  • Leicestershire & Rutland Masonic Charity Association
  • Edith Murphy Foundation
  • The Helen Jean Cope Charity

and a circle of individual donors.