Participation in ensembles – orchestras, bands, choirs and so on – is widely recognised as an extremely valuable means by which to enjoy and learn about music.

Philharmonia players and associated artists work with ensembles in a variety of settings (such as universities, youth orchestras, school bands) and across a range of attainment levels. Coaching takes several different forms; sectional tuition, side-by-side playing, creative work, and performance-related learning. Projects are devised in collaboration with partner organisations, and are designed to be bespoke to suit individual circumstances.

The partnership between the Philharmonia Orchestra and the University of Leicester has helped to make my experience at Univeristy one of the best of my life. The quality of the student music societies, enhanced with the connections that we have with the Philharmonia, is nothing short of amazing. It is absolutely wonderful that our university and the Philharmonia have formed this relationship; the opportunities that it offers to students are simply incredible. Through their help we can further better our own experience as students as well as helping to bring joy to the community – I will never forget the smiles that music brings to the residents of retirement homes, or the laughter that can come from our visits to primary schools.

The coaching schemes that the Philharmonia offer are fantastic and provide students with the opportunity to work with some of the world's best musicians - from one-to-one lessons with Philharmonia players for those with music scholarships, to large workshops for all music ensembles. These are especially helpful considering that the university does not have a music department, with all of the seven music societies student-led.

Being able to have regular meetings with the Education Department not only helps us understand the world of performance, but also of arts administration – and of course who can say no to cheaper concert tickets! I am particularly excited for our own University of Leicester Orchestra to perform with Philharmonia players on De Montfort Hall stage in a pre-concert performance in 2016, a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for students.

It is heartwarming to see so many people interested in music at University of Leicester and I hope that the friendship between the Philharmonia and the University of Leicester will continue to inspire new generations of students, and to help really show that music matters.

Andrew Radford

President, University of Leicester Music Association 2014/15