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.

"When I arrived at Leicester, I was amazed by the quality of music and the connections that the university holds with the Philharmonia Orchestra. The coaching schemes that the Philharmonia offer are a vital part of musical life within Leicester and provide students with the opportunity to work with some of the best musicians in their field. These include one-to-one lessons with Philharmonia players for those with music scholarships and large workshops with musicians and choral animateurs for all music ensembles. These are especially helpful considering that the university does not offer a music programme. I have been lucky enough to experience several choral workshops run by Aidan Oliver and also conducting lessons with Robin O’Neill. These gave me the chance to expand my existing knowledge and try something completely new in a vibrant and trusting environment. These coaching sessions are always popular with our members and have definitely been one of the highlights of my university career!

It is fantastic that our university and the Philharmonia have formed this relationship and that’s not just because of the cheap concert tickets! The opportunities that are offered to students by the Philharmonia are excellent and being able to have regular meetings with the Education Department not only helps us understand the world of performance, but also a world of arts administration and marketing that many of our students hope to enter in the coming years.

It is great to see so many people interested in music at Leicester and I hope that the bond between the Philharmonia and the University of Leicester will continue to inspire new generations of aspiring musicians in the years to come."

Tom Spurgin
President, University of Leicester Chorus 2012/13
Vice-President, University of Leicester Music Association 2012/13