This course has concessions available

Chamber Orchestra

For those with Grade V and VI. Improve your ensemble skills, sight-reading and general musicianship. We usually have room for string players but players of other instruments should contact the tutor before enrolling.

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

The chamber orchestra is aimed at string players from about grade 5 to advanced and wind players around grade 6+. The orchestra is a friendly one with a relaxed but focused atmosphere. The orchestral sessions concentrate on developing and improving ensemble skills, sight-reading and general musicianship. The music covers most periods from classical through to modern with a wide variety in between. We welcome new players, including those who are returning to active music-making after a (sometimes long) break. Why not come along and give us a try? There are often places for string players but wind and brass places can be limited, so prospective players should contact a tutor through the Mary Ward Centre before enrolling: Chris Braime (Conductor) for wind/brass/percussion and David Edwards for strings.
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What does this course cover

The aim of the course is to give players of all levels of ability experience and guidance in orchestral playing. The choice of music is made by the tutor in discussion with students.

1. Develop and improve the skills needed to play music in an chamber orchestra, including listening, rhythm, tuning and intonation, counting and sight-reading, so that you will feel confident playing your own part in the music, whether in the full orchestra or in a smaller group, sometimes without the help of a conductor or tutor.
2. Learn how to rehearse and perform with other people, including gaining the confidence to initiate and take part in discussion and analysis of pieces.
3. Develop awareness of the piece of music as a whole and its contexts rather than concentrating on one single part.

What will it be like

We use a variety of techniques to explore the world of classical orchestral music, including:
Practical rehearsals
Group and individual Tutor feedback
Informal discussion and Q&A
Tutor advice on practical and musical problems
Student self-assessment
Practical performance - the orchestra will give an informal end-of-term concert.
Feedback is given verbally directly to the group and individuals. You are encouraged to keep your own record of the progress of each piece you are working on. This provides a record for you and also aids the tutor.

What else do you need to buy or do

You need your own instrument, with bows in good working order - advice is given at all times. Although music is supplied at the Centre, you are encouraged to obtain your own copies when possible. The Tutors will advise. Some music stands are provided; if possible bring your own.

What this course could lead to

As well as playing in the orchestra, more advanced string players may also wish to join the Mary Ward chamber strings course. The tutors will advise. You can also broaden your skills and experience by taking part in one of the many residential music courses held at various venues throughout the year.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’