The Friendly Orchestra for Every Age and Experience Level!
Interested? Contact Us Today!
The Violin Orchestra runs twice a year (Summer and Christmas), with 5 Saturday rehearsals culminating in an afternoon concert in Central London. There is also an informal concert to showcase solo performances by members of the orchestra, and performance opportunities for small ensembles are also available.
New to the Violin Orchestra? Come and meet us!
If you're new to The Violin Orchestra, then before you register, why not come along to the first rehearsal and meet everyone? It's a great chance to get to know us, and to see whether the Violin Orchestra is a good fit for you.
Just turn up to the first rehearsal at 3pm on Saturday 4th November (next to Victoria station in London - we'll email you venue details). We will be playing through a variety of different pieces of music, and everyone is welcome to come and meet the community and take a sneak preview at the Violin Orchestra repertoire together.
So come along to the first session (then if you enjoy it, you can register for the whole project afterwards). Just click here to register, and we'll send you the venue address:
We are delighted to invite you to join the Violin Orchestra in London, a unique orchestra, for every age and level!
Join the ViolinSchool Community... The Violin Orchestra is open to everyone - all ages and experience levels are welcome! With exciting new arrangements of some fantastic music, we can't wait for the Christmas Concert!
There is an ensemble part to suit your technical experience, whether that’s open strings, first position only or advanced. We’re always delighted to welcome music students and pre-professional players too.
As a group, we work to a really high musical level. We pride ourselves on creating compelling performances. We play for a live concert audience here in London, and the final concert is streamed around the world through our online webcast.
Here's one of the pieces we performed in the Summer 2016 (Sonata in E K380 by Scarlatti)
Beginners: Never played violin before? Come to one of our Beginner Violin Classes to get started. You can then join the Violin Orchestra and dive straight into the thrilling experience of ensemble playing.
Young Violinists: We look forward to welcoming players aged 7-13 to the Violin Orchestra (younger players may also be able to participate – please ask us for advice). There may also be chamber music and ensemble opportunities for violinists and violists between the ages of 7 and 16 in our Young Violinists Ensemble – please email [email protected] for details!
- Group rehearsals in central London over 5 weekends.
- A concert and live webcast from a central London venue, followed by an aftershow party!
- Optional ensemble music sessions (duos, trios, quartets, quintets, etc.) for orchestra members who wish to play together. Playing in small ensembles adds a real depth and enjoyment to learning, and teaches valuable rehearsal, technical and musical skills.
- Performance classes, giving orchestra members the opportunity to play to each other, and get valuable feedback and practice tips from ViolinSchool tutors. These classes are optional, but they’re a great chance to build up your performance experience.
- There will also be the opportunity to perform a solo in an informal 'solos' concert on 2nd December.
Chamber Music and Solo Opportunites
Participants are welcome to create self-formed chamber music groups and work on small-scale ensemble pieces. These groupings can be arranged informally on the rehearsal days, or via the ViolinSchool Learning Advisory team. Email [email protected] with any requests.
ViolinSchool Tutors will be on hand to facilitate chamber music groups, rehearsal space, and coaching as required.
To take part in the Violin Orchestra you’ll need:
- A violin (!)
- For Beginners: Enough experience to play open strings whilst making a good sound!
- For everyone else: a little bit of practice time each week to consolidate what we do in the rehearsal sessions
- A music stand (not strictly essential!)
- A friendly, can-do approach and a desire to make beautiful music and…
- ...that’s about it!
The idea behind the Violin Orchestra is that you can engage in truly great music making regardless of how much technical experience you have on the violin. Our standards are high, and everyone is welcome.
We'll be rehearsing in VICTORIA every Saturday from 4th November to 2nd December, with a concert in WATERLOO on Saturday 9th December.
Each week, we run an Ensembles & Performance Class from 1pm to 3pm, where orchestra members can practise performing their pieces (solo or small ensemble) in front of a supportive, friendly audience.
From 3pm to 6pm, the Violin Orchestra rehearses together to prepare the repertoire for the concert (with a big break for tea & biscuits in the middle!). After 6pm, orchestra members can usually be found socialising in a nearby hostelry! :)
Our rehearsal schedule for Christmas 2017 is:
INFORMAL SOLOS CONCERT: Saturday 2nd December, 3.15pm followed by Orchestra Final Rehearsal 5pm to 7pm
ORCHESTRA & ENSEMBLES CONCERT: Saturday 9th December, 2pm Concert Venue: The Warehouse, Waterloo
We'd love to see you at every rehearsal, but if you can't make one or two sessions, that's OK -- don't let this stop you from taking part!
Simon Hewitt Jones (Conductor)
Simon Hewitt Jones performs, records and broadcasts widely as a solo violinist, concertmaster, teacher, writer, chamber musician, music researcher and leader of the Fifth Quadrant (5Q) music collective. He is involved extensively with projects that explore the intersection of music, technology, education, and cultural diplomacy.
Simon’s solo and chamber music performances have been featured internationally in festivals and TV/Radio throughout Europe, the USA and the Middle East, including NPR’s Performance Today and BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4. In October 2016, Signum Records will release Simon’s recording of Christmas Party, a new ‘Christmas violin concerto’ by his brother Thomas, featuring Gavin Sutherland and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
He tours extensively in the UK, and has appeared at most of the UK’s major venues, including the Bridgewater Hall, the Barbican and the South Bank Centre. Simon also appears regularly at St Martin-in-the-Fields as a soloist and concertmaster with the Trafalgar Sinfonia. Simon has contributed extensively to commercial projects for Universal Music, and his string section has recorded sessions for EMI, Virgin, Naxos and the BBC.
He is a regular guest concertmaster of orchestras and ensembles in the UK, Europe and Middle East. For several years, Simon was a researcher at the Royal Academy of Music, exploring violin education systems. He is the Artistic Director of two groundbreaking events in London, Music and the City and Classical Revolution London, and is the founder of ViolinSchool.
David Worswick (Orchestra Coach, Music Arranger)
David is a violin soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, composer, arranger and educator.
He became inspired to play the violin after hearing the recordings of Jascha Heifetz. Initially, he was self-taught – the Liverpool Central Library a goldmine for scores and CDs. At fourteen, things got a little more serious and he began lessons at the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School, where his unorthodox violin technique was radically revamped. He then progressed to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, enjoying two riotous years, before moving to his now beloved London to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
In recent seasons, David has performed at many of London’s major music venues – Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Cadogan Hall, Roundhouse, Conway Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Linbury Theatre, LSO St. Luke’s. He has also played in some slightly more unusual venues – City Hall, The Macbeth, Old Vic Tunnels, London Eye, Classic FM Studios, National Portrait Gallery, Village Underground. And, he has featured at many festivals – Edinburgh Fringe, Aldeburgh, Soundings, Johnsmas Foy in the Shetland Islands, Leeds International Concert Series, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Sounds New, St. David’s, North Wales International Music, Spitalfields.
David was New Music Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and Leverhulme Fellow at the Royal College of Music. He is proud to have worked closely with many of today’s most important young composers, performing hundreds of new works, as well as working with composers such as Thomas Adès, Bent Sørensen, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Lately, his playing has been heard on BBC Radio 3 & 4, Classic FM, Al Jazeera, BBC One & Two and some of his chamber music recordings received great recognition, including the Diapason d’Or Award. In 2010, David became a member of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Neil Georgeson (Piano Accompanist)
Neil Georgeson is a pianist, writer, composer and director from the Shetland Islands.
He appears regularly and widely as a solo pianist and chamber musician, and has performed as a soloist all over the world, and at UK venues such as King's Place, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, St David's Hall in Cardiff, the Colston Hall in Bristol and the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh, as well as more unconventional venues like the Glastonbury Festival and the Village Underground, and at London contemporary music nights Kammerklang and Nonclassical.
He has appeared at festivals such as 'Soundings' at the Austrian Cultural Forum, the York Late Music Festival, Sounds New in England and France, and the Johnsmas Foy in Shetland, for which he was commissioned as a composer.
He has worked with a great many illustrious composers on their music such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Martin Bresnick, Diana Burrell, Bent Sørensen and Jonathan Harvey.
Setareh Mood (Admin & Young Learners Tutor)
Setareh Mood joined ViolinSchool in the summer of 2015 as a member of the Violin Orchestra, and she joined the ViolinSchool team in January 2016.
During her time living in several in different eastern and western countries, Setareh developed a love for many different musical genres. She grew up with traditional Persian music and first began to play the keyboard as a young child, but always loved the sound of the violin. At the age of 25, she started her violin-playing journey whilst living in Italy. Setareh is proof that it is never too late to start playing the violin!
Setareh has a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, and has spent a great deal of time researching different cultures and languages. She has always used music and songs as a way of learning new languages, and she created a very successful YouTube channel teaching Persian language to Italians through songs.
Setareh now heads up ViolinSchool's Learning Support Team, where she helps violinists from around the world to realise their goals. She is also training to become an Advanced Yoga Teacher, and is creating a repertoire of yoga exercises to help violinists to maximise their physical awareness, relaxation and mind-body balance when playing.
Places are limited, so get in touch with us today to express your interest or reserve your place!
You can reach us any time at [email protected], or give us a call on +44 (0) 20 3051 0080.
“What I love about the orchestra project is that whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, you get to play your part. We get together, we work really hard, we make some amazing music, and have lots of fun along the way. I look forward to this year's project!”
— Indu Pillai, Violin Orchestra member
The Violin Orchestra is run by ViolinSchool as a non-profit community project. We are committed to making participation as affordable as possible for the widest number of people.
For Christmas 2017, we are taking the next steps to grow and develop the orchestra, and to ensure its future as a long-term, sustainable endeavour. To achieve this, we are aiming to raise enough funds to be able to cover the costs of:
- arranging music for the orchestra - conducting, coaching and assisting fees - professional filming and recording of events - creating tutorial videos for each project - additional bursaries for orchestra members - additional coaching and support for ensembles, and parent/child participants
We are immensely grateful for any support you are able to offer over and above your participation fee.
The project fee includes:
- All rehearsals (and biscuits!)
- An Ensembles Session & Performance Class from 1pm to 3pm before each orchestra, with Simon Hewitt Jones and David Worswick. This is your chance to play solos, duets, trios, quartets, and other small ensemble types. It's an opportunity to play to each other, build up performance experience, and get constructive feedback and practice tips to help you improve.
- Digital files of all sheet music arrangements
- Piano accompaniment for your solo / ensemble pieces from a professional pianist
- Participation in both concerts, & all-day Performer’s Pass for the concert day.
If you’ve not played with The Violin Orchestra before, you might have a few questions before signing up… Please give us a call on 020 3051 0080 or email [email protected] (or send us a message via the contact form) and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!
ViolinSchool's mission is to help anyone, anywhere achieve what they want with their violin playing. So, your happiness is our first priority.
That's why every event or course that we present comes with our 100% happiness guarantee.
If you decide that any of our workshops are not right for you, then let us know by the first break of the day and we will refund you in full.