Playing with the London Schools' Symphony Orchestra

By Sana Abu-Jabir, Year 10

After my successful audition to become a member of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, I spent nearly two weeks of the Christmas holidays working and rehearsing with them. We had long days from 9:45-17:00 rehearsing, studying the music and working in sectionals.

It was nice to work through music without the time constraints you often face in the school orchestras or Junior Guildhall Symphony. We had plenty of time to work efficiently through the music and have a rest in between rehearsals. It is a great atmosphere working with likeminded people who love music enough to give up their holidays to rehearse around Christmas and New Year.
The London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) is a symphony orchestra with musicians drawn by audition from students aged 13-18 in London schools and conservatoires, and featuring professional conductors and soloists.

The repertoire was challenging and interesting to work with, but this made it more rewarding when it all came together for the concert at the Barbican Hall on 7 January 2019. In the first half the orchestra performed Richard Strauss ‘Death and Transfiguration Op.24’ and ‘The Orchestral Love Songs’ in which the orchestra accompanied the Soprano Rachel Nicholls.

In the second half we performed ‘Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods’ which was arranged by the Orchestra’s guest conductor and composer Ryan Wigglesworth and again saw a beautiful performance by the Soprano Rachel Nicholls.

 I am very much looking forward to the next concert with the LSSO in May where we will be performing Verdi ‘La Forza del Destino Overture’, Barber ‘Violin Concerto’ and Tchaikovsky ‘Symphony No 6’. I will also be going on a big summer tour abroad with them, playing in several concerts.

Sana Abu-Jabir, Year 10


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